The Buddha's Omniscience.

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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby stuka » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:48 pm

Will wrote:I prefer to think of "all-knowing" as being instantaneous, not simultaneous. The latter would give a very cluttered mind, even for a buddha. All he has to do is turn his attention to a subject or area and he will fully understand, instantly.



Too bad he didn't put to use everything he could just figure out instantly at will by magic about, say, computer science, aerospace technology, and mass communication.

:roll:
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:54 pm

Will wrote:I prefer to think of "all-knowing" as being instantaneous, not simultaneous. The latter would give a very cluttered mind, even for a buddha. All he has to do is turn his attention to a subject or area and he will fully understand, instantly.


not necesarily!
the turning his attention and the arising of knowledge would be simultaneous to the arising of attention focused in a new direction! not instantaneous to the thought I will move my attention! when the buddha decides where the attention is going the knowing would arise of that area not before!
some more in my next responce to Dhammanando!
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"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."
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:53 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Jason,

Elohim wrote:No. Even if one were to read MN 90 as I do, rendering sabbannu as "knowing the all," the Buddha's response still makes sense in that it clarifies his position by rejecting the type of omniscience Mahavira claimed but not his own knowing the all as per SN 35.23.


But what grounds are there for supposing that the sabba in sabbaññū is the same as the sabba of the Sabba Sutta (i.e., the 6 sense bases and their objects) other than Kalupahana's saying so?

Given what sabbaññū seems to have meant to the Buddha's contemporaries in general, and given the claims that the Buddha indubitably makes for his vast cognitive range (i.e., three knowledges, six higher knowledges, ten Tathagata powers etc.) why do you find Kalupahana's take to be more plausible than that of the commentaries?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu


the commentaries are not what the Buddha meant! they are what others think he meant! same goes for what the contemporaries think!
one question to ask here is is this what the buddha thought or what I think is meant due to sources outside the Buddha?
what if the buddha meant more than is supposed by some or most of the commentaries and meant what each of the views think? or what none of them think?
sabba as the six sense bases and as part of the "knowing the all" diminishes some of the omniscience assertions people place on the buddha while at the same time clarifying others I.E. these six sense bases are the all in knowing the all, so sabbannu could be more accurately rendered in this context as knowing himself fully. himself being the six sense bases! and considering it in light of MN71 where the four postures are mentioned in relation to the buddhas knowing the Satipatthana Sutta giving the four foundations of mindfulness, in relation to the four postures and focuses as a means to liberation, of the highest form noted (sammā-sambuddhassa) should also be considered!
here is couple of other questions! should the Suttas be taken individually and the meaning of them taken solely in the context of the individual sutta or should they be taken as a whole and the meaning of all the suttas be taken into account? and should what the commentaries say guide the understanding?
maybe the advice to the Kalamas could help?
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."
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:05 am

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:the commentaries are not what the Buddha meant!


Well, that's a matter of opinion, and you're not going to convince me by mere assertion.

In any case, I haven't in this thread been appealing to the commentaries' take on sabbaññū as if it were authoritative (as I would in the Classical Theravada forum) but merely as an interpretation that appears to me more probable than that proposed by Kalupahana and Elohim.

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,
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:56 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:the commentaries are not what the Buddha meant!


Well, that's a matter of opinion, and you're not going to convince me by mere assertion.


Who said I am trying to convince you?

I see more than one door to to knowing what is meant!
I have an idea! I share, others take it or leave it!
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."
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:12 am

Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:Who said I am trying to convince you?


The exclamation mark in "the commentaries are not what the Buddha meant!" makes the sentence into a strongly declarative utterance. People usually make such utterances in full confidence that the listener or reader will be persuaded.

I have an idea! I share, others take it or leave it!


Okay, I guess this is one that I'll leave. :)

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,
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Jason » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:38 am

Ven. Dhammanando,

Dhammanando wrote:But what grounds are there for supposing that the sabba in sabbaññū is the same as the sabba of the Sabba Sutta (i.e., the 6 sense bases and their objects) other than Kalupahana's saying so?


Kalupahana's opinion is one of the things I take into consideration. Another thing that I take into consideration is SN 35.23 where the Buddha defines precisely what he means by "sabba."

