Buddha omniscient

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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby robertk » Fri May 11, 2012 2:13 am

Quite so Mike!

Some more about the incomparable powers and knowledge of a Buddha
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/86594
 Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammâ Sambuddhassa! Â
<....>______________________________
Taken from AccessToInsight.org1
Translated from Pali by Ñanamoli Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi


THE GREAT DISCOURSE ON THE LION'S ROAR - III
Majjhima Nikâya 12 - Maha-sihanada Sutta2
Ten Powers of a Tathâgata (Buddha), Powers 6 - 10Continued from previous
instalment


Commentary: This is the continuation of the 10 powers, all of which, only a
Samma-Sambuddha possesses. See the first five powers here.
  15. (6) "Again, the Tathâgata understands as it actually is the
disposition of the faculties of other beings, other persons. That too is a
Tathâgata's power...3


Explanation: Power 6 - The Lord Buddha understands the various levels of
development of the five faculties of faith/cofidence (saddhâ), energy (viriya),
mindfulness (sati), concentration (samâdhi) and wisdom (paññâ) of all beings
and this allows him to claim the highest place among all beings, speak
fearlessly in any assembly and allows him to set rolling the Wheel of the Dhamma
(teach/expound the Dhamma teachings).
  16. (7) "Again, the Tathâgata understands as it actually is the
defilement, the cleansing and the emergence in regard to the jhanas,
liberations, concentrations and attainments. That too is a Tathâgata's
power...4


Explanation: Power 7 - The Lord Buddha understands how the mind becomes
defiled, how the mind is cleansed and the cleansing and the emergence of the
mind from jhânas, liberations (vimutti), concentrations (samâdhi) and
attainments and this allows him to claim the highest place among all beings...
  17. (8) "Again, the Tathâgata recollects his manifold past lives, that
is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births,
twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a
thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction,
many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion:
'There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my
nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and
passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named,
of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my
experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there,
I reappeared here.' Thus with their aspects and particulars he recollects his
manifold past lives. That too is a Tathâgata's power...


Explanation: Power 8 - The Lord Buddha is able to re-collect many of his past
lives with details including his clan and name in each life time, the food/drink
that he consumed, the pleasures/pains experienced, his life-term and where he
was re-born next with those details and this allows him to claim the highest
place among all beings...
  18. (9) "Again, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the
human, the Tathâgata sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and
superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how
beings pass on according to their actions thus: 'These worthy beings who were
ill-conducted in body, speech and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their
views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the
body, [71] after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad
destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were
well-conducted in body, speech and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in
their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of
the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the
heavenly world.' Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the
human, he sees beings passing away and
reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate,
and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions. That too is a
Tathâgata's power...


Explanation: Power 9 - The Lord Buddha is capable of seeing other beings as
they are born and pass away that are inferior/superior, attractive/unattractive
and unfortunate/fortunate according to their negative or positive actions in
mind, speech and body (kamma), such as reviling or revering noble ones (Comy.
'higher' beings along the Noble Eightfold Path) and having incorrect or correct
ideas and as a result of these ideas acting in a negative or positive way and
this allows him to claim the highest place among all beings....
  19. (10) "Again, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, the
Tathâgata here and now enters upon and abides in the deliverance of mind and
deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints.
That too is a Tathâgata's power that a Tathâgata has, by virtue of which he
claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and
sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.


Explanation: Power 10 - The Lord Buddha enters and dwells in the
deliverance/emancipation/release/unbinding (Nibbâna) of the mind, which is free
of defilments, through direct knowledge and this allows him to claim the highest
place among all beings....
  20. "The Tathâgata has these ten Tathâgata's powers, possessing which he
claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and
sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.


Explanation: The Lord Buddha has these 10 powers that allow him to claim the
highest place among all beings, speak fearlessly in any assembly and allows him
to set rolling the Wheel of the Dhamma (teach/expound the Dhamma teachings).
  21. "Sâriputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: 'The
recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge
and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma
(merely) hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it
occurs to him' — unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and
relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put
there he will wind up in hell.5 Just as a bhikkhu possessed of virtue,
concentration and wisdom would here and now enjoy final knowledge, so it will
happen in this case, I say, that unless he abandons that assertion and that
state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been)
carried off and put there he will wind up in hell.


Explanation: The Lord Buddha explains to Ven. Sâriputta that if anyone were to
wrongly say that the Lord Buddha did not have any superhuman powers, higher
knowledges that a high/noble one can have and only teaches the Dhamma from
reasoning, following a line of investigation and if that person does not abandon
this opinion/view, then as if s/he were carried off and put there s/he would go
to hell after death; in the same way a monk who posses virtue/morality (sîla),
concentration (samâdhi) and wisdom (paññâ) would be assured of final
knowledge/realization (Nibbâna) right here and now.

<....>
Notes1. More suttas from AccessToInsight.org can be found here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html

2. This sutta can be found in full here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .ntbb.html and an alternate
translation of this sutta can be found here
http://www.mettanet.org/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pi...a1/012-ma\
hasihanada-sutta-e1.html

3. Vbh. Sections 814-27 gives a detailed analysis. Comy. states the meaning more
concisely as the Tathagata's knowledge of the superiority and inferiority of
beings' faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom.

