supernormal powers

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

supernormal powers

Post by form »

This regularly appears in the nikaya. Has anyone seen any in real life?
SarathW
Posts: 14551
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by SarathW »

Yes.
When you can read your own mind you have super normal powers. :D
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by form »

SarathW wrote:Yes.
When you can read your own mind you have super normal powers. :D
In the more modern times, I have read only about two people with such abilities. Zen monk xu yun and Burmese Dipama.
User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6984
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: supernormal powers

Post by Aloka »

form wrote:This regularly appears in the nikaya. Has anyone seen any in real life?
No, I haven't.

I think its worth noting that regarding levitation 'powers', Bhikkhu Analayo writes in the conclusion of "Levitation in Early Buddhist Discourse'' that a comparative study of reports of levitation and so on, appear to indicate that "a mind-made body" was imagined, rather than being an act of literal levitation with the physical body.

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... tation.pdf

I also suggest reading "The Buddha and Omniscience" by Bhikkhu Analayo:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... cience.pdf


:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
paul
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Cambodia

Re: supernormal powers

Post by paul »

"Ven. Ānanda: But does the Blessed One also have direct experience of going to the Brahmā world by means of supranormal power with this very physical body, composed of the four great elements?

The Buddha: Yes...

Ven. Ānanda: It's amazing & astounding that the Blessed One should have direct experience of going to the Brahmā world by means of supranormal power with a mind-made body, and of going to the Brahmā world by means of supranormal power with this very physical body, composed of the four great elements." ---SN 51:22
User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 6984
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: supernormal powers

Post by Aloka »

.

In "The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts" by Bhikkhus Sujato and Brahamali, in the section "Character of the Early Buddhist Texts" on page 73, it says:
The EBT's are generally realistic and restrained in their portrayal of the Buddha and his environment, and the details do not seem unreasonable for what we know of the historical period and geographical area. For instance, the Buddha is rarely portrayed as displaying supernormal powers, and when he is they often have the hallmarks of being later insertions.(8)

Non- EBT's, by contrast, are often florid and full of supernormal phenomena. This is true for the entire Buddhist tradition, but especially so for the Mahāyāna Sūtras.

http://ocbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015 ... ticity.pdf
:anjali:
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 1098
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: supernormal powers

Post by Nicolas »

A DW member who is a monk described his witnessing as a youth of an old monk levitating: Levitation and a Simple Bhikkhu
R1111 = rightviewftw
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:17 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw »

As i understand it based on the Tipitaka, Visudhimagga and subjective personal experience, as training progresses the meditator is more or less becoming "paranormal" progressively. The paranormal factor will be a range of unordinary experiences, ranging from increased lucidity, clairvoyance and visions to developing godlike magical abilities.
As i understand it, mind needs to be quite well concentrated to experience any sort of "powers" or supernatural stuff, so supressing hindrances and developing Jhanas is how one should train.

I think some abilities can manifest very early if mind is relatively pure, however texts indicate that to get abilities of flying and walking thru walls etc one needs some level of mastery of Arupa (Formless) Jhanas so it is no trivial matter at all, not even all Arahants will have attained these Formless Jhanas let alone mastery.
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by form »

Sometimes I like to talk to certain monks that are more open. So far none has even witness any real psychic ability. I heard of some fake that can be seen in utube cheating. There is a monk that casually said in his talk that one of monks favourite pastime is watching ghosts in the temple. But I am not sure if he was serious. :)
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by form »

R1111 wrote:As i understand it based on the Tipitaka, Visudhimagga and subjective personal experience, as training progresses the meditator is more or less becoming "paranormal" progressively. The paranormal factor will be a range of unordinary experiences, ranging from increased lucidity, clairvoyance and visions to developing godlike magical abilities.
As i understand it, mind needs to be quite well concentrated to experience any sort of "powers" or supernatural stuff, so supressing hindrances and developing Jhanas is how one should train.

