Omniscence

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Omniscence

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:36 am

Hi All
A thought just came to me about a discussion Ven. Dhamanando & myself has some time back, and went to see if there was any specific research done in this area.
I had a look on http://www.newbuddhist.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3064 which the opening thread seamed to be the closest to any specific research done so here it is in its entirety.

just looking for some thoughts oppinions some breakdown of the words which have been translated into Omniscence, and to see if there is some form of agreement into the actual nature of this within Buddhism and theravada!

Regarding the Buddha's omniscience, as it is generally understood by traditional Buddhists at least, there appears to be a fair amount of evidence suggesting that this was a later invention. In SN 54.9, for example, the Buddha gives a group of monks a talk praising foulness of the body meditation. After the talk, the Buddha goes into seclusion for half a month. While away, the monks practice foulness of the body meditation, but being repelled and disgusted with the body, many of them commit suicide or hire assailants to kill them. Upon returning, the Buddha asks Ananda why the Sangha looks so diminished. Ananda explains the situation and then asks the Buddha to give them another meditation method, which ends up being mindfulness of breathing.

Now, if the Buddha was indeed omniscient, it seems surprising that he would have had to ask Ananda what happened. This is especially true considering that Mahavira, who was also said to be omniscient, is ridiculed for going to an empty house for alms, asking for directions, etc. In fact, it is surprising that he did not simply give them a talk on mindfulness of breathing in the first place in order to avoid such a thing from even happening. The "orthodox" position that is supported by the commentaries, however, states that the Buddha already knew this was going to happen and basically played dumb.

The story given is that these monks were hunters in a past life that were reborn in hell, but due to some wholesome kamma, they gained rebirth in the human realm and became renouncers under the Buddha. Knowing that a portion of their original unwholesome kamma was about to ripen bringing on their deaths via homicide and suicide, and that there was nothing he could do to prevent this, the Buddha spoke of the foulness of the body in order to remove their attachment to the body so that they would lose their fear of death, to help them. Sounds like b.s. to me. Bhikkhu Bodhi even admits that "... the idea of kammically predetermined suicide seems difficult to reconcile with the concept of suicide as a volitionally induced act" (1951-52).

Furthermore, in MN 71, the Buddha rejects the assertion that he claims to be "omniscient and all-seeing." He says, "... those who say thus do not say what has been said by me, but misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to fact" (Bodhi), but the commentary states that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him. The issue, of course, is whether the Buddha is rejecting the claim that he is omniscient in the sense that all things are knowable to him at all times without interruption (i.e., that he is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him) or whether he is simply rejecting the claim altogether.

There are suttas that supposedly support the commentarial position regarding the Buddha's omniscience. As Bhikkhu Bodhi notes, "At MN 90.8, the Buddha says that it is possible to know and see all, though not simultaneously, and at AN 4:24/ii.24 he claims to know all that can be seen, heard, sensed, and cognized. This is understood by the Theravada commentators as an assertion of omniscience in the qualified sense" (1276). But, I fail to see how MN 90.8 affirms this possibility. The Buddha does state that it is not possible for a recluse or brahmin to know and see all simultaneously, but he never explicitly asserts his own omniscience, and I have since found that many modern scholars share this view.

One example, from Edward Thomas in History of Buddhist Thought, states:

"Already the Jains claimed omniscience for their leader. They are said to have held that he was "omniscient, all-seeing, and possessed complete knowledge and insight; that whether walking or standing, asleep or awake, knowledge and insight were continually present". This claim is ridiculed by the Buddhists, and the omniscient teacher is described as so ignorant that he goes for alms to a house not knowing that it is empty, or as having to ask his way to a village. Buddha is represented as denying that he claims such omniscience. What he claims is the three knowledges, (1) that he remembers numberless past existences, as far back as he wishes, (2) that with his divine eye he can see beings passing away and being reborn according to their karma, (3) that with the destruction of the asavas he has of himself attained and realized release of mind and knowledge in this life and abides in it." (148)
Another example, from David Kalupahana in A History of Buddhist Philosophy, states:

