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 [Dhamma Talk]


 

The Ten Powers
and
The Four Confidences of the Tathāgata

The Ten Powers of the Tathāgata

1. He knows as it is the standing of that which has standing and the lack of standing of that which has lack of standing. (Ṭhānañ ca ṭhānato aṭṭhānañ ca aṭṭhānato)
Expressed in broad general terms it means such things as the right and wrong time, the right and wrong place, the reasonable and unreasonable basis for an argument, and standing, as in having standing to argue a case, or represent some party. In the PTS texts translated as 'causal occasion and not causal occasion' that is, the understanding of what is and what is not a factor which leads to a result, which is a narrow reading of the power.

2. He knows as it is how the individuality acquires through taking a position with regard to deeds the driving force of kammic consequences, past, future, and present. (atītānāgatapaccuppannānaṃ kammasamādānānaṃ ṭhānaso hetuso vipākaṃ.)

3. He knows as it is every path leading to self. (sabbatthagāminīpaṭipadaṃ.)
(Horner notes: 'The world of the khandhas, āyatanas, and dhātus, MA. ii. 29.) The paths leading to lower kama spheres, human existence with all five khandhas, deva spheres, the Brahma spheres, and the a-rupa births in purely mental states.

4. He knows as it is the details of the diverse worlds. (anekadhātu nānādhātu-lokaṃ.)

5. He knows as it is the diversity of motivations of beings. (sattānaṃ nānādhimuttikataṃ.)

6. He knows as it is the superior or inferior state of the diverse faculties of beings and men. (parasattātaṃ parapuggalānaṃ indriyaparopariyattaṃ.)

7. He knows as it is the way to the release into serenity through jhāna, it's sliming, it's purification, and the re-emergence from such. (jhāna-vimokkha-samādhi-sampattīnaṃ saṃkilesaṃ vodānaṃ vuṭṭhānaṃ) jhāna-release-serenity-arrival it's-sliming, purification, re-emergence.

8. He is able to recall vast numbers of previous lives.

9. He knows the deceasing and rising up again of beings according to their deeds.

10. He knows the corrupting influences (āsavas) to have been destroyed.

The Four Confidences

1. He has certainty that he has awakened to what it is that he teaches.

2. He has certainty that the corrupting influences (āsavas) have been destroyed.

3. He has certainty that his statement that indulging in sense-pleasures is a stumbling-block to awakening is a correct doctrine.

4. He has certainty that the Dhamma as he teaches it, if put into practice, leads onward the practitioner thereof to the complete desruction of pain dukkha.

See: AN 10.21
for the 10 powers.
MN 12: The Greater Discourse on the Lion's Roar.
[SN 2.12.21] Dasabala Suttaṃ,
The Ten Powers (1), the Mrs. Rhys Davids translation


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