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Pay attention! Give ear! This is for your Good! For Your Profit for many a long day. Don't play with your food!

The Four Paths to Power

Iddhipāda

The thinking out and development, accumulated practice, attainment and mastery of great heights in the four paths to power such as to be able to use them as a means of advancement and a basis for liberation.

The Four Paths to Power

Persistent effort at making one's own a HighGetting focused on realizing one's intent;

Persistent effort at making one's own a HighGetting focused on generating energy;

Persistent effort at making one's own a HighGetting focused developing strength of will;

Persistent effort at making one's own a HighGetting focused on developing rememberance.

And this is thrown in for a fifth: Making Effort.

A more literal translation:

Four are the power-paths which developed, made a big thing of, conduce to leading to beyond the not beyond.

What four?

Here beggars, a beggar develops the power-path
that is wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making,

develops the power-path
that is investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making.

What, then, is the way, what path is to be tracked for the development of the power-paths?

In this case a beggar develops the power-path
that is wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my wishing not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

Live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
the heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my energy not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

Live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
the heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my heart not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

Live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
the heart becomes radiant.

He develops the power-path
that is investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making thus:

"Let my investigation not be too sluggish,
not be too unrestrained,
not be inwardly cramped,
not be scattered abroad."

Live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

Thus with clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
the heart becomes radiant.

 

§

 

And what, beggars, is wishing that is too sluggish?

Whatever, beggars, is wishing
that has got mixed up with hesitation,
yoked to hesitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
wishing that is too sluggish.

And what, beggars, is wishing that is too unrestrained?

Whatever, beggars, is wishing
that has got mixed up with aggitation,
yoked to aggitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
wishing that is too unretrained.

And what, beggars, is wishing that is inwardly cramped?

Whatever, beggars, is wishing
that has got mixed up with lazy ways and inertia,
yoked to lazy ways and inertia,
this, beggars, is what is called
wishing that is inwardly cramped.

And what, beggars, is wishing that is scattered abroad?

Whatever, beggars, is wishing
set on,
scattered following after,
diffused following after,
the five external pleasure cords,
this, beggars, is what is called
wishing that is scattered aborad.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before?

Here, beggars, a beggar
easily gets the
well-studied,
well taken hold of,
well reflected on with wisedom
perception of the after and before.

This then beggars, is how a beggar lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As above, so below,
as below, so above?

Here, beggars, a beggar lives viewing this body from the tops of the tips of the hair above to the bottoms of the soles of the feet below as a double-ended skin bag filled with various sorts of putrid filth:

There is in this body hair of the head, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, meat, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, innerds, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, wax, spit, snot, synovial fluid, and urine.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day?

Here beggars, a beggar
by whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by day
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by night.

By whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by night
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops wish-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by day.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

And how, beggars, does a beggar
have clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant?

Here beggars, a beggar's light-perception is well-grasped, day-perception well-established.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar has
clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant.

 


 

And what, beggars, is energy that is too sluggish?

Whatever, beggars, is energy
that has got mixed up with hesitation,
yoked to hesitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
energy that is too sluggish.

And what, beggars, is energy that is too unrestrained?

Whatever, beggars, is energy
that has got mixed up with aggitation,
yoked to aggitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
energy that is too unretrained.

And what, beggars, is energy that is inwardly cramped?

Whatever, beggars, is energy
that has got mixed up with lazy ways and inertia,
yoked to lazy ways and inertia,
this, beggars, is what is called
energy that is inwardly cramped.

And what, beggars, is energy that is scattered abroad?

Whatever, beggars, is energy
set on,
scattered following after,
diffused following after,
the five external pleasure cords,
this, beggars, is what is called
energy that is scattered aborad.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before?

Here, beggars, a beggar
easily gets the
well-studied,
well taken hold of,
well reflected on with wisedom
perception of the after and before.

This then beggars, is how a beggar lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As above, so below,
as below, so above?

Here, beggars, a beggar lives viewing this body from the tops of the tips of the hair above to the bottoms of the soles of the feet below as a double-ended skin bag filled with various sorts of putrid filth:

There is in this body hair of the head, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, meat, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, innerds, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, wax, spit, snot, synovial fluid, and urine.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day?

Here beggars, a beggar
by whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by day
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by night.

By whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by night
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops energy-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by day.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

And how, beggars, does a beggar
have clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant?

Here beggars, a beggar's light-perception is well-grasped, day-perception well-established.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar has
clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant.

 


 

And what, beggars, is a heart that is too sluggish?

Whatever, beggars, is a heart
that has got mixed up with hesitation,
yoked to hesitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
a heart that is too sluggish.

And what, beggars, is a heart that is too unrestrained?

Whatever, beggars, is a heart
that has got mixed up with aggitation,
yoked to aggitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
a heart that is too unretrained.

And what, beggars, is a heart that is inwardly cramped?

