Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Pondera
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Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by Pondera »

Does the Vinaya Pitaka address any offences related to supernormal powers? Eg. If I were a monk with remote viewing capabilities, I might find my self shifting my consciousness over to tantalizing sense experiences. I don’t think I have to spell it out - but would this be an offence?
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by JamesTheGiant »

Here is one rule, from Thanissaro's Buddhist Monastic Code 1...
I don't know where to find Cv.V.8.2 either online or offline. Pretty obscure.
Displaying psychic powers. A related rule at Cv.V.8.2 states that to display
psychic powers to lay people is a dukkata. In the origin story leading up to that
rule, the Buddha levels strong criticism at such an act: “Just as a woman might
expose her vagina for a miserable wooden misaka coin, so too have you
displayed a superior human state, a wonder of psychic power, to lay people for
the sake of a miserable wooden bowl.”
To display psychic powers to anyone who is not a lay person, though, is no
offense. Thus, given the way these two rules are framed, one may not tell a
novice of one’s powers but may levitate before his very eyes
.
The monk who did bad was Venerable Pindola Bharadvaja, who flew up to win a sandalwood bowl which was on the end of a long pole. It was a competition among 6 holy men from different religions, and only Venerable Pindola could levitate.
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Pondera
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by Pondera »

Interesting - thank you. I’m thinking more naughty. Like remote viewing someone in the shower. That kind of perversion, if you catch my drift. Or even “psychic sex”. That’s a thing, isn’t it?
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by JamesTheGiant »

Pondera wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:00 am Interesting - thank you. I’m thinking more naughty. Like remote viewing someone in the shower. That kind of perversion, if you catch my drift. Or even “psychic sex”. That’s a thing, isn’t it?
Haha, yes I knew what you were talking about.
From my vinaya study I can't remember any stories like that, but I will be happy and interested to be proved wrong.
There may well be some naughty examples in the commentaries to the vinaya.
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Volo
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by Volo »

BMC
In addition to the four above categories of means of killing, the Commentary includes two of its own:

—Magical formulae: reciting passages that call on malevolent spirits to bring about a person’s death, using voodoo, etc.

—Psychic powers: using the “evil eye” or other similar innate powers.

The Canon contains a number of passages—MN 56 is one example—describing people who, “developed in mind,” use their powers to kill. The Commentary notes the existence of these passages and of “some teachers” who cite them as proof that meditative powers can be used in this way, but it dismisses the idea on the grounds that meditative powers are skillful and based on pleasant mental states, whereas the act of killing is unskillful and based on painful mental states.

The Sub-commentary adds that the powers described in the Canon are actually based on magical formulae. Still, because the success of these formulae depends on a certain level of concentration, it would seem that using one’s powers of concentration to kill would fulfil the factor of effort here.
So, this would fall under Pārājika. On the analogy I would say that if one is able to commit any other offence by using some special power it would fall under corresponding offense.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

The mind of someone who is inclined to voyeurism is remote from attaining jhāna, let alone psychic powers.

There is a story from the Commentaries about the Bodhisatta being a hermit with psychic powers. One day, he entered the palace for alms by flying through the sky. The queen got up suddenly and her dress fell down.

The hermit became infatuated with lust. The king (who later became the Venerable Ānanda), understood the inherent good character of the hermit, and let him take the queen to his hermitage. She made him do all kinds of chores, and treated him with disdain. He gradually became free from his lust, and regained his sense of shame.

The queen returned to the palace and the hermit regained his concentration and psychic powers.
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by dharmacorps »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:06 pm The mind of someone who is inclined to voyeurism is remote from attaining jhāna, let alone psychic powers.

There is a story from the Commentaries about the Bodhisatta being a hermit with psychic powers. One day, he entered the palace for alms by flying through the sky. The queen got up suddenly and her dress fell down.

The hermit became infatuated with lust. The king (who later became the Venerable Ānanda), understood the inherent good character of the hermit, and let him take the queen to his hermitage. She made him do all kinds of chores, and treated him with disdain. He gradually became free from his lust, and regained his sense of shame.

The queen returned to the palace and the hermit regained his concentration and psychic powers.
Wonderful story thank you Bhante! I wonder if chores and housework in general is a good antidote to lust or excess sexual energy. :anjali:
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by budo »

