The Third-Eye in Buddhism

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The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby questionasker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:06 am

Hello everybody,

I was wondering what is your opinion on the third and it's relation to Buddhism.
Do you ever concentrate on the third-eye while meditating?
Is it a topic you never cared to much for?

Overall i just want to hear everybody's opinion on the third-eye.

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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:16 am

Hello questionasker,

The image in your post seems to equate the third eye with a chackra located in the forehead. As far as I know, some yogic traditions consider that channelling energy to that point in our body can have some effect in improving our "spirituality".

I am very skeptic of that.

In the suttas you can find the term "Dhamma Cakkhu" the Dhamma-eye, related to the erradication of defilements. I don't think the Suttas contain any reference to a third eye, although if we add the Dhamma-eye to the two physical eyes, it could counted as the third eye.

From the "Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion" Sutta (SN56.11): http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html:

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas cried out: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahman or contemplative, deva, Mara or God or anyone in the cosmos." On hearing the earth devas' cry, the devas of the Four Kings' Heaven took up the cry... the devas of the Thirty-three... the Yama devas... the Tusita devas... the Nimmanarati devas... the Paranimmita-vasavatti devas... the devas of Brahma's retinue took up the cry: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahman or contemplative, deva, Mara, or God or anyone at all in the cosmos."

So in that moment, that instant, the cry shot right up to the Brahma worlds. And this ten-thousand fold cosmos shivered & quivered & quaked, while a great, measureless radiance appeared in the cosmos, surpassing the effulgence of the devas.

Then the Blessed One exclaimed: "So you really know, Kondañña? So you really know?" And that is how Ven. Kondañña acquired the name Añña-Kondañña — Kondañña who knows.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Viscid » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:53 pm

Wikipedia Says:

In Buddhist art and culture, the Urna (more correctly ūrṇā or ūrṇākośa (Pāli uṇṇā)) is a spiral or circular dot placed on the forehead of Buddhist images as an auspicious mark. It symbolizes a third eye, which in turn symbolizes vision into the divine world; a sort of ability to see past our mundane universe of suffering.

As set out in the Lakkhaṇa Sutta or 'Discourse on Marks', the ūrṇā is the thirty-first physical characteristic of Buddha. It is generally thought to be a whorl of hair and be a mark or sign of the Buddha as a mahāpuruṣa or great being. The device is often seen on sculptures from the 2nd century CE. Sometimes it is represented with a jewel and frequently said to symbolize wisdom. In the Lalitavistara it is the place from which emits rays of brilliant light.


So, in Theravada it seems to only come up in the 32 Marks as a spot of hair that a Buddha has, but it developed later in Mahayana as a psychic focal point.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:24 pm

Nearly all Buddha statues have the 'third-eye' on them, which is okay, imo, as it is just symbolic for the divine eye or more appropriately for representing paññā.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby vinasp » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Hi everyone,

From the Buddhist Dictionary by Nyanatiloka - cakkhu - eye:

cakkhu: 'eye' s. āyatana. - The foll. 5 kinds of 'eyes' are mentioned and explained in CNid. (PTS, p. 235; the first 3 also in It. 52): 1. the physical eye (mamsa cakkhu), 2. the divine eye (dibba-cakkhu; s. abhiññā), 3. the eye of wisdom (paññā-cakkhu), 4 the eye of a Buddha (Buddha-cakkhu), 5. the eye of all-round knowledge (samanta-cakkhu; a frequent appellation of the Buddha).[End Quote]

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/bud-dict/dic_idx.htm

No mention of the Dhamma-eye (dhamma-cakkhu) which is found in several places,
for example, the First Discourse - SN 56.11
Is it the same as the "eye of wisdom"?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Eccedustin » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:18 pm

I don't know exactly how the third eye is commonly defined, but I'm not aware of any evidence suggesting that such a thing exists nor have I had any personal experience with anything like that.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:16 am

Someone is going to have to mention Lobsang Rampa, so here goes:

The Third Eye - (1956) This is where it all started; an autobiography about a young man's journey into becoming a medical Lama and undergoing an operation to open the third eye. We are shown a glimpse into the Tibetan way of Lamasery life and the deep understanding of spiritual knowledge. Until this point in time lamasery life was unknown, even to those few who had actually visited Tibet. Lobsang joins The Chakpori Lamasery and learns the most secret of Tibetan esoteric sciences and much more...