Whatever, beggars, is a heart
that has got mixed up with lazy ways and inertia,
yoked to lazy ways and inertia,
this, beggars, is what is called
a heart that is inwardly cramped.

And what, beggars, is a heart that is scattered abroad?

Whatever, beggars, is a heart
set on,
scattered following after,
diffused following after,
the five external pleasure cords,
this, beggars, is what is called
a heart that is scattered aborad.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before?

Here, beggars, a beggar
easily gets the
well-studied,
well taken hold of,
well reflected on with wisedom
perception of the after and before.

This then beggars, is how a beggar lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As above, so below,
as below, so above?

Here, beggars, a beggar lives viewing this body from the tops of the tips of the hair above to the bottoms of the soles of the feet below as a double-ended skin bag filled with various sorts of putrid filth:

There is in this body hair of the head, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, meat, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, innerds, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, wax, spit, snot, synovial fluid, and urine.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day?

Here beggars, a beggar
by whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by day
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by night.

By whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by night
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops heart-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by day.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

And how, beggars, does a beggar
have clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant?

Here beggars, a beggar's light-perception is well-grasped, day-perception well-established.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar has
clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant.

 


 

And what, beggars, is investigation that is too sluggish?

Whatever, beggars, is investigation
that has got mixed up with hesitation,
yoked to hesitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
investigation that is too sluggish.

And what, beggars, is investigation that is too unrestrained?

Whatever, beggars, is investigation
that has got mixed up with aggitation,
yoked to aggitation,
this, beggars, is what is called
investigation that is too unretrained.

And what, beggars, is investigation that is inwardly cramped?

Whatever, beggars, is investigation
that has got mixed up with lazy ways and inertia,
yoked to lazy ways and inertia,
this, beggars, is what is called
investigation that is inwardly cramped.

And what, beggars, is investigation that is scattered abroad?

Whatever, beggars, is investigation
set on,
scattered following after,
diffused following after,
the five external pleasure cords,
this, beggars, is what is called
investigation that is scattered aborad.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before?

Here, beggars, a beggar
easily gets the
well-studied,
well taken hold of,
well reflected on with wisedom
perception of the after and before.

This then beggars, is how a beggar lives after-before-perceiving:

As before so after
as as after so before.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As above, so below,
as below, so above?

Here, beggars, a beggar lives viewing this body from the tops of the tips of the hair above to the bottoms of the soles of the feet below as a double-ended skin bag filled with various sorts of putrid filth:

There is in this body hair of the head, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, meat, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, innerds, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, wax, spit, snot, synovial fluid, and urine.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As above, so below,
as below, so above.

And how, beggars, does a beggar live:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day?

Here beggars, a beggar
by whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by day
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by night.

By whatever method, along whatever lines, by way of whatever signs
investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making is developed by night
he by such method, along such lines, by way of such signs
so develops investigation-serenity-connected-exertion-own-making by day.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar lives:

As by day, so by night,
as by night, so by day.

38. And how, beggars, does a beggar
have clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant?

Here beggars, a beggar's light-perception is well-grasped, day-perception well-established.

It is thus, beggars, that a beggar has
clear thinking,
disentangled thinking,
with the heart become radiant.

 


 

Thus developed, then beggars,
thus made a big thing of,
the four power-paths
are of great fruit, great profit.

It is through thus developing, beggars,
thus making a big thing of the four power-paths,
that the result for a beggar
will not be just one of the various sorts of power.

Being one he also becomes many,
being many he also becomes one.

Manifest here, transported beyond notice,
transported through walls,
transported through fortifications unsticking,
he goes whithersoever as if in space.

He jumps into and out of the earth
as though in water;
goes on water without parting it
as though on solid ground.

He goes through space cross-legged like a bird on the wing.

He touches and feels with the hand the Moon and Sun, as great and powerful as they are.

He turns up in the body even in the Brahma world.

Thus developed, then beggars,
a beggar thus making a big thing of the four power-paths,
with purified godlike hearing,
beyond that of ordinary men,
hears both sounds:
godly and man-made,
far or near.

Thus developed, then beggars,
a beggar thus making a big thing of the four power-paths —
of other beings,
of other men,
heart encompassing heart,
he knows:

Of a lustful heart: "This is a lustful heart."

Of a lust-free heart: "This is a lust-free heart."

Of a hateful heart: "This is a hateful heart."

Of a hate-free heart: "This is a hate-free heart."

Of a clogged up heart: "This is a clogged up heart."

Of an unclogged heart: "This is an unclogged heart."

Of an deranged heart: "This is a deranged heart."

Of a balanced heart: "This is a balanced heart"

Of a constricted heart: "This is a constricted heart."

Of an unconstricted heart: "This is an unconstricted heart."

Of a state of heart that is less than superior: "This is a state of heart that is less than superior."

Of a state of heart that is superior: "This state of heart is nothing less than superior."

Of useless heart: "This is a useless heart."

