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The process in Paranormal Abilities

Updated: Feb 25, 2023


Copyright © 2023 Tomás Morales y Duran. All Rights Reserved



As said, there are various forms of enlightenment and not all Buddhas are enlightened in the same way. The process that Gotama used was using paranormal abilities. Once he reached the fourth jhāna he was able to unleash them because he had obtained them in a previous training:


I developed the foundations of paranormal power through concentration endowed with drive. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through energized concentration. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through concentration endowed with reasoning. I developed the foundations of paranormal power through investigative gifted concentration.


However. Chronologically, we are not told how long it took him to obtain the four jhānas, which can last for months. However, we are told that the paranormal abilities were displayed in a single night.

You have to know that in ancient times people did not sleep eight hours straight, but did it in sections, just as now they still eat several meals and do not eat all of the day at once, as is done with sleep .


We are told of three vigils, which were the periods of time in which he remained awake in the middle of the night and whose duration corresponded to the time it took a brand to burn completely. Since ancient times, the night has been divided into three parts and each of them corresponded to a canonical hour. The division into three parts was also used in the Roman Empire. Nocturnal is a word of Latin origin: Nocturni or also Nocturna is an old name applied to the nocturnal Offices. The Nocturnals according to the canonical hours consisted first of Vespers, followed by Matins and, lastly, Lauds.

The paranormal abilities are six, creating a body made with the mind, the divine ear, the penetration of the minds of others, the memory of previous existences, the divine eye and the knowledge of the end of the underlying tendencies. He, to enlighten himself, will use the last three paranormal abilities: the memory of past lives, clairvoyance and the knowledge of the end of the underlying tendencies.


The future Buddha plunges into the fourth jhāna. As his mind plunged into contemplation in this way, purified, brilliant, flawless, free of underlying tendencies, flexible, viable, stable, and unruffled, he extended it toward past-life recollection: he recalled a variety of past experiences, thus: a birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, and many eons of integration, and many eons of disintegration, and many Aeons of integration-disintegration, such was he by name, he was of such and such a clan, of such and such a color, thus he fed, such and such pleasant and painful experiences were his, thus ended his life. Passing from this, he came to be in another state in which such a person was he by his name, had such and such a clan, such and such a color, so he nurtured, such pleasant and unpleasant experiences were his, so life ended of the. Dying there, he arose here. Therefore, diverse memories of old experiences in all their ways and details.

This was the first knowledge reached by him in the first watch of the night. Ignorance dissipated, knowledge arose, darkness dissipated, light arose, while he remained diligent, ardent, self-determined.


Then, with calm mind, perfectly purified, perfectly clarified, unstained, unpolluted, soft and malleable, fixed, immovable, he directed his mind to the knowledge of death and the arising of beings. With the divine eye that surpasses the human, he saw beings as they die or are reborn, He understood that there are beings that are petty, excellent, nice, ugly, kind or evil, according to the consequences of their actions.

And he thought:

"Indeed, these beings who possessed wrong conduct in body, possessed improper conduct of speech, who possessed wrong conduct of thought, mock nobles, holding wrong belief, incurring consequential actions due to wrong belief, these , with the rupture of the body after death, they have arisen in a sad state, a bad birth, the abyss, the hell of Niraya. But these beings who possessed good conduct in body, who possessed good conduct in speech, who possessed good conduct in thought, who did not mock the nobles, held a correct belief, incurred consequent actions due to a correct belief, these, with the rupture of the body after death, have arisen in a good destiny, a heavenly world».

Thus, with the purified divine eye that surpasses that of men, he saw beings as they die, as they arise. I understand that there are beings that are petty, excellent, nice, ugly, rich, bad according to the consequences of their actions.

This was the second knowledge reached by him in the intermediate vigil of the night. He willignorance dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness dispelled, light arose, while remaining diligent, ardent, self-determined.


When his mind plunged into contemplation in this way: purified, bright, flawless, free from underlying tendencies, flexible, viable, stable, and imperturbable, he extended it toward the knowledge of the end of underlying tendencies.

He really he understood:

"This is suffering... This is the origin of suffering... This is the cessation of suffering... This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering."

He really understood:

"These are the underlying trends... This is the origin of the underlying trends... This is the cessation of the underlying trends... This is the practice that leads to the cessation of the underlying trends."

Knowing and seeing in this way, his consciousness was freed from the underlying tendencies of sensoryness, the craving for rebirth, and ignorance.

When his consciousness was released, he knew that he was released. He understood:

"The rebirth is over, the life of renunciation has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence."

This was the third knowledge, which I attained in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed and knowledge arose, darkness was destroyed and light arose, just like a meditator who is diligent, enthusiastic and determined. But even that pleasant feeling did not occupy his mind.



Later, in Sāvatthī. The Buddha, remembering this episode, addressed the bhikkhus:


“Bhikkhus, when I first woke up, I was near Uruvelā under the banyan tree on the banks of the Nerañjarā river. While I was secluded in a solitary place, this thought came to my mind: "The four instructions of the practice are the path to the goal, they are meant to purify beings, overcome pain and weeping, put an end to pain." and sadness, end the cycle of suffering and realize Nibbāna."

"What four?"

—A bhikkhu trains hard by applying the instructions of the body practice to the body, quenching the fire in the mind by being aware of the underlying tendencies and suppressing, through Discipline, the urge that leads consciousness to submission. Or train hard by applying the instructions of the practice of emotions in emotions, or mind... or phenomena in the sense of clinging factors to existence, putting out the fire in the mind by being aware of the underlying tendencies and suppressing, through Discipline, the urge that leads consciousness to submission. The four instructions of the practice are the way to the goal. They are intended to purify beings, overcome pain and crying, put an end to pain and sadness, end the cycle of suffering, and realize Nibbāna.

And then the Brahmā Sahampati, knowing what he was thinking, as easily as a strong person would extend or contract his arm, disappeared from the Brahmā realm and reappeared in front of me. He slung his robe over one shoulder, knelt on his right knee, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and said:

"That's so true, Master!" That is so true, Master! Sir, the four instructions of practice are the path to the goal. They are intended to purify beings, overcome pain and crying, put an end to pain and sadness, end the cycle of suffering, and realize Nibbāna.

"What four?"

—A bhikkhu trains hard by applying the instructions of the body practice to the body, quenching the fire in the mind by being aware of the underlying tendencies and suppressing, through Discipline, the urge that leads consciousness to submission. Or train hard by applying the instructions of the practice of emotions in emotions, or mind... or phenomena in the sense of clinging factors to existence, putting out the fire in the mind by being aware of the underlying tendencies and suppressing, through Discipline, the urge that leads consciousness to submission. The four instructions of the practice are the way to the goal. They are intended to purify beings, overcome pain and crying, put an end to pain and sadness, put an end to the cycle of suffering, and realize Nibbāna.

That is what Brahmā Sahampati said. Then he went on to say:

—He who sees the end of rebirth, he understands the path to the goal. People have crossed this road before, will cross, and are crossing.

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