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Recalling past lives - Dhamma Wheel

Recalling past lives

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
sundara
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:55 pm

Recalling past lives

Postby sundara » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:23 am

How do you have the capacity to recall your past lives?

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Recalling past lives

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:00 am

From the Suttas it seems that mastery of the fourth jhana is required to develop it.

There are very detailed instructions for development of such powers in the Visuddhimagga. However, these involve cycling through the jhanas in various orders with various kasinas, so it is far from a trivial matter.

Metta
Mike

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Re: Recalling past lives

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:54 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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mikenz66
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Re: Recalling past lives

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:39 am

I agree. Certainly one should be very careful about interpreting things that flash up in the mind during meditation, especially when one is either new to it, or just starting a retreat or a period of more intensive practise.

In any case, what I was trying to imply in my post is that in my view whole enterprise would be rather pointless. The development of mastery of the Jhanas with the various kasinas is likely to take a very long time, and it's just a "mundane" psychic power, not liberation. The commentaries to some Suttas suggest that the Buddha encouraged certain monks to develop these powers because he could tell that it would be possible for them, and the concentration they would achieve in the process would ultimately be useful for liberation.

Mike

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Thanavuddho
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Re: Recalling past lives

Postby Thanavuddho » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:56 pm

“Tasmātihānanda, attadīpā viharatha attasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā, dhammadīpā dhammasaraṇā anaññasaraṇā.”(DN16)
Forum: http://www.avoinsangha.fi


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