Of a beneficial heart: "This is a beneficial heart."

Of a heart that is not free: "This is a heart that is not free."

Of a heart that is freed: "This is a heart that is freed."

Thus developed, then beggars,
a beggar thus making a big thing of the four power-paths,
recollects not just one arrangement of previous inhabitations.

For example:

Just one birth,
just two births,
just three births,
just four births,
just five births,
just ten births,
just twenty births,
just thirty births,
just fourty births,
just fifty births,
one hundred births in all,
a thousand births in all,
a hundred-thousand births in all,
not just one evolution of a kappa,
not just one devolution of a kappa,
not just one evolution and devolution of a kappa.

That there:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that, re-appearing elsewhere.

In that habitation:

Of such a name
of such a clan
of such color
of such food
of such experience of pleasure and pain,
of such coming to life's end.

Shifting away from that reborn here."

Thus with it's makeup in detail,
he recollects not just one arrangement of previous inhabitations.

Thus developed, then beggars,
a beggar thus making a big thing of the four power-paths,
he sees beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

He knows of beings
their shifting away, re-appearance,
being left behind, advancing,
their beauty, their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure, experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds:

For sure these good beings were
committed to injurious bodily conduct,
committed to injurious verbal conduct,
committed to injurious mental conduct,
denegrated Aristocrats,
held low views,
were committed to behavior in accordance with low views,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in states of woe,
pain,
punishment,
Niraya Hell.

For sure these good beings were
committed to beneficial bodily conduct,
committed to beneficial verbal conduct,
committed to beneficial mental conduct,
spoke well of Aristocrats,
were of high view,
were committed to behavior in accordance with high view,
for upon the break up of the body after death
they have arisen in worlds of heavonly pleasures.

Thus he sees beings with purified godlike sight
surpassing that of mankind.

And he knows of beings
their shifting away, re-appearance,
being left behind, advancing,
their beauty, their uglyness,
their experiencing of pleasure, experiencing of pain,
according to their intentional deeds.

Thus developed, then beggars,
a beggar thus making a big thing of the four power-paths,
through his own higher knowledge experiences
the destruction of the corrupting influences,
and without corrupting influences,
in this seen thing,
enters into and lives
in freedom of heart,
freedom of wisdom.

 

§

 

Other Feats of Magic Power

An Act of Truth

This is an act performed in order to obtain some usually desperately needed wish. It is the statement of a wish asking that it be granted if a statement that is made about one's self is true and that one be punished if it is false. Very much like 'swaring' to the truth in asking for mercy.

Examples: — Jat 489
AN 4.55: Matched Lives

This is Vessavaṇa's Sanspareil Mango Tree!

First make a great mango tree grow before the palace door. Then throw up a ball of string and make it catch on a branch of the tree. Then climb up the string into the Mango Sanspareil. Then the slaves of Vessavaṇa's as is their usual practice, will chop you up limb-meal and throw down the bits. Then your compatriots should join the pieces together and pour water on them. Then don upper and under garments of flowers and rise up and do a dance.

If that does not please the audience, built a fire and enter it with your troupe and when the fire has burn out and the audience has sprinkled it with water, rise up and dance in upper and under garments of flowers.

Jat 489

The Half-body Dance

One hand, one foot, one eye, one tooth, go a-dancing, throbbing, flickering to and fro, all the rest remains stone still.

Jat 489
Jat 519: Where the Act of Truth is used as an oath to demonstrate that one has told the truth by the mechanism: 'If I have spoken the truth, let such and such thing happen.'

The Arrow-defence

This one as described in Jat 522. Four archers of surpassing skill stand at each of four corners with 30,000 arrows apiece. That would take up an area of approximately 41 square feet so presumably these archers also have helpers bringing the arrows closer as they are used up, but maybe not. These four men shoot arrows at will at the one performing the Arrow-defense who is standing in the middle of the square. This man intercepts without being injured each arrow and places it down neatly arrow point outward, feathers, inward in a circle around himself building up an enclosure effectively encased in iron (the tips of the arrows. Lest someone think he can toss a torch into the enclosure and take care of the rascal, he flies up and presents himself to the king.

The next trick is: ...The Pierced Circle the four men stationed at the four corners that failed to wound him are posted at the four corners, he will wound them with a single arrow. If the archers do not dare to stand there fix four plantains at the four corners, and fastening a scarlet thread on the feathered part of the arrow, shot it, aiming at one of the plantains. The arrow strikes it and then the second, the third and the fourth, one after another, and then strikes the first, which it had already pierced, and returnes to the archer's hand; while the plantains stand encircled with the thread.
A few other archery feats are given by name but with no description, but these can with some imagination be worked out: the arrow-stick,
the arrow-rope,
the arrow-plait,
the arrow-terrace,
arrow-pavilion,
arrow-wall,
arrow-stairs,
arrow-tank,
making the arrow-lotus to blossom
causing it to rain a shower of arrows.