Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

Alternate Agama Sutras

T781: The Ten Powers

1. Thus have I heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī. He was accompanied by an assembly of monks.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “You should know that the Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One has ten kinds of power. Being endowed with these powers, he comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

3. “What are the ten? The Tathāgata comprehends all that’s possible as it really is. He also knows all that’s impossible as it really is. As a result of really knowing them, this is called the Tathāgata’s first knowledge power about what’s possible and impossible.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

4. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are all the past, future, and present actions performed by sentient beings and whatever events, abodes, causes, and effects they have. As a result of really knowing it, this is called the Tathāgata’s second knowledge power about actions.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

5. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are the meditations, liberations, concentrations, and attainments, whether defiled or purified, and determines their stages. As a result of really knowing it, this is called the Tathāgata’s third knowledge power about concentrations.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

6. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are the various faculties and dispositions of sentient beings, whether they are his own or others. As a result of really knowing them, this is called the Tathāgata’s fourth knowledge power about faculties.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

7. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are the various convictions of sentient beings. As a result of really knowing them, this is called the Tathāgata’s fifth knowledge power about convictions.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

8. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are the various worlds and numberless elements. As a result of really knowing them, this is called the Tathāgata’s sixth knowledge power about elements.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

9. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata knows as they really are all the destinations and paths. As a result of really knowing it, this is called the Tathāgata’s seventh knowledge power about destinations and paths.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

10. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata remembers numberless kinds of past lives. That is, [he remembers] one birth, two births, three, four, and five births, 10, 20 to 100 births, 1,000 births, numberless hundreds of thousands of births, or hundreds of thousands of eons of formation and decay and the events of formation and decay. ‘I was born there among those sentient beings. Thus was my name, thus my caste, thus my clan, thus my meals and pleasures and pains, and thus my life span, long or short. When my life ended, I was born in a certain place. Dying here, I was born there. Dying there, I was born here.’ These events, attributes, conditions, and locations are of numberless kinds. He remembers his past lives, knowing them as they really were. As a result of really knowing them, this is called the Tathāgata’s eighth knowledge power of remembering past lives.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

11. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata sees all the world’s sentient beings as they are born and die with the pure heavenly eye that transcends that of humans. Whether they are beautiful or ugly, noble or inferior, born in good or bad destinations, he knows and sees as it really is that these things follow the actions they perform. If sentient beings perform unskillful physical, verbal, and mental actions, slander noble ones, and produce wrong views, then their causes are the combined accumulation of wrong views and actions. As a result of those causes and conditions, when their bodies break up and their lives end, they fall into bad destinations, being born in hell. If sentient beings perform skillful physical, verbal, and mental actions, don’t slander noble ones, and produce right view, then their causes are the combined accumulation of right view and actions. As a result of those causes and conditions, when their bodies break up and their lives end, they’re born in a good destination in the heavenly realm. He knows such events as they really are. As a result of really knowing them, this is the Tathāgata’s ninth knowledge power regarding the heavenly eye.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

12. “Furthermore, the Tathāgata has ended the contaminants and increases what’s uncontaminated. His mind is liberated, and his wisdom is liberated. He sees thus the teaching, knowledge, and realization of his own fruit: ‘My births have been ended, the religious life has been established, and the task has been accomplished. I won’t be subject to a later existence, and I know it as it really is.’ As a result of really knowing it, this is the Tathāgata’s tenth knowledge power about ending the contaminants.

“The Tathāgata, Arhat, and Completely Awakened One who’s endowed with these powers comprehends a vast and supreme standpoint. Amid a great assembly, he roars the lion’s roar and turns the sublime Brahma wheel.

13. Once the Bhagavān had spoken this sūtra, the assembly of monks that heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced, believed, and approved of it.

Notes

  1. This sūtra is parallel with AN 6.64 and 10.21, SA 11.41, T780, and T802. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 13 December 2020