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Abhibhū

Selected References:

Mulapariyaya Resources section of BuddhaDust
[MN 1]
PTS: Middle Length Sayings I, #1: Discourse on the Synopsis of Fundamentals, Horner, trans., pp 3.
WP: Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: The Root of All Things, Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., pp 83 Examining the Mulapariyaya — Analysis
The Root Sequence, Bhikkhu Thanissaro, translation of the Mulapariyaya.


Pali MO Hare Horner Punnaji Bodhi Rhys Davids (Mrs)Rhys Davids Thanissaro Walshe Woodward
Abhibhū Upabove, The One Above, The Above, The Overlord, Supervisor, Overseer the Overlord the Overlord the Great Being

 

Pali Text Society
Pali English Dictionary
Edited by T. W. Rhys Davids and William Stede
[EDITED ENTRY]

 

Abhibhū: [Vedic abhibhū, fr. abhi+bhū, cp. abhi-bhavati] overcoming, conquering, vanquishing, having power over, a Lord or Master of -- not mentioned in PED as a specific God


Abhibhu be Ub Above
Up above, all is love
Abhibhu be up above all is love.

Usually translated The Overlord. It is not at all clear where this fello fits in. He is the Ruler of the Asanna Realm (The Realm of Non-Percipience, where those who meditate on the idea that it is perception itself that is the cause of Dukkha find rebirth. They are reborn there without an intervening death or rebirth and remain there without perception for as long as the power of their intent lasts and then a thought occurs to them and they are reborn thinking they have been reborn from nothing).

I think one thing to keep in mind when considering the Hindu/Buddhist cosmologies is the evolution of thinking in those seeking enlightenment. As the practice of meditation progressed each new realm discovered would be proclaimed to be the highest possible state of existance, the one freest of Dukkha, so there comes to be some confusion in the naming conventions. It is conceivable that one function of the Mulapariyaya was to straighten out the order of things.

If we consider that those realms which have a ruling deity are lower than those that do not, Abhibhu would occupy the station of the Highest Ruler.

In terms of meditation technique I would suggest that this represents an extreme solution to Pajapati's problem where an opposing/complimentary higher solution is represented by the N'evasannanasanna.


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