His other books are also described where I got this from, http://www.thelivingmoon.com/44cosmic_wisdom/02files/Lobsang_Books.html

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa is a bit more cautious.

:namaste:
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:31 pm

It refers to the Dibbacakkhu — the Divine-eye:
Mahāsihanāda Sutta
18. (9) "Again, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Tathagata 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, 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 Tathagata's power...
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby marc108 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:37 am

questionasker wrote:I was wondering what is your opinion on the third and it's relation to Buddhism.
Do you ever concentrate on the third-eye while meditating?
Is it a topic you never cared to much for?

Overall i just want to hear everybody's opinion on the third-eye.


i did a lot of concentration at this spot before i came to Buddhism. The same psychic powers that Bhante Pesala quotes about are fairly well recognized in other meditative traditions as being a result of this energy center. my personal opinion, is that the Buddha clearly understood and taught the value of what happens as a result of the activity at this energy center, but also understood that 'messing with it' wasn't going to advance progress towards liberation... but rather that the activity at this center would happen naturally as a result of spiritual progress.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:39 pm

questionasker wrote:Hello everybody,

I was wondering what is your opinion on the third and it's relation to Buddhism.
Do you ever concentrate on the third-eye while meditating?
Is it a topic you never cared to much for?

Overall i just want to hear everybody's opinion on the third-eye.

Image


I was very interested in the subject for a while because of things that were happening in my meditation practice. Buddhist forums were of no help . The best information i got was at a yoga forum. If you are experiencing activity in that area and finding it distracting / alarming, my experience with it was that some light chi-gung will help in dissipating the collected energy.

EDIT: Just felt that i should add that imo sensations in this area are indicative of nothing important.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby Son » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:35 am

I've had experience with physical eyes (like most people), as well as the divine eye, and partially the eye of wisdom (as with many Buddhists).

The third eye in regards to Dharma should be focused on the eye of wisdom. In regards to the Buddha, obviously the eye of a Buddha applies, which sources describe gives him the ability to ascertain all sorts of things about other beings at will (he looked with the eye of a Buddha upon all sentient beings). The eye of all-round knowledge, seems to apply to the Buddha wisdom vision... Could someone clarify this? Does any arhat possess the eye of all-round knowledge, or does "all-round" imply Supreme Enlightenment (ergo Sammasambuddhahood).
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby fabianfred » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:39 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Someone is going to have to mention Lobsang Rampa, so here goes:

The Third Eye - (1956) This is where it all started; an autobiography about a young man's journey into becoming a medical Lama and undergoing an operation to open the third eye. We are shown a glimpse into the Tibetan way of Lamasery life and the deep understanding of spiritual knowledge. Until this point in time lamasery life was unknown, even to those few who had actually visited Tibet. Lobsang joins The Chakpori Lamasery and learns the most secret of Tibetan esoteric sciences and much more...

His other books are also described where I got this from, http://www.thelivingmoon.com/44cosmic_wisdom/02files/Lobsang_Books.html

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa is a bit more cautious.

:namaste:
Kim

These books were my own introduction to Buddhism and Tibet.

at the beginning of ' Living Buddhist masters' Jack Kornfield listed many authors he thanked for assistance ..... T. Lobsang Rampa is in that list. I suspect he also found Buddhism through these writings as i did.
Even if the man was a fake I will always thank him for introducing me to the dhamma.
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Re: The Third-Eye in Buddhism

Postby ground » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:42 am

questionasker wrote:Hello everybody,

I was wondering what is your opinion on the third and it's relation to Buddhism.
Do you ever concentrate on the third-eye while meditating?
Is it a topic you never cared to much for?

Overall i just want to hear everybody's opinion on the third-eye.

The third eye is the eye that does not depend on the flesh eyes. It does not depend on consciousness and is beyond the sphere of nama-rupa. :sage:
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