Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
VII: Saññā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
VII: Thoughts

Sutta 67

Paṭhama Iddhi-Pāda Suttaɱ

Psychic Power (a)

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[67]

[1] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Sāvatthī;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

'Yes, lord,' they replied;
and the Exalted One said:

"Monks,[1] whatsoever monk or nun
make five things become,
make an increase in five things,
unto such
one of two fruits may be expected:
either gnosis here now or,
being with some substrate left,
the state of a Non-returner.

What five?

Monks,[2] herein a monk
makes become the psychic power
which embraces desire-to-do,
combined with concentration and resolution;

makes become the psychic power
which embraces energy,
combined with concentration and resolution;

makes become the psychic power
which embraces thought,
combined with concentration and resolution;

makes become the psychic power
which embraces investigation,
combined with concentration and resolution;

and fifthly,
just exertion.[3]

Monks, whatsoever monk or nun
makes these five things become,
makes an increase in these five things,
unto such
one of two fruits may be expected:
either gnosis here now or,
being with some substrate left,
the state of a Non-returner.'

 


Psalms of the Brethren, Introduction, page xxxiii: "Fourthly, the so-often reiterated record that the poems were first publicly uttered as 'confessions of añña' deserves passing word. The history of this term, of its use and of its non-use, in Buddhism has yet to be written. Signifying literally ad-sciens, 'ac-knowledging,' añña is used in the Suttanta books to signify that mental flash, or suffusion of intuitive knowledge and assurance of 'salvation' contituting emancipation, or arahantship. The Buddha testifies to having realized it under the Bodhi-Thee, but uses the kindred, less specialized word ñāṇa. In the mouth of bhikkhus such testifying was no guarantee of right (sammā) gnosis; it might be made through mental illusion, conceit, frenzy, or even evil design (Aŋguttara iii., 119). Genuine, or samma-d-aññā is, of course, intended by the Commentary. This, in Dhammapada, verse 96, is rendered by Fausböll absoluta gognitio; by Max Müller, 'true knowledge.' That the testifying to it is as old as the Four Nikāyas, appears from the little episode in the Aŋguttara Nikāya iii. 359: - Two disciples who have newly realized this intuitive knowledge or gnosis, wait upon the Buddha and testify to the same before him. As hey again depart, the Buddha remarks: 'Even so do men of true breed declae gnosis (aññā): - they tell of the good they have won (attha), but they do not bring in their ego (attā).' That the public individual testimony to the assurance of salvation won, invited yesterday and to-day in Christian revivalist meetings, should have been thus anticipated 2000 years ago in Buddhist usage, is an interesting link. And aññā is rarely attainment of such consciousness: - the 'fruition of arahantshp' (arahattaphala).

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[1] This is a stock opening; Cf. below V, § 122; D. ii, 314; M. i, 63; S. v, 129; A. v, 108; It. 39; Sn. p. 140. On aññā, gnosis, see Brethr., p. xxxiii.

[2] For references see D. iii, 221; K.S. v, 225 ff. S.e. has 'pe' between the terms.

[3] Ussoḷhi. Comy. adhimatta-viriya, extraordinary energy.


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