"The terms sabbannu, sabbavidu ("all-knowing") and sabbadassavi ("all-perceiving") occur in the early discourses. The general tendency among modern interpreters of Buddhism is to assume that this is a knowledge-claim comparable to the "omniscience" claimed by Mahavira or in the theistic tradition, where it is attributed to divinity. Although the Buddha disclaimed such knowledge in the Tevijja-Vacchagotta-sutta, insisting that he possessed only the threefold higher knowledge ... scholars are more inclined to interpret the last, namely, wisdom (panna), as "omniscience." It is true that some of the later Buddhist metaphysicians like the Sarvastivadins propounded ideas that can serve as a basis for such knowledge-claims. Modern interpreters therefore attempt to attribute these ideas to the Buddha himself despite a mass of evidence against doing so.
"To understand what the Buddha meant by "all-knowing" or "all-perceiving," it is first necessary to analyze the use of the term "all" (sabbam) in the early discourses. Interestingly, an important discourse relating specially to this problem is attributed to the Buddha:

Thus have I heard. Once the Fortunate One was living at Savatthi, in the monastery of Anathapindindika, [situated] in the Jeta's Grove. Then the Fortunate One addressed the monks: "O, monks!" They responded: "Yes, O Venerable One!" and the Fortunate One spoke thus: "Monks, I will preach to you 'everything.' Listen to it. Listen to it. What, monks, is 'everything'? Eye and material form, ear and sound, nose and odor, tongue and taste, body and touch, mind and concepts. These are called 'everything.' Monks, he who would say, 'I will reject this []everything[/i] and proclaim another everything,' he may certainly have a theory [of his own]. But when questioned, he would not be able to answer and would, moreover, be subject to vexation. Why? Because it would not be within the range of experience."
"This discourse makes the Buddha's position abundantly clear. For the Buddha, "all" or "everything" represented the subject defined in terms of the six senses and the object explained in terms of the six sense objects. However, to be "omniscient" it is necessary that one knows everything, not only of the past and present but also of the future. It is possible to claim that the obvious past and future can be known directly if one can perceive the essence of everything. That essence being permanent and eternal, one glimpse of it at any point would mean knowledge of everything. This is certainly how the Buddhist school of Sarvastivadins attempted to justify omniscience, but such a view cannot be attributed to the Buddha. Not only did he refuse to recognize knowledge of such an essence or substance as exisiting in the future, he also claimed that he failed to perceive any such entity surviving in the immediate past or in the present.
"This is the implication of a disciple's statement: Na tuyham adittham asutam amutam va ato avinnatam kincanam atthi loke. This statement is sometimes interpreted as "You are omniscient," that is, "There is nothing that you have not seen, heard or conceived." This is an extremely superficial and reckless rendering of an important statement. The statement is to be understood in light of the definition of an "enlightened one" in the early Buddhist context. In fact, the term akincana, "one who does not look for something" (kinci; other than what is given in sensory experience, a la discourse on "everything" quoted above), is used to refer to the enlightened one. Hence, the above statement in Pali is more appropriately rendered as: "You do not have (or recognize) something (na kincana) that is not seen, heard, conceived or cognized in this world," which would be a negation rather than an assertion of the very metaphysics that serve as the basis for "omniscience." This idea was highlighted centuries later by the famous Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (see Chapter XVI)." (43-4)
In conclusion, it is my opinion that the idea of the Buddha being an omniscient superman evolved over time, beginning not long after his death or possibily even while he was still alive. Theravada was relatively conservative in this transformation, though. An examination of the textual evidence suggests that some later traditions attempted to transform the Buddha into a transcendent being, and eventually, an emanation of the supramundane Buddha. This process can be traced, beginning with such works as the Mahavastu, and continuing on through works such as the Lalitavistara and the Saddharmapundarikasutra. Nevertheless, I believe that a similar scenario occurred in Theravada, albeit on a much smaller scale, and the Buddha was attributed with qualities that he himself rejected, or at the very least, qualities that were exaggerated. For what it is worth, I think that the Buddha knew and saw all when it came to suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path leading to the end of suffering (which is impressive enough); but, to be honest, I have a hard time believing that the Buddha knew all and saw all in the biblical sense, and I see little evidence to suggest that he did.

