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Sutta Name Nikaya Vagga Academic PTS PSA Plae Keywords Notes
Mahaasiihanaada | Lomaha.msapariyaaya Majjhima Muulapa.n.naasa, Siihanaada Vagga MN.012 M.i.068-83 18/037 Qualities of a Buddha, supranormal powers, courage Sunakkhatta, having recently disrobed spreads the rumour that the Buddha’s teachings do not lead to an end of suffering. Buddha says that Sunakkhatta is a man of wrath and folly who is uncapable of appreciating the good of either the Tathagata or of his teachings. Buddha then issues a challenge to the effect that no-one can deny the Buddha’s possession of two sets of virtues -- the ten powers of the Perfect One ( and four virtues leading to intrepidity and courage (vesaarajja).
The ten powers of the Perfect One comprise: 1. knowledge of possibility and impossibility (.thaanaa.thaana; 2. knowledge of karmic retribution (kammavipaaka; 3. knowledge of the path leading to all destinies and goals (sabbatthagaaminiipa.tipadaa; 4. knowledge of the world with its many and different elements (naanaadhaatu; 5. knowledge of the different dispositions of beings (naanaadhimuttika; 6. knowledge of the state of faculties of beings, knowledge of the inferiority and superiority of the controlling faculties of various beings, knowledge as regards maturity of persons (indriyaparopariyatta; 7. knowledge of defilement, cleansing and emergence in the cases of the meditations, liberations, concentrations and attainments (jhaanaadisa"nkilesaadi; 8. knowledge of the recollection of past lives (pubbenivaasaanussati; 9. knowledge of the decease and rebirth of beings (cutuupapaata, and; 10. knowledge of the eradication of all defilements (aasavakkhaya at M.i.069.
The four virtues leading to courage comprise seeing no grounds on which anyone could with justice make the following charges: 1. claiming to be fully self-enlightened when not fully self-enlightened in these things (sammaa sambuddha pa.ti~n~naa); 2. claiming to have destroyed all the defilements when not utterly having destroyed them (khii.naasava pa.ti~n~naa); 3. claiming harmless practices as harmful (antaraayikadhammavaada), and; 4. claiming the doctrine leads to utter extinction when it doesn't (niyyaanikadhammadesanaa) at M.i.071.
The Tathagata can attend any of the eight assemblies without fear; he knows the various classifications of beings; the four modes of birth (yoni): 1. the womb-born (jalaabuja); 2. the egg-born (a.n.d.aja); 3. moisture-born (sa.msedaja), and; 4. spontaniously-born (opapaatika) at M.i.073.
; the way to Nirvana; he can read the minds of others; and knows the five destinies that await different beings. He has lived the fourfold higher life, being foremost in his practice of asceticism, in loathliness, in scrupulosity, in solitude. No-one has surpassed Him in the practice of these things. He has discovered by experimentation, the futility of the claims of those who maintain that purity comes by way of food or offering or ritual. Though eighty years old and his body broken down, yet his powers of mind are at their prime. Even if he must be carried in litter, yet will his mind retain its powers.

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Last modified on: Sunday, 9 January 2000.