Omniscience and the Imponderables

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Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby Richard » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:57 am

I think Mahayanists believe that Buddhas can foretell future events.

Yet there are "Four imponderables", the third of which is "The results of karma". In other words, the detailed results of karma are imponderable.

So can anyone explain to me why they believe that Buddhas can foretell future events, given that the results of karma are imponderable?
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:01 am

A thread very similiar to this was started not to long ago, maybe a month or so....you may care to check for that. It was very extensive with a lot of opinion offered.

Here it is...http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=6070..you may care to puruse it and see if your question is answered.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby Anders » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:29 am

Richard wrote:I think Mahayanists believe that Buddhas can foretell future events.

Yet there are "Four imponderables", the third of which is "The results of karma". In other words, the detailed results of karma are imponderable.

So can anyone explain to me why they believe that Buddhas can foretell future events, given that the results of karma are imponderable?


I believe the four imponderables are not strictly unknowables. The Buddha obviously knows his own range and I imagine a dhyana practitioner knows the range of Dhyana when absorbed in it. I think admonition here is that speculation on these topics can lead to madness if taken to their ultimate conclusion, because the ordinary mind can't encompass these properly.

I think it is only the beginning of the universe that qualifies as a genuine unknowable. And the Buddha acknowledged as much, saying there is no discernible beginning point to the cosmos.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:10 pm

Well lets see from a source ....Imponderables: (Four Imponderables). Four things that Buddha warned against. One of these was trying to get into Karmic detail and look to find the "results" of volitional actions (Karma). It is enough to just Know and Understand and Intuitively have insight into the Fact that Volitional Action (karma) begets a result (Vipaka). It is even impossible to judge good and bad because that leads to the intellectual trap of duality and it's Dukkha. From the Pali Canon.... "These four imponderables are not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about them would go mad & experience vexation. Which four?
The Buddha-range of the Buddhas (i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha)...
The jhana-range of one absorbed in jhana (i.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana)....
The results of kamma...
Speculation about (the first moment, purpose, etc., of) the cosmos is an imponderable that is not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about these things would go mad and experience vexation."



and the question being...."why they believe that Buddhas can foretell future events".

Well the simple answer for me being simple :smile: it is considered or infered perhaps in the first statement, that the one negates the other....the simple answer would be that as finately limited individuals we cannot fathom such things of possibility.....a buddha may.
I can watch someone do any number of things I may not do. By physical or other limitation I can go mad trying to do what they do saying I am human as they are so I may then do it....well we can see why that is so. So for us human we cannot do these things. Is that necessarily saying a buddha may not do these things.

I should then go mad and consider these things.....hmmm..perhaps not. But as to future events we can see by evidence of scriptual source that a buddha may predict certain futures.
And others may have some certain powers we may observe that indicates they may a bit see future events, so antedotally we may also know of that as possibility.

So we could on that basis reasonably assert a buddha may foretell the future yet ourselves personally find no reason to suspect we may as well. We have the same nature but we are not conventionally in this realm the same.

Faith....doesn't seem to be the final basis of this thing. Perhaps in a way, as faith we have in sutra sutta or jakata tale perhaps to be saying with some variance but not a whole lot of variance..... what the buddha intended...so yes that is faith of a sort.
But faith this is some miraculous power as the theist claim, other powered....seems not that faith.

To add to the comments already offered perhaps saying the same thing but from a simple perspective.
Or perhaaps the question is meaning something different and I am reading it wrong.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:45 pm

Richard wrote:I had a look at that link, but I couldn't find any reason presented as to why the 4 imponderables should be ignored.

Perhaps the belief in the Buddha's omniscience is just a matter of faith, like the belief that Jesus rose from the dead?

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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby Stewart » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:21 pm

Give up Kevin, It's/your really boring
:zzz:
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Re: Omniscience and the Imponderables

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:11 am

Magic then being..the only magic being....the tools found here, in this buddhist place...only here and not any other place....it is only these so employed......... rebirth will devolve.

Magicians then we all be....... every one and all....all employing these tools found so.....magic.....things are not....not as they seem. This be the magic
Magical they are and remain....though we know it not.

Yes...magic
They are surely magic...and magic be the places they reside, magic be the tales they tell, and magic be the breath their very breath. It can be no other

It imbibes us all this magic, it is our blood pulseing this magic. It be our eyes what they see this magic. It be all this magic and it be none this magic.

None other then that....you have it correctly....it is magic. None other than that...magic. Magical place we all reside.

So truth finally you know, and cannot ever deny. Run from it it will pursue you. Drink so you may not know it....it will be the drink so drunk.
Cloud your eyes so it will not be seen by you, blackness then it will be, and still seen by you. So now truth be told.....one that may not be so forgotton.
The buddhas our buddhahood...magic it be. Know that now truth it be and cannot be denied.
Try try you may......will certainly to no avail.....the magical lesson..... heart beating lungs expanding magical all it be.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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