Any thoughts, comments, criticism?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Omniscence

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:07 pm

Manapa wrote:just looking for some thoughts oppinions some breakdown of the words which have been translated into Omniscence, and to see if there is some form of agreement into the actual nature of this within Buddhism and theravada!


Interesting topic which can be somewhat controversial among the learned Theravadins.

I have not seen a definitive scientific poll, but my guess is that nearly all Classical Theravadins hold that the Buddha was omniscient. Whereas, those who might be called 'Modern Theravadins' would mostly (but not all) say that the Buddha was not omniscient.

In the Milindapanha there is the claim that the Buddha was omniscient and several questions are posed to the Arahant Nagasena and he explains each issue and how the Buddha could still be omniscient in spite of Suttas and stories which suggest that he could not be. The Milindapanha is Canon for the Burmese Tipitaka, but not for the other versions.

Ven. Dhammika has written:

Omniscience is the ability to know everything and is usually believed to be an attribute of God although there have been religious leaders who have claimed to be omniscient too.

The Buddha said that no being, human or divine, could be all-knowing. He denied that God is omniscient (D.I,17,) for if he were religion would become meaningless. If God knows everything, he must know how we are going to act long before we do, which means that we have no freedom to act otherwise. And if we have no freedom to choose how we are going to act, what is the point of teaching people to be good and to avoid evil? Mahàvãra, the founder of Jainism, and a contemporary of the Buddha, claimed to be omniscient (M.II,31), a claim which the Buddha said was without foundation (M.II,127).

Interestingly, in the centuries since his passing some unlearned and over-enthusiastic Buddhists have claimed that the Buddha ‘knows everything that has been seen, heard, sensed, thought, attained, sought and searched by the minds of those who inhabit the entire world of gods and humans.’ Although the Buddha never made this claim for himself, he did say he was ‘one who knows the worlds’ (lokavidå).


http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Omniscience
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8111
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Omniscence

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:15 pm

I forget if Nagasena talked about it in the Milindapanha, but there are also the Vinaya rules which only came about after there was some issue and there is always story and reason behind each new rule. And the rules were often adjusted and revised as the time called for it.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8111
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Omniscence

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:08 pm

Very interesting. Nice find!
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Omniscence

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:13 pm

It is important to understand what Buddhists mean by "omniscience" as this is substantially different than what Jews and Christians mean by the same word. The Buddha is not said to know everything but rather can know whatever he wishes to know. This is an important distinction for it is limited to what the Buddha would wish, and that is likely limited to things having to do with suffering, the ending of suffering, and teaching this to others.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Omniscence

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:22 pm

Hi
There are more posts on the link I gave the one I quote was the OP and seamed to encompass enough of a view with evidencefor a good/excelent start on the topic.

I remember Ven Dhamanando mentioned (I cant remember if it was his view or not) that there is no evidence that the Sabba in Sabbannu is the same as the Sabba in the sutta of this title in other words knowing the all in terms of the six sense bases as in the Quoted posting whether it is ones own or anothers or if it is the all of everything so he either knows all (know it all seams slightly derogitory :tongue: ) or knows all he turns his attention too, this could be either everything or as in the sabbe sutta.

personally I will go with the sutta definition in regard to what he turns his attention to.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Omniscence

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:26 pm

Hi Peter
Peter wrote:It is important to understand what Buddhists mean by "omniscience" as this is substantially different than what Jews and Christians mean by the same word. The Buddha is not said to know everything but rather can know whatever he wishes to know. This is an important distinction for it is limited to what the Buddha would wish, and that is likely limited to things having to do with suffering, the ending of suffering, and teaching this to others.


Simsapa leaves and all that, but what you have said is covered in the Quoted op from the link.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Omniscence

Postby cooran » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:31 pm

Hello all,

Maybe what the Buddha himself said would be of interest?

