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Abhijñā

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Abhijñā
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12/24/13 8:11 AM
Abhijna

Abhijñā (Skt., Pali, abhiññā; Tib., mngon shes, མངོན་ཤེས་) has been translated generally as "knowing,"[1] "direct knowing"[2] and "direct knowledge"[3] or, at times more technically, as "higher knowledge"[1][4] and "supernormal knowledge."[1][5] In Buddhism, such knowing and knowledge is obtained through virtuous living and meditation. In terms of specifically enumerated knowledges, these include worldly extra-sensory abilities (such as seeing past and future lives) as well as the supramundane extinction of all mental intoxicants (āsava).
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In my somewhat limited experience, for example;

when these come into development ( or are developed and or perfected ),
the divine eye faculty visually presents whatever might pertain to one's kamma.

Similarly the divine ear faculty when it comes into development ( or is developed
and or perfected ) aurally presents whatever might pertain to one's kamma.


[ In many cultures such faculties and capacities are widely if not commonly considered taboo subjects. However, given that 'western societies' are ostensibly 'free', 'open', 'democratic' and 'enlightened' and, furthermore, considering that such coming into development has been deemed ( by a great many very 'chemically dependent' 'mental health care professionals' to be 'symptomatic' of a 'significant mental illness' to be considered ) worthy of 'chemical restraints' and 'chemical lobotomies', a more open and sympathetic discussion seems long overdue in this and in many other similar regards and respects. Why it takes a high school drop-out to say so when there are so many professionals around I'll never know. However such shortcomings so widespread amid such a storied profession has always appeared grossly criminally negligent to me. ]

- triplethink
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Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life
DN 2 PTS: D i 47
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 1997


from the:
Translator's Introduction

This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training, illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes. This portrait is placed in juxtaposition to the Buddhist view of the teachings of rival philosophical teachers of the time, showing how the Buddha — in contradistinction to the inflexible, party-line approach of his contemporaries — presented his teaching in a way that was pertinent and sensitive to the needs of his listeners. This larger portrait of the intellectual landscape of early Buddhist India is then presented in a moving narrative frame: the sad story of King Ajatasattu.

Ajatasattu was the son of King Bimbisara of Magadha, one of the Buddha's earliest followers. Urged on by Devadatta — the Buddha's cousin, who wished to use Ajatasattu's support in his bid to take over the Buddha's position as head of the Sangha — Ajatasattu arranged for his father's death so that he could secure his own position on the throne. As a result of this evil deed, he was destined not only to be killed by his own son — Udayibhadda (mentioned in the discourse) — but also to take immediate rebirth in one of the lowest regions of hell.

In this discourse, Ajatasattu visits the Buddha in hopes that the latter will bring some peace to his mind. The question he puts to the Buddha shows the limited level of his own understanding, so the Buddha patiently describes the steps of the training, beginning at a very basic level and gradually moving up, as a way of raising the king's spiritual horizons. At the end of the talk, Ajatasattu takes refuge in the Triple Gem. Although his earlier deeds were so heavy that this expression of faith could have only limited consequences in the immediate present, the Commentary assures us that the king's story would ultimately have a happy ending. After the Buddha's death, he sponsored the First Council, at which a congress of arahant disciples produced the first standardized account of the Buddha's teachings. As a result of the merit coming from this deed, Ajatasattu is destined — after his release from hell — to attain Awakening as a Private Buddha.m

RE: Abhijñā
Answer
12/24/13 8:01 AM as a reply to triple think.
Happy Holy Days
Merry Christmas
Happy New Years

oh, and its better to burn out than to burn in...

ahhh...

a chimney?


Many Happy Returns
Triplethink Transporter Deck

RE: Abhijñā
Answer
12/24/13 6:12 AM as a reply to triple think.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

RE: Abhijñā
Answer
12/24/13 10:47 AM as a reply to triple think.
[ In many cultures such faculties and capacities are widely if not commonly considered taboo subjects. However, given that 'western societies' are ostensibly 'free', 'open', 'democratic' and 'enlightened' and, furthermore, considering that such coming into development has been deemed ( by a great many very 'chemically dependent' 'mental health care professionals' to be 'symptomatic' of a 'significant mental illness' to be considered ) worthy of 'chemical restraints' and 'chemical lobotomies', a more open and sympathetic discussion seems long overdue in this and in many other similar regards and respects. Why it takes a high school drop-out to say so when there are so many professionals around I'll never know. However such shortcomings so widespread amid such a storied profession has always appeared grossly criminally negligent to me. ]



