Where is iddhi?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Antaradhana
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Where is iddhi?

Post by Antaradhana »

From the Canon, as well as from non-Buddhist (Hindu) sources, numerous evidences of iddhi can be seen. Numerous ascetics who followed various teachings demonstrated iddhi earlier. Has anyone seen iddhi in our time? Maybe humanity was crushed in mental strength, degraded in this area?
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

santa100
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by santa100 »

Antaradhana wrote:Maybe humanity was crushed in mental strength, degraded in this area?
Who knows. One thing for sure though, back then the conditions for cultivating samadhi, the absolute prerequisite for developing iddhis, were way better than now: no radio, tv, internet, etc. basically minimal to zero distraction. Then look at the modern time, the mind is over-saturated with information overload: radio, tv, internet, email, instant-messaging, smart phones, all sorts of social media, etc. A typtical monk back then beside the morning alms round, could dedicate almost the entire day cultivating. How about the modern monk? Even the most dedicated one still have to spend quite a bit of time for checking email, catching up with the news, attending funeral and various functions, etc. So the mental strength doesn't necessarily "degrade" due to biological devolution, instead it might just simply be because the conditions required for developing iddhis are much more difficult nowadays. There might be a few rare cases someone still practice the lifestyle his predecessors did 2,500 years ago, staying away from civilization and dedicating 100% of their times to cultivation and stuff, but obviously it's much more rare and much more difficult now. However, in exchange, the information age makes the average modern monk possesses far far more intellectual knowledge about the Tipitaka than his predecessors.
Last edited by santa100 on Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

befriend
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by befriend »

Check out dipa Ma a disciple of Mahasi sayadaw and Anagarika munindra. Munindra knew she was pure of heart and wanted to see if supernormal powers were still possible to cultivate in this day and age she was successful in time traveling to hear Buddhas sermons and other powers.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Sam Vara »

Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm
From the Canon, as well as from non-Buddhist (Hindu) sources, numerous evidences of iddhi can be seen. Numerous ascetics who followed various teachings demonstrated iddhi earlier. Has anyone seen iddhi in our time? Maybe humanity was crushed in mental strength, degraded in this area?
What sort of things would count as iddhi? I've known one monk do something that appeared to be mind-reading, if that's the sort of thing you mean.

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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by budo »

Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm
From the Canon, as well as from non-Buddhist (Hindu) sources, numerous evidences of iddhi can be seen. Numerous ascetics who followed various teachings demonstrated iddhi earlier. Has anyone seen iddhi in our time? Maybe humanity was crushed in mental strength, degraded in this area?
Instant gratification thanks to technology has killed both our attention span and our memories.

Everyone has ADD these days due to being overstimulated. Imagine a farmer 2,000 years ago. No flashy lights and sounds to overstimulate him. The most stimulating thing he probably saw was animals fighting or a war, otherwise most of the day was spent in a field.

form
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by form »

I am sure there are still in today era. Just that if one claims such power, he will get into unnecessary trouble or be treated as a liar or insane one. Also, iddhi has its limitations, it can't solve many serious problems.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Antaradhana »

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:22 pm
What sort of things would count as iddhi? I've known one monk do something that appeared to be mind-reading, if that's the sort of thing you mean.
I mean iddhi obvious to the casual observer.

"He exercises the various modes of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many and having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; sitting cross-legged he travels through space like a winged bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so mighty and powerful; he exercises mastery over the body as far as the Brahma-world". DN 2

As for reading thoughts, this may not be iddhi, but the ability to read body signs, facial motility, etc.

"There is one who, by means of some clue*, declares: ‘Your thought is thus, such is what you are thinking, your mind is in such and such a state". AN 3.60

* The commentary explains that a person looks at the facial features or gestures of another person and, due to this, guesses the state of his mind.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by samsarictravelling »

Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm
From the Canon, as well as from non-Buddhist (Hindu) sources, numerous evidences of iddhi can be seen. Numerous ascetics who followed various teachings demonstrated iddhi earlier. Has anyone seen iddhi in our time? Maybe humanity was crushed in mental strength, degraded in this area?
I give three sources for examples of supernatural happenings:

1) I remember it has one example of (alleged) reading of mind, as well as other supernatural stuff:

Venerable Acariya Mun Bhuridatta Thera – Spiritual Biography, by Ajahn Maha Boowa Nyanasampanno

Image

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/ ... biography/


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


2) Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo's autobiography:

The Autobiography of Phra Ajaan Lee, by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya), translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Translator’s Foreword

...
Some readers will be taken aback by the amount of space Ajaan Lee gives to signs,
portents, and other supranatural events.
Things of this sort tend to be downplayed in the
laundered versions of Theravada Buddhism usually presented in the West—in which the
Buddha often comes off as a Bertrand Russell or Fritz Perls in robes—and admittedly they
are not the essence of what the Buddha had to teach. Still, they are an area that many people
encounter when they explore the mind and where they often go astray for lack of reliable
guidance. Ajaan Lee had a great deal of experience in this area and many useful lessons to
teach. He shows by example which sorts of experiences to treat simply as curiosities, which
to take seriously, and how to test the experiences that seem to have important messages.
...