Buddha's omniscience

Omniscience is 1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight 2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge. Omniscience doesn't mean having psychic powers ~ many beings attain those. The Buddha explains below just what omniscience means in the context of a Sammasambuddha.

You and I, even if we become arahants, will not achieve the same powers of Gotama Buddha. He was a Sammasambuddha ~ the indescribably rare being who comes into the world only when the Dhamma is completely forgotten and absent from the world. Don't mix up the Mahayana view that enlightenment means buddhahood. It is a different use of the same term and causes many misunderstandings.

The omniscience of the Buddha is covered in the suttas ~
Majjhima Nikaya 71 Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta 'To Vacchagotta on the
Threefold True Knowledge'
"Venerable sir, I have heard this: "The recluse Gotaka claims to be
omniscient and all-seeing, to have complete knowledge and vision
thus: "Whether I am walking or standing or sleeping or awake,
knowledge and vision are continuously and uninterruptedly present to
me." Venerable sir, do those who speak thus say what has been said
by the Blessed One, and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to
fact? Do they explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way
that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately
deduced from their assertion?"

"Vaccha, those who say thus do not say what has been said by me, but
misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to fact."

note 714 says: MA explains that even though part of the statement is
valid, the Buddha rejects the entire statement because of the portion
that is invalid. The part of the statement that is valid is the
assertion that the Buddha is omniscient and all-seeing; the part that
is excessive is the assertion that knowledge and vision are
continuously present to him. According to the Theravada tradition
the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are
potentially accessible to him. He cannot, however, know everything
simultaneously and must advert to whatever he wishes to know. At MN
90.8 the Buddha says that it is possible to know and see all, though
not simultaneously, and at AN 4.24/ii.24 he claims to know all that
can be seen, heard, sensed, and cognised, which is understood by the
Theravada tradition as an assertion of omniscience in the qualified
sense. See too in this connection Miln 102-7.
--------------------------
Majjhima Nikaya 90 Kannakatthala Sutta 'At Kannakatthala'

5. "Then King Pasenadi of Kosala said to the Blessed One: 'Venerable
sir, I have heard this: 'The recluse Gotama says "There is no recluse
or brahmin who is omniscient and all-seeing, who can claim to have
complete knowledge and vision; that is not possible." 'Venerable
sir, do those who speak thus say what has been said by the Blessed
One, and not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact? Do they
explain in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing that
provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from their
assertions?"

"Great King, those who speak thus do not say what has been said by
me, but misrepresent me with what is untrue and contrary to
fact." <<<<<snip>>>>>>

"I recall having actually made the utterance in this way, great
king. 'There is no recluse or brahmin who knows all, who sees all,
simultaneously; that is not possible'.
note 846 says: MA: There is no one who can know and see all - past,
present and future - withone act of mental adverting, with one act of
consciousness; thus this problem is discussed in terms of a single
act of consciousness (ekacitta). On the question of the kind of
omniscience the Theravada tradition attributes to the Buddha, see n.
714 above.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7601
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Omniscence

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:54 pm

Peter wrote:It is important to understand what Buddhists mean by "omniscience" as this is substantially different than what Jews and Christians mean by the same word. The Buddha is not said to know everything but rather can know whatever he wishes to know. This is an important distinction for it is limited to what the Buddha would wish, and that is likely limited to things having to do with suffering, the ending of suffering, and teaching this to others.

I'd add: "Whatever he wishes to know" within the constraints of reality. One of the ten powers is knowing the possible as the possible, and the impossible as the impossible. It is possible that something cannot be known, or that something can be known but only through a considerable effort over a considerable amount of time -- like gaining the knowledge of modern medicine, for instance, which would've brought great benefit back then but that the Buddha clearly was unaware of.

The commentators do appear to go at great lengths to defend the Buddha's omnipotence if they suggest that cases of an apparent lack of knowledge is the Buddha intentionally feigning ignorance. And the alleged powers and miracles (siddhis) described in the suttas contradict common sense.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Omniscence

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 pm

Hi Chris & individual
I like those quotes. thanks
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Omniscence

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:19 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19558
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Omniscence

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:07 am

Chris wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi: According to the Theravada tradition the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him.