dharmacorps wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:59 pm Wonderful story thank you Bhante! I wonder if chores and housework in general is a good antidote to lust or excess sexual energy. :anjali:
It's more like seeing the true nature of things dispels the infatuation story one fabricates in their mind about someone. No different than children wanting to go to Disneyland based off a first impression, and then going there and then having to wait hours in line, pay for every little thing, see that the characters are just people in suits and not real, compete with other people for access to the rides, etc.. One sees only the benefits and not the drawbacks.
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Six ways of killing that result in defeat:
Buddhist Monastic Discipline wrote:The Vibhaṅga defines taking life as “cutting off the life faculty,” and the Commentary’s discussion of this point shows clearly that this means interrupting the continuity of life before it would reach its “timely” end through the exhaustion of the victim’s merit or life potential The Commentary lists six means by which one might make such an effort:
• One’s own person. This includes using not only one’s hands or feet, but also such weapons as knives, sticks, clubs, etc.
• Throwing: hurling a stone, shooting an arrow or a gun, etc.
• Stationary devices: setting a trap, poisoning food, etc.
• Magical formulae: calling on malevolent spirits to bring about a person’s death, using voodoo, etc.
Psychic powers. using the “evil eye” or other similar powers.
• Commanding: inciting another person to commit a murder. This category includes recommendations as well as express commands.
dharmacorps wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:59 pmI wonder if chores and housework in general is a good antidote to lust or excess sexual energy. :anjali:
Perhaps. Maybe that's why the monks of the Thai Forest Sangha do so much manual labour? There again, it makes the body stronger, more virile, and more attractive to women. I think it does very little to remove lust. Like very strict sense-faculty restraint, it suppresses defilements rather than cutting them off at the root. Better to do the contemplation on repulsiveness of the body, and practice moderation in eating.

The story about the hermit is from the Mudulakkhaṇa Jātaka, and is referenced by the Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw in his Discourse on Dependent Origination.
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AgarikaJ
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by AgarikaJ »

What follows can be read in much more detail here: Clough, Bradley S. - The higher knowledges in the Pāli Nikāyas and Vinaya.

------------------

It was seen as a fact during the time of the Buddha, that both Buddhist monks and Yogis could attain supernatural powers; as such, they are from a Theravada perspective nothing much worthy of note. Therefore, the Pali canon is quite sparse on descriptions how to obtain such powers; this was likely common enough knowledge at the Buddhas time that it needed not much special notice.

Still see: Kevaḍḍha Sutta, Sunakkhata Sutta, Mahāsīhanāda Sutta, Tevijja-Vacchagotta Sutta, Mahāssapuru Sutta and most importantly the Sāmaññaphala Sutta.

However, Buddhaghosa in the Visuddhimagga wrote more on it, so it can be assumed that Mahaviharan Theravadin philosophy from its earliest roots onwards has been quite fascinated with it -- of course it stood in direct competition to the more metaphysical-oriented, heterodox traditions of Sri Lanka.

Actually, by reaching the fourth Jhana, mastering supernatural powers like mind-reading, clairvoyance, etc. is often an inherent, automatic part of attaining higher states (according to the Buddha, a little bit more than 10% of monks, or 60 out of 500 monks, attained all possible supernatural powers and reached therefore a state called 'liberated in both ways', ubhatobhāgavimutta).

However, as they can easily misused to dazzle and influence people (and oneself), the Buddha was wary of them and quite outspoken that they were useless and unnecessary automatic achievements on the path to higher attainments, simply byproducts of a developed and trained mind, and at best mere distractions from the Dhamma.

Therefore, monks are forbidden from displaying supernatural powers (Cullavagga: Piṇḍola Bhāradvāja), and the wrongful claiming of posessing them -- inherently claiming wrongly the attainment of the fourth Jhana -- is a Pārājika offense.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by frank k »

AgarikaJ wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:09 am
Actually, by reaching the fourth Jhana, mastering supernatural powers like mind-reading, clairvoyance, etc. is often an inherent, automatic part of attaining higher states (according to the Buddha, a little bit more than 10% of monks, or 60 out of 500 monks, attained all possible supernatural powers and reached therefore a state called 'liberated in both ways', ubhatobhāgavimutta).
Can you cite a sutta that says the part 60 out of 500 monks liberated both ways?
That is interesting.
But it doesn't give an accurate reflection of all those with 4th jhana and some competence with superpowers, but short of arahantship or even short of any of the 4 fruits.
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by AgarikaJ »

The sources for this are mentioned broadly on p.414 of the link I posted; unluckily no exact Sutta was mentioned.

It is additonally well worth reading the footnote for the term 'ubhatobhāgavimutta', as so often with these matters, scholarly opinion on its exact meaning differs.

Maybe somebody else on here has direct sources for 'ubhatobhāgavimutta' in the Pali canon. It is at least mentioned once, here, but there seems to be no translation attached to it: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... _utf8.html
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by frank k »

AgarikaJ wrote: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:01 pm The sources for this are mentioned broadly on p.414 of the link I posted; unluckily no exact Sutta was mentioned.
...
I found the sutta reference, full passage quoted here:
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... chic.html
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by tamdrin »

I had a Thai Ajahn tell me about one of my past lives. Some people said this was breaking his vinaya but I think he did it to help me when having a difficult time so it was ok.
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Re: Telepathy, Clairvoyance etc. And Offences.

Post by confusedlayman »

tamdrin wrote: Mon May 27, 2019 9:53 am I had a Thai Ajahn tell me about one of my past lives. Some people said this was breaking his vinaya but I think he did it to help me when having a difficult time so it was ok.
what was it. im eager to know.
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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