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Buddha's Omniscience


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#1 tibi

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 05:11 PM

From Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Wish Fulfilling Golden Sun of Mahayana Thought Training:

''If I use this precious human rebirth only to gain the eight worldly dharmas or higher samsaric pleasures with self-cherishing thought, I shall circle continuously in the six samsaric realms of unimaginable suffering, as I have circled since beginningless time in all my previous lives. The beginning of these lives is not even seen by the Buddha’s Omniscient Mind let alone by the minds of ordinary beings, and if I continue to work for these things I shall continue to suffer in the circle of samsara.'' (link)

How does Buddha's not knowing the beginning of samsaric lives correspond with His omniscience? :unsure:

(I can only think of it as an exception to His omniscience, similar to the exception of his omnipotence which is being limited by the strenght of sentient beings karmic obscurations...)

#2 m_v

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 06:10 PM

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#3 tibi

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:04 PM

thanks Mariann. I'm not much of philosopher, but the quote from Dharmakirti at the end of the second article really hit the nail on the head for me :)
:bow:
Tiberij

#4 m_v

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 07:25 PM

but the quote from Dharmakirti at the end of the second article really hit the nail on the head for me :)


:) Yes, exactly. this is the point.

#5 Goodie

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:30 PM

''If I use this precious human rebirth only to gain the eight worldly dharmas or higher samsaric pleasures with self-cherishing thought, I shall circle continuously in the six samsaric realms of unimaginable suffering, as I have circled since beginningless time in all my previous lives. The beginning of these lives is not even seen by the Buddha’s Omniscient Mind let alone by the minds of ordinary beings, and if I continue to work for these things I shall continue to suffer in the circle of samsara.'' (link)

How does Buddha's not knowing the beginning of samsaric lives correspond with His omniscience? :unsure:

In Mahayana it is generally taught that omniscience means simultaneous cognition of ALL phenomena, not just some (such as how mind works).

Maybe the sentence "The beginning of these lives is not even seen by the Buddha’s Omniscient Mind" is not meant to be taken literally, but more as an illustration of the unimaginable amount of time and lives that we already spent circling in samsara.

#6 m_v

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:34 PM

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#7 Goodie

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:56 PM

On the other hand, before saying anything about omniscience it would be good to define what "ALL" means in BUddhism.

In Buddhism, this is already defined clearly by past Masters. It means all validly knowable phenomena, which simply means all existent phenomena. Therefore omniscient mind of a Buddha is said to be able to perceive all phenomena. Both Mahayana and Hinayana accept this. At least such is a traditional presentation of this topic.

Some help from the 2nd link above:

The conclusions that the author draws seem incorrect both from Hinayana and Mahayana point of view. First, he presents only Pali tradition (which is only a part of Hinayana), and second, even Pali tradition he misinterprets. For example, he "proves" that Theravada is wrong in asserting that Buddha is omniscient <_<. So i find other sources, like Berzin, more reliable and also more suitable because it comes from the tradition that we follow.

#8 Michael John Smith

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:51 AM

I think possibly all that is being stated is that samsara itself has no beginning - it is cyclic existence we are talking about. What is being said is that omniescent mind does not recognise a beginning for samsara or our suffering existences.

#9 gabi26

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

In Mahayana it is generally taught that omniscience means simultaneous cognition of ALL phenomena, not just some (such as how mind works).

Maybe the sentence "The beginning of these lives is not even seen by the Buddha’s Omniscient Mind" is not meant to be taken literally, but more as an illustration of the unimaginable amount of time and lives that we already spent circling in samsara.

I aprove you. The beggining of samsara doesn't exist. It is a circle :)) And the omniscient mind is inconceivableness itself...

Edited by gabi26, 05 July 2010 - 04:30 PM.


#10 m_v

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:39 AM

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