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   IN this Sutta we have the position taken up by the early Buddhists, and no doubt by Gotama himself, as to the practice of the wonders or miracles, in which there was then universal belief.

   They were not, however, miracles in our Western sense. There was no interference by an outside power with the laws of nature. It was supposed that certain people, by reason of special (but quite natural) powers, could accomplish certain special acts beyond the power of ordinary men. These acts are eight in number: and as set forth in detail (above, pp. 88, 89) remind us of some (not of all) the powers now attributed to mediums. The belief is not Buddhist. It is pre-Buddhistic, and common to all schools of thought in India.

   As usual{1} the Buddha is represented as not taking the trouble to doubt or dispute the fact of the existence of such powers. He simply says that he loathes the practice of them; and that a greater and better wonder than any or all of them is education in the system of self-training which culminates in Arahatship. There is no evidence of a similarly reasonable view of this question of wonders having been put forward by any Indian teacher before the Buddha.

   It is very strange that Childers should have stated (Dict. p. 157) that 'Iddhi is the peculiar attribute of the Arahats.' He gives no authority for the statement. Devadatta, who was the very reverse of an Arahat, was noted for his power of Iddhi. And of the many Arahats mentioned in the books, only one or two, notably Moggallâna, were famed for this acquirement. They could have it, of course; just as they could have any craft or skill of the unconverted. But the eight powers referred to above are called the pothugganikâ- or puthugganikâ-iddhi{2} or âmisâ-iddhi{3}; that is, precisely

{1. See for other instances above, p. 206.

2. Vin. II, 183; Gât. I, 360.

3. A. I, 93.}

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not an attribute of the Arahats, or even of men in the lower stages of the Path, but of the worldly, the unconverted, a practice carried out for worldly gain.

   We have the Iddhi, the majestic movement, of animals{1}--the Iddhi, the glory and majesty and potency, of a king{2}--the Iddhi, the prosperity and splendour, of a rich young man{3}--the Iddhi, the craft and power, of a hunter{4}--the Iddhi, in the technical sense just explained, of the unconverted wonder-worker. The Iddhi of the Arahats, as such, was the majesty and potency of their victory, of their emancipation{5}.

   In illustration of his position Gotama is represented to have told a wonderful legend--how a Bhikshu, seeking the answer to a deep problem in religion and philosophy, goes up and up, by the power of his Iddhi, from world to world, appealing to the gods. In each heaven, as he mounts ever higher, the gods confess their ignorance, and send him on to the gods above, more potent and more glorious than they. And so he comes at last to the great god of gods, the Mahâ Brahmâ himself, only to be taken discreetly aside, and told in confidence, so that the gods may not hear it, that he too, the Mahâ Brahmâ, does not know the answer!

   All the details of the story are worked out with persistent humour, characteristic of such legends in the Buddhist books, in order to bring out the two lessons--in the first place how, in all such matters, to trust to the gods is to lean on a broken reed; and secondly, how perfectly useless is the power of such Iddhi, which, even at its best, can give no better help than that to one in earnest about higher things.

   The problem put is of great interest; and goes to the very core of the Buddhist Welt-anschauung, of Buddhist philosophy. The world, as we know it, is within each of us.

   'Verily, I declare to you, my friend, that within this very body, mortal as it is and only a fathom high, but conscious and endowed with mind{6}, is, the world, and the waxing thereof, and the waning thereof, and the way that leads to the passing away thereof{7}.' On this Dr. Karl Neumann, whose illustrations of Buddhist

{1. Dhp. 175.

2. Above, p. 88, and Gât. III, 454.

3. A. I, 145.

4. M. I, 152.

5. That is, in the Pitakas. In some passages of the fifth century A.D. it seems to be implied that, in certain cases, Iddhi was then considered to be a consequence of the Arahatta.

6. Samanake, perhaps 'with the repreientative faculty.' Compare saviññânake kâye (A. I, 132). Morris here has, wrongly, samanaka.

7. Anguttara II, 48--Samyutta I, 62.}

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texts from passages in Western literature, old and new, are so happy, appropriately compares Schopenhauer's saying (W. W. V. I, 538), 'One can also say that Kant's teaching leads to the view that the beginning and end of the world are not to be sought without, but within, us.'

   The problem, as put by the Bhikshu to the gods, is: 'Where do the elements pass away?' The Buddha, in giving his solution, first says that that is not the right way to put the question. It ought to be: 'Where do the elements find no foothold; where does that union of qualities that make a person (nâma and rûpa) pass away?'

   The alteration is suggestive. The person should be introduced; a thinking being. We only know of the elements and their derivatives, as reflected in, constructed by, human intelligence. To the question, as thus altered, the answer is: 'They find no foothold in the mind of the Arahat, and when intellection (with special reference to the representative faculty) ceases, then they, and the person with them, cease.

   So in the Bâhiya story (Ud. I, IO) we are told:

   'There, where earth, water, fire, and wind no footing find,
   There are the nights not bright, nor suns resplendent,
      No moon shines there, there is no darkness seen.
   And then, when he, the Arahat hath, in his wisdom, seen;
   From well and ill, from form and formless, is he freed!'

   This is a striking, and in all probability intentional, contrast to the Upanishad passages where the same kind of language is used of the Great Soul, the corollary of the human soul. It is one of many instances (as has been pointed out by Father Dahlmann) where the same expressions, used in the Pitakas of the Arahat, are used in the older or later priestly speculation of God.

   We have another reference to the view that the Four Elements find no foothold in the Arahat at Samyutta I, 15. And we see what is meant by this from verse 1111 in the Sutta Nipâta: 'To him who harbours no delight in feelings that arise, either from within or without, cognition (Vinññâna) tends to wane.' That is, of course, not that his mental activity grows less--the mental alertness of the Arahat is laid stress upon throughout the books. The picture drawn of the Arahat par excellence, the Buddha himself, is a standing example of what the early Buddhists considered a man to be in whom the Vññâna had waned. Whatever else it is, it is the very reverse of a man intellectually asleep, unconscious of what is said to him, dull to ideas. But it is the picture of

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a man to whom the Four Elements, and all that follows from them, material things, and the ways in which they affect him, have ceased to have the paramount importance they have to the thoughtless{1}.

{1. On Viññânassa nirodho, see further Ud. VIII, 9; S. III, 54-58; A. II, 45; and compare Asl. 350; A. IV, 39; and above. p. 87.}

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