I think some abilities can manifest very early if mind is relatively pure, however texts indicate that to get abilities of flying and walking thru walls etc one needs some level of mastery of Arupa (Formless) Jhanas so it is no trivial matter at all, not even all Arahants will have attained these Formless Jhanas let alone mastery.
There are detailed descriptions on how to activate certain powers in the vmagga. It involved skipping jhanas and abrupt emerging I think. It was also reported that bhikkhu thanissaro didnt think those info works.
R1111 = rightviewftw
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:17 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw »

form wrote:
R1111 wrote:As i understand it based on the Tipitaka, Visudhimagga and subjective personal experience, as training progresses the meditator is more or less becoming "paranormal" progressively. The paranormal factor will be a range of unordinary experiences, ranging from increased lucidity, clairvoyance and visions to developing godlike magical abilities.
As i understand it, mind needs to be quite well concentrated to experience any sort of "powers" or supernatural stuff, so supressing hindrances and developing Jhanas is how one should train.

I think some abilities can manifest very early if mind is relatively pure, however texts indicate that to get abilities of flying and walking thru walls etc one needs some level of mastery of Arupa (Formless) Jhanas so it is no trivial matter at all, not even all Arahants will have attained these Formless Jhanas let alone mastery.
There are detailed descriptions on how to activate certain powers in the vmagga. It involved skipping jhanas and abrupt emerging I think. It was also reported that bhikkhu thanissaro didnt think those info works.
I dont think many people undertake this kind of training anyway so we might never find out. Maybe it is because of my exposure but I think nowadays more people will develope the Rupa Jhanas and Sati as Path to Arahantship in favor of developing all the Jhanas.
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by form »

R1111 wrote:
form wrote:
R1111 wrote:As i understand it based on the Tipitaka, Visudhimagga and subjective personal experience, as training progresses the meditator is more or less becoming "paranormal" progressively. The paranormal factor will be a range of unordinary experiences, ranging from increased lucidity, clairvoyance and visions to developing godlike magical abilities.
As i understand it, mind needs to be quite well concentrated to experience any sort of "powers" or supernatural stuff, so supressing hindrances and developing Jhanas is how one should train.

I think some abilities can manifest very early if mind is relatively pure, however texts indicate that to get abilities of flying and walking thru walls etc one needs some level of mastery of Arupa (Formless) Jhanas so it is no trivial matter at all, not even all Arahants will have attained these Formless Jhanas let alone mastery.
There are detailed descriptions on how to activate certain powers in the vmagga. It involved skipping jhanas and abrupt emerging I think. It was also reported that bhikkhu thanissaro didnt think those info works.
I dont think many people undertake this kind of training anyway so we might never find out. Maybe it is because of my exposure but I think nowadays more people will develope the Rupa Jhanas and Sati as Path to Arahantship in favor of developing all the Jhanas.
There are only 4 jhanas. The other 4 are formless attainments. That was what I learned from monks. :)
form
Posts: 1711
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:23 am

Re: supernormal powers

Post by form »

Nicolas wrote:A DW member who is a monk described his witnessing as a youth of an old monk levitating: Levitation and a Simple Bhikkhu
Thanks for the link, Nicolas. DW is Dhamakayawat? This incident happen in thailand?
santa100
Posts: 4383
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: supernormal powers

Post by santa100 »

Aloka wrote:I think its worth noting that regarding levitation 'powers', Bhikkhu Analayo writes in the conclusion of "Levitation in Early Buddhist Discourse'' that a comparative study of reports of levitation and so on, appear to indicate that "a mind-made body" was imagined, rather than being an act of literal levitation with the physical body.
I remembered from a chat with Ven. Bodhi at his Chuang Yen temple in Carmel NY and somebody brought up this same topic and the ven. said there's no evidence in the suttas that support Ven. Analayo's suggestion that only the mind-made body can levitate but not the physical body. The supernormal powers were mentioned frequently throughout the Nikayas and were quite explicit so there's no reason to rule out anything. The thing is once someone's able to attain such power, that means their mind's already been at quite some level of concentration and purity and so they'd tend to not even bothered wih such frivolous activity like showing off their power to others.
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 4132
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: supernormal powers

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
Post Reply