4.Vbh. Section 828: "The defilement (sankilesa) is a state partaking of
deterioration; cleansing (vodana) is a state partaking of distinction; emergence
(vutthana) is both cleansing and the rising out of an attainment. The eight
liberations (vimokkha) are enumerated, e.g., at DN 15/ii,70-71, and comprise
three liberations pertaining to the realm of material form, the four immaterial
attainments, and the cessation of perception and feeling. The nine attainments
(samapatti) are the four jhanas, the four immaterial attainments, and cessation.

5. The idiom yathabhatam nikkhitto evam niraye is knotty; the rendering here
follows the gloss of Comy.: "He will be put in hell as if carried off and put
there by the wardens of hell." Although such a fate may sound excessively severe
merely for verbal denigration, it should be remembered that he is maligning a
Fully Enlightened Buddha with a mind of hatred, and his intention in so doing is
to discourage others from entering upon the path that could lead them to
complete liberation from suffering.

<.....>
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby robertk » Fri May 11, 2012 2:23 am

This is from Sarah on dsg
It gives the tika to the Brahmajal sutta and the tika refernces the Patisambhiddhigga PTs)(from the Suttanta) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... sage/96401

: What kind of wisdom is in field of buddha only? Can you list it?
or give some links to visudhimagga or maybe other book.
....


Here's another one from the Sub-cy to the Brahmajaala Sutta (transl. by B.Bodhi,
BPS,p.123), which caught my eye the other day:

"Query: .....how is possible for a single, limited type of knowledge to
penetrate without omission the entire range of the knowable with its
inconceivable, immeasurable sub-divisions?

"Reply: Who says the Buddha-knowledge is limited? Like the knowable itself the
Buddha-knowledge is infinite. For it is said: 'As far as that knowledge extends,
so far does the knowable extend; as far as the knowable extends, so far does
that knowledge extend' (Pts.1.i.72). It may be objected that if the knowable,
with its numerous sub-divisions by way of class, plane, specific nature, etc.,
and by way of direction, place, time, etc., is apprehended in succession, it is
impossible to penetrate it in its totality, without remainder.

"But that is not so. Why? Because whatever it is that the Exalted One wishes to
know, whether in its entirety or in part, that he knows by direct experience
through the unimpeded coursing (of his knowledge) in that object. And on the
basis of the statement, 'The knowledge of the Exalted Buddha is subject to his
wish,' it cannot be denied that the Exalted Buddha, who is always concentrated
with an undistracted mind, is able to know by direct experience whatever he
wishes to.

"For the Buddha's knowledge, at the time he is comprehending numerous dhammas,
does not occur in an undifferentiated mode like the cognition of those seeing a
painting from a distance or the insight of those contemplating all dhammas as
non-self.

"This should be accepted, for the spiritual power (aanubhaava) of the
Buddha-knowledge is inconceivable. Thence it is said: 'the objective domain of
the Buddha is inconceivable (A.IV.8.7). This is the ruling:-

"With the abandoning of the entire obstruction of the knowable, the Exalted One
gained the unobstructed knowledge which occurs subject to his wish and is
capable of comprehending all dhammas in all their modes. By means of this
knowledge the Exalted One was capable of penetrating all dhammas in continuous
succession (santaanena); therefore he was omniscient or all-knowing in the way
fire is called 'all-consuming' through its ability to burn all its fuel in
continuous succession. He was not, however, omniscient in the sense that he
could comprehend all dhammas simultaneously."
*****
S: For a very detailed commentary on this, including on the distinction between
'unobstructed knowledge' (anaavara.na-~naa.na) vs 'omniscient knowledge'
(sabba~n~nula-~naa.na) and the six kinds of knowledge "unshared by disciples"
can be found in n.7 to Ch VII of the Visuddhimagga, transl. by Nanamoli. It
comes from the Tiika to the Visuddhimagga.

The kinds of knowledge, as mentioned there are:

1. what faculties prevail in beings
2. knowledge of the inclinations and tendencies of beings
3. knowledge of the Twin Marvel
4. knowledge of the attainment of the great compassion
5. omniscient knowledge
6. unobstructed knowledge
Metta,
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby luisisrael » Sat May 26, 2012 9:36 pm

Hello friends.

If the Wise was indeed omniscient, if his knowledge was unhindered, then why would he talk about Jambudipa continent and all the cosmos that is described in unprecise way in the Abidhama?

thank you

Luis
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2012 9:50 pm

Welcome luisisrael,

That's an interesting question. But perhaps interpreting the Suttas and Abhihdhamma as if they were a scientific treatise on geology and geography would be to miss the point.

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby hanzze_ » Sun May 27, 2012 3:08 am

Simsapa Sutta: The Simsapa Leaves

Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the simsapa[1] forest. Then, picking up a few simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, "What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the simsapa forest?"

"The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the simsapa forest are more numerous."

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.

"And what have I taught? 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby luisisrael » Sun May 27, 2012 6:23 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Welcome luisisrael,

That's an interesting question. But perhaps interpreting the Suttas and Abhihdhamma as if they were a scientific treatise on geology and geography would be to miss the point.