"Knowable things" (ñeyya dhamma) is an important qualification and one that usually gets overlooked by those modern scholars who assert that latterday Buddhists came to exaggerate the Buddha's cognitive range. The Buddha, according to the Pali commentators is able to know all knowable things, but the commentators don't claim that all things are knowable.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Omniscence

Postby Individual » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:47 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Chris wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi: According to the Theravada tradition the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him.


"Knowable things" (ñeyya dhamma) is an important qualification and one that usually gets overlooked by those modern scholars who assert that latterday Buddhists came to exaggerate the Buddha's cognitive range. The Buddha, according to the Pali commentators is able to know all knowable things, but the commentators don't claim that all things are knowable.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

"Able" to know all knowable things is quite different from knowing all knowable things... i.e., if the Buddha didn't know something, he'd ask someone who did.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Omniscence

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:27 pm

Hi Bhante,

Dhammanando wrote:
Chris wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi: According to the Theravada tradition the Buddha is omniscient in the sense that all knowable things are potentially accessible to him.


"Knowable things" (ñeyya dhamma) is an important qualification and one that usually gets overlooked by those modern scholars who assert that latterday Buddhists came to exaggerate the Buddha's cognitive range. The Buddha, according to the Pali commentators is able to know all knowable things, but the commentators don't claim that all things are knowable.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


What did they mean by Latterday Buddhists? could it be the Mahayana & Vajrayana developments some of whom do hold the omniscence ascribed to the christian god is the same as the Buddhas or is it solely the theravadans?

I think I remember you mention this in our earlier discussion or at least in another earlier thread?

PS was the semi-quote I used from memory accurate?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Omniscence

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:09 am

Dhammanando wrote:"Knowable things" (ñeyya dhamma) is an important qualification and one that usually gets overlooked by those modern scholars who assert that latterday Buddhists came to exaggerate the Buddha's cognitive range. The Buddha, according to the Pali commentators is able to know all knowable things, but the commentators don't claim that all things are knowable.


Excellent, then it appears that there is no conflict between the "Classical" and the "Modern" Theravada because the term has the important qualification.

The conflict in interpretation then appears between Theravada and modern scholars who are going by a different definition and also between Theravada and Mahayana, who I think may have made the Buddha and certainly some other devas, such as Avolikiteshvara, Medicine Buddha, and Amitabha as omniscient and virtually permanent.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8111
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Omniscence

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:55 am

Manapa wrote:What did they mean by Latterday Buddhists? could it be the Mahayana & Vajrayana developments some of whom do hold the omniscence ascribed to the christian god is the same as the Buddhas or is it solely the theravadans?


By latterday Buddhists I meant Theravada Buddhists of the after-generations following the Buddha's parinibbana. For example, Nagasena of the Milindapanha, and the Pali commentators.

What I particularly had in mind was an article (I've forgotten what it was called, but I think it may have been by Dan Lusthaus) which purported to relate the history of the idea of omniscience in Buddhism, depicting it as becoming ever more exaggerated over the years. Insofar as the article concerned the Mahayana the author's point seemed to be justified. But insofar as it concerned Pali Buddhism, the author had clearly not done his homework and could argue his point only by a very selective reading of the texts.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Omniscence

Postby Jason » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:58 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi All
A thought just came to me about a discussion Ven. Dhamanando & myself has some time back, and went to see if there was any specific research done in this area.
I had a look on http://www.newbuddhist.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3064 which the opening thread seamed to be the closest to any specific research done so here it is in its entirety.


Yes, we had this discussion here as well: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=132
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

leaves in the hand (Buddhist-related blog)
leaves in the forest (non-Buddhist related blog)
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:09 am
Location: Earth

Re: Omniscence

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:28 pm

Elohim wrote:Yes, we had this discussion here as well: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=132


It looks like we are already starting to repeat some topics; but good information and different points in both threads.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8111
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Fluke, Littledust, Nicolas, Sanjay PS, Slapsko and 10 guests