The six types of higher knowledges (chalabhiññā) are:
"Higher powers" (iddhi-vidhā), such as walking on water and through walls;
"Divine ear" (dibba-sota), that is, clairaudience;
"Mind-penetrating knowledge" (ceto-pariya-ñāṇa), that is, telepathy;
"Remember one's former abodes" (pubbe-nivāsanussati), that is, recalling ones own past lives;
"Divine eye" (dibba-cakkhu), that is, knowing others' karmic destinations; and,
"Extinction of mental intoxicants" (āsavakkhaya), upon which arahantship follows.[7]


Our societies in the West are capable of talking about these things but scientists are bound by the scientific method. They need to prove (beyond someone's say so or belief) that these things do happen. Going back to my response to your re-introduction to the forum I was talking about whether it was smart or stupid for someone to test out their abilities to walk on water in a deep lake instead of a puddle.

To me these "abilities" for now are completely fantasy and have to do with one's concentration abilities to manipulate perception. This would be similar to Yogic-flyers who feel they are flying when the rest of us see them as bouncing around.

Or this:

Monk (Levitates)

What is this? David Copperfield?

Of course that leaves me with the practical uses of concentration to aim intentions and to act on them in a conventional way. Or as you wean yourself off of short-term desires and aversions with the insight practice you just do things as they are necessary because the distractions are less.

RE: Abhijñā
Answer
12/24/13 11:58 AM as a reply to triple think.
Well, thank you for posting this. It is hitting on something I myself have been struggling with lately, both on this forum and out in the world. Namely, how does one present themselves as one possessing clear seeing; how can an enlightened person make clear to anyone else that they are enlightened?

With super-normal knowledge such as mind reading, it seems there are relatively straightforward ways to demonstrate this. However, when trying to demonstrate your direct experience of something that cannot be conceptually described, unless the listener is quite open and accepting of such possibilities it seems relatively impossible to convince them there is anything special about you.

RE: Abhijñā
Answer
12/28/13 4:15 PM as a reply to T DC.
Some people might argue that it is easier to experience these powers from a subjective place or altered state of consciousness, while others might argue that it takes very high levels of development to actualize these powers in terms of altering physical reality in a way that third parties can perceive.

I'd imagine it very unlikely that anybody who has reached such a skill level would be displaying it publicly, at least, not on a large scale. There seems to be 2 major opinions on the siddhis and the people who experience them, 1) That they are subjective, and 2) That they are objective if performed and practiced correctly. This includes walking through walls, materialization, etc. Personally, I'm of the latter opinion, simply because of experiences I've had in life and what other developed people have demonstrated to me in person. Of course I can't transfer my experience and my witnesses to anyone else so me trying to convince someone that these powers are real does just as much good as someone trying to convince a religious devotee ideas that are contrary to his/her beliefs.

I would just say if you are sincerely interested in the siddhis, then seek them out or simply practice and find out for yourself. There is nothing wrong with this. Many people on various meditative paths have absolutely no interest in siddhis nor the possibility of them, some reject them, some chase them directly, etc. There's many mixes. My opinion is pick the path that you want and that you think fulfills your self purpose and chase it. You can only find so much guidance in people of various belief systems.


T DC,

As far as I am aware when these powers are attained they are not alone. Many other mental feats and abilities come. This includes extremely heightened natural human abilities. Such abilities could be for instance having an extreme ability to anticipate the future and the consequence of your possible actions. When it comes to displaying Siddhis the reactions can be pretty extreme. Daniel writes about this in his book. Some places in the world are still deathly terrified of witchcraft type activities and burn those people, even in civilized countries(in private of course). There are still witch burnings that go on in secret in the southern-most USA, to my current knowledge. Even if such a attainer was displaying his powers to someone he could trust, that trust is a big thing. Sometimes it's better to keep such powers secret and have nobody believe you than to risk dangerous people finding out. Who knows, maybe with enough practice you could become one of those attained Yogis and join a group of secret yogis with powers :p (sarcasm not intended).

With all of the well known 'siddhi' attainments there are a million other non-mystical, yet mentally-extreme gifts that can be gotten through meditative practice. I could try to list them all but literally anything you can imagine the mind doing to a potentially perfect and totally focused extent is theoretically possible through very high degrees of concentration cultivation.

What does any of this have to do with Enlightenment? Don't ask me :p. Enlightenment has millions of meanings, depending on who you are asking.