:anjali:
Mike


But then what is the point of those teachings?

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]" quoted by hanzze_

This quotation is not related, because what I am referring to is not a teaching that doesn´t reveal the whole truth of phenomena, but to a teaching that is not revealing any truth about phenomena.

As mikenz66 said, there may be a point to teach this. But what is the point in teaching such view of the cosmos?

The other two possibilities are either that those teachings are not authentic or that the Buddha was not omniscient.

kind regards

Luis
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 27, 2012 7:28 pm

Hi Luis,

This is the Classical Theravada section of the forum. Please review the guidelines here:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=373
The Abhidhamma and Classical Theravada sub-forums are specialized venues for the discussion of the Abhidhamma and the classical Mahavihara understanding of the Dhamma. Within these forums the Pali Tipitaka and its commentaries are for discussion purposes treated as authoritative. These forums are for the benefit of those members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of these texts and are not for the challenging of the Abhidhamma and/or Theravada commentarial literature.


Your question is valid in this section if it is asked in the spirit of: "how does the Theravada tradition view such teachings?" Perhaps you could give some references to the particular teachings you are concerned about, otherwise it is difficult for anyone to usefully comment.

If, on the other hand you want to argue that these teachings are pointless then the Open Dhamma forum is most appropriate. For example, the thread:
The great Abhidhamma Pitaka authenticity debate
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2169

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby luisisrael » Sun May 27, 2012 9:36 pm

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the warning. I'm new around here and not aware of the rules.

Still. It stands my search, as you say, to understand how Theravada tradition sees those teachings.

Specially I am concerned with Abiddhama's cosmology: the representation of a world system as containing continents and sub-continents situated around Mount Meru and placed above some amount of earth, water, fire and air.
Is this representation used in some special kind of meditation? Does it have a use in the path according the Theravada tradition? And how can it be in harmony with Buddha's knowledge about how the world is?

thank you

Luis
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:41 pm

Hi, Luis,

No problem, I think the question of what use is made of those aspects in Theravada are interesting and appropriate.

However, I don't know where that "geographical" information appears in the Abhidhamma (of course it is in various Suttas and Commentaries). Do you have a reference?

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Buddha omniscient

Postby hanzze_ » Mon May 28, 2012 1:40 am

luisisrael wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Welcome luisisrael,

That's an interesting question. But perhaps interpreting the Suttas and Abhihdhamma as if they were a scientific treatise on geology and geography would be to miss the point.

:anjali:
Mike


But then what is the point of those teachings?

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]" quoted by hanzze_

This quotation is not related, because what I am referring to is not a teaching that doesn´t reveal the whole truth of phenomena, but to a teaching that is not revealing any truth about phenomena.

As mikenz66 said, there may be a point to teach this. But what is the point in teaching such view of the cosmos?

The other two possibilities are either that those teachings are not authentic or that the Buddha was not omniscient.

kind regards

Luis

Dear Luis,

your question was about the omniscient of the Buddha. Regarding your problems with the cosmology and geography, I guess it's important to understand the 5 (6) elements better. There are not like we see things seen as nouns or materials, they describe attributes. And when you look on our cosmos in that way, you will not find much problems with it.
One more thing is that labeling does not mean to refer to knowledge in a sense of real knowledge. Buddha was very carefully in labeling as it leads just astray, so he used only a small necessary amount to go behind itself.
This is also what the sutta contains. The teachings just carry the necessaries to gain knowledge by one self, so the perception concepts are limited to the need, to have some solid structures to feel not lost. Cosmos is a area many beings get really lost (in a way of turning around anchor-less) that is why he kept nessesary anchors simply.
At least there is nothing, even the Abhidhamma is empty.

If you need some specific bridges to specific statements, I am sure there are good explaining to be able to connect even to our very materialistic views.

Just one sutta I remember:
13. Then the Blessed One said: "There are eight reasons, Ananda, eight causes for a mighty earthquake to arise. What are those eight?

14. "This great earth, Ananda, is established upon liquid, the liquid upon the atmosphere, and the atmosphere upon space. And when, Ananda, mighty atmospheric disturbances take place, the liquid is agitated. And with the agitation of the liquid, tremors of the earth arise. This is the first reason, the first cause for the arising of mighty earthquakes.

That fits very well to geology.

15. "Again, Ananda, when an ascetic or holy man of great power, one who has gained mastery of his mind, or a deity who is mighty and potent, develops intense concentration on the delimited aspect of the earth element, and to a boundless degree on the liquid element, he, too, causes the earth to tremble, quiver, and shake. This is the second reason, the second cause for the arising of mighty earthquakes.

[url=http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html]Eight Causes of Earthquakes

And that fits very well to the today's situation, where great powerful people (with limited meditative understanding of the elements) working massively with all elements. But here might be the point where own realization comes in conflict which knowledge, so to go to the next reasons would be out of possibility (claiming own knowledge and talk about understanding), so here is the point we can either put some trust in it (if we need to be in peace with it, when it struggle with our inner doubt) or we can look for our self and gain right concentration first.
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