Jason
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:52 am

Hi Jason,

Elohim wrote:Kalupahana's opinion is one of the things I take into consideration. Another thing that I take into consideration is how the Buddha defines precisely what he means by "sabba" (SN 35.23).


Well, we should expect him to, given its importance in the development of right view and vipassanā-bhāvanā. But the precise defining of it that you refer to still doesn't establish any connection between the sabba of the the Sabba Sutta and the sabba of sabbaññū.

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,
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:59 am

Hi Dhammananda
Dhammanando wrote:Hi Manapa,

Manapa wrote:Who said I am trying to convince you?


The exclamation mark in "the commentaries are not what the Buddha meant!" makes the sentence into a strongly declarative utterance. People usually make such utterances in full confidence that the listener or reader will be persuaded.


well the exclamation can be used for several different reasons, that being one.
one thing the exclamation isn't is a sentence end. and can be followed by a justifying note. or a warning of an error.
I am not confident I can persuade any, I'll leave that for them to do.

I have an idea! I share, others take it or leave it!


Okay, I guess this is one that I'll leave. :)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu[/quote]

not often i see OK spelt nice to see as a reminder, it is one of those things I forget how to spell? :lol:
Metta
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."
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Jason » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:42 am

Ven. Dhammanando,

Dhammanando wrote:Well, we should expect him to, given its importance in the development of right view and vipassanā-bhāvanā. But the precise defining of it that you refer to still doesn't establish any connection between the sabba of the the Sabba Sutta and the sabba of sabbaññū.


There is no substantial connection besides that it makes more sense to me in the context of verses such as, "I have overcome all, I know all, I am detached from all, I have given up all; I am liberated from moral defilements having eradicated craving" (Dhp 353).

Best wishes,

Jason
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Jason » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:39 am

Everyone,

Well, after reviewing this thread, I thought I would add a few final thoughts. To begin with, I would like to state that my understanding of the Buddha's omniscience may not necessarily be correct, and I am the first to admit that I am somewhat biased in my "modern" approach to Buddhism. That being said, discussions like this (which I enjoy) are an excellent way to improve our understanding, or to see where our arguments are flawed.

I would also like to say that the I think the Ven. Dhammanando has certainly made some good points. one of which is that "... the commentarial view is that all knowable things are potentially accessible to [the Buddha's understanding, panna], but that they are not all simultaneously accessible." This then leads to the question of what is meant by a knowable thing, which, as Ven. Dhammanando explains, "is an important qualification, for nowhere is it asserted that all things are knowable things. And so the Buddha's "omniscience" as the commentators understand it, is far from being the Allah-like or Jehovah-like omniscience that some Mahayana Buddhists posit. For example, there must be at least some future things that are not knowable things, since for all future things to be knowable would require all future things to be predetermined, which would conflict with the Buddha's rejection of fatalism." I agree, and perhaps we can tackle this question in the future.

Another good point he made is that the idea of omniscience is possibly implied in the Buddha's response in MN 90; but, as it currently stands, my opinion is that in the context of the Buddha's omniscience, "knowing the all" is a more accurate rendering of sabbannu than "knowing all." As such, the Buddha's response in MN 90 still makes sense in that it clarifies his position by rejecting the type of omniscience Mahavira claimed but not his own knowing the all as per SN 35.23.

Not being a scholar of Pali, however, I am not able to establish a substantial connection between the sabba of the the Sabba Sutta and the sabba of sabbannu besides that it makes more sense to me in the context of verses such as, "I have overcome all, I know all, I am detached from all, I have given up all; I am liberated from moral defilements having eradicated craving" (Dhp 353). So, for now, I guess I will just have to leave it at that.

Sincerely,

Jason
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby Alex123 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:33 am

I don't know why this was posted here. I must have saved my reply and clicked on the wrong tab to post it.
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Re: The Buddha's Omniscience.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:39 am

Alex123 wrote:For my argument, the fact of ability to know the future refutes the idea of totally free choice. If future is in theory, or when deliberately adverted to by the Buddha, is accurately knowable, that means that nothing can ever change it. The future can include the next hour, next minute or even a hypothetical situation.


Please do not be dragging this argument into other threads.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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