Thanissaro Bhikkhu
(Geoffrey DeGraff)


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

An example from the autobiography of a supernatural happening on page 42:

After a moment or so there was a rustling sound up in the top of the tree. I looked up
and saw that a nest of large red ants had broken open. This was because there was a vine
wrapped around the nest. I had sat down on the base of the vine, and so now red ants were
spilling out onto my mat, swarming all over me, biting in earnest.
I sat right up. They were all over my legs. I made up my mind to spread thoughts of good
will, dedicating the merit to all living beings and making a vow: ‘Since becoming ordained,
I’ve never even thought of killing or harming a living being. If in a previous lifetime I’ve ever
eaten or harmed any of you all, then go ahead and bite me until you’ve had your fill. But if
I’ve never harmed you, then let’s call an end to this. Don’t bite me at all.’
Having made my vow, I sat in meditation. My mind was still—absolutely silent. The
rustling sound of the ants disappeared. Not a one of them bit me. I really felt amazed at the
Dhamma. Opening my eyes, I found them swarming in huge numbers in a line around the
edge of the mat.


https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/index.html

Image


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3)The Hindu yogi Paramhansa Yogananda's autobiography has many instances of supernatural happenings:

Autobiography of a Yogi

http://www.yoganandafortheworld.com/ori ... of-a-yogi/

Image


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Please excuse me if I do not reply to any reply.

samsarictravelling

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Antaradhana
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Antaradhana »

samsarictravelling wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:38 pm
I give three sources for examples of supernatural happenings
I read these and many other similar biographical books. I can add another, no less epic book https://archive.org/details/TheMirrorOf ... aAtmatatva

Not that I was skeptical about all this, wonderful things happened in my life too, but they are not so unambiguous as to rank them among iddhi, etc., since everything depends on the interpretation. I would like to hear from simple practitioners whether they have met such things that clearly have no other interpretations, except as a manifestation of iddhi.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by chownah »

What does iddhi mean?
chownah

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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Vimalayaka »

chownah wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:35 am
What does iddhi mean?
Ven. Mahaviveka said in his book that it a definition of "motivation" with nothing to do with superpower. Here:
"The Pāli expression iddhi-pādā suggests: "enabling, empowering, or effective foundations." These foundations refer in totality to the necessary kind of motivation upon which any successful endeavour depends:36 [The Vibhaṅga-sutta (SN 51.20) and Chandasamādhi-sutta (SN 51.13) are perhaps the ultimate sources upon which can be based a sound understanding of the purport of the four iddhipādā and of their essential conditional impact on effort. Due to their characteristic ambiguity, these two important discourses are not easily graspable and have not been well-translated.]"

In an clearly educational context, the Pāli text identifies certain mental features, four in number, that are absolutely necessary for the successful realisation of any pursuit whatsoever, and whether it be mundane or transcendental. The four iddhipādā can be found equally in the success of the chimp to reach the banana and in human's attainment of transcendental deliverance; remove just one of them, and no such success can ever be possible:

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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by DooDoot »

Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm
Has anyone seen iddhi in our time?
Yes; both among Buddhist & Christian individuals; albeit rare individuals. I trust you won't meet them hanging out on the internet.
And what is the miracle of telepathy? There is the case where a monk reads the minds, the mental events, the thoughts, the ponderings of other beings, other individuals, [saying,] 'Such is your thinking, here is where your thinking is, thus is your mind.'
Then the Blessed One, as soon as he perceived with his awareness the train of thought in Ven. Sona's awareness — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from Vulture Peak Mountain, appeared in the Cool Wood right in front of Ven. Sona, and sat down on a prepared seat.
:alien:
Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:36 pm
He exercises the various modes of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many and having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; sitting cross-legged he travels through space like a winged bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so mighty and powerful; he exercises mastery over the body as far as the Brahma-world".
Interesting quote above. I imagine this is probably something mental rather than physical but i could be wrong since I am just speculating. I doubt a person with psychic powers can physically fly but they can experience flying like a bird, mentally.
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Alīno
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Alīno »

Once i saw how some bhikkhu, while closing one window with a hand, closed simultaneously the next one with... no hand ^^ It closed by itself... :sage:
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

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Antaradhana
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by Antaradhana »

chownah wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:35 am
What does iddhi mean?
I quoted from DN 2 above:

"He exercises the various modes of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many and having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; sitting cross-legged he travels through space like a winged bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so mighty and powerful; he exercises mastery over the body as far as the Brahma-world".
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

form
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Re: Where is iddhi?

Post by form »

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:18 am
Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm
Has anyone seen iddhi in our time?
Yes; both among Buddhist & Christian individuals; albeit rare individuals. I trust you won't meet them hanging out on the internet.
And what is the miracle of telepathy? There is the case where a monk reads the minds, the mental events, the thoughts, the ponderings of other beings, other individuals, [saying,] 'Such is your thinking, here is where your thinking is, thus is your mind.'
Then the Blessed One, as soon as he perceived with his awareness the train of thought in Ven. Sona's awareness — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from Vulture Peak Mountain, appeared in the Cool Wood right in front of Ven. Sona, and sat down on a prepared seat.
:alien:
Antaradhana wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:36 pm
He exercises the various modes of supernormal power: having been one, he becomes many and having been many, he becomes one; he appears and vanishes; he goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space; he dives in and out of the earth as if it were water; he walks on water without sinking as if it were earth; sitting cross-legged he travels through space like a winged bird; with his hand he touches and strokes the sun and the moon, so mighty and powerful; he exercises mastery over the body as far as the Brahma-world".
Interesting quote above. I imagine this is probably something mental rather than physical but i could be wrong since I am just speculating. I doubt a person with psychic powers can physically fly but they can experience flying like a bird, mentally.
Active imagination u meant?

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