The Vipassana Dipani

The Manual of Insight

by Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw | 1915 | 21,831 words

The Vipassana-Dipani The Manual of Insight Or The Exposition Of Insight Honor to the Buddha By Mahathera Ledi Sayadaw, Aggamahapandita, D.Litt. Translated into English by Sayadaw U Nyana, Patamagyaw of Masoeyein Monastery Mandalay. Edited by The English Editorial Board...

The Two Abhinnanas

Or The Two Super-knowledge’s

Abhinnana means super-knowledge, or the faculty of knowing pre-eminently beyond that of ordinary mankind. It is of two kinds, Samatha-abhinnana and Dhamma-abhinnana. Samatha-abhinnana means super-knowledge acquired through the carrying out of the exercises in Calm (Samatha).

It is of five different kinds:

  1. Iddhividha-abhinnana
  2. Dibbasota-abhinnana
  3. Cetopariya-abhinnana
  4. Pubbenivasa-abhinnana
  5. Yathakammupaga-abhinnana
  1. The first is the supernormal powers of passing through the air, sinking into the earth, by oneself creating wonderful things, transforming oneself into different personalities.
  2. The second is extreme sensitiveness of hearing such as is possessed by Celestial beings.
  3. The third is the supernormal knowledge of others' thought.
  4. The fourth is the supernormal knowledge of previous existences.
  5. The fifth is the supernormal knowledge of living beings and of the kammas in accordance with which they are thrown down into the various spheres of existence; it resembles such supernormal vision as is possessed by Celestial beings.

Dhamma-abhinnana means the insight by which are discerned all the things of ultimate truth mentioned in the section on the Truths, together with their respective characteristics beyond the range of conventional truth. It is divided into three kinds:

  1. Sutamaya-nana, knowledge acquired by learning.
  2. Cintamaya-nana, knowledge acquired by reasoning.
  3. Bhavanamaya-nana, knowledge acquired by contemplation.

The last of the three is again subdivided into two:-

  1. Anubodha-nana
  2. Pativeda-nana

Of these last two, the former is the triple insight into Impermanence, Infelicity, and No-soul, or it is the insight into things with all their characteristics as they truly are. The latter is the transcendental knowledge of the Four Paths. By this knowledge, which can dispel the darkness of the defilements (kilesa) such as error, perplexity, and so forth, those who have attained the Paths are brought into the light.

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