There is a part of Buddhism that not many people even know about. It involves the supernatural experiences called “abhinna“(Abijna, Abhinnanana).
If you’ve read some of this blog, you may have seen me talk about my absence of knowledge of the higher states of meditation. I was clueless really. I didn’t know the word “Jhana” at the time. Even less so, the word abhinna. The abhinnas are these supernatural realms the Buddha talked about. One which you are probably familiar with involves the ability to recall past lives.
Here in Thailand, there are said to be Buddhist monks that have powers, some of which match the abhinnas. Thais are very superstitious. They bother the monks for numbers for the lottery! They consult with monks to see if they can tell them anything about their future, or help them to have good luck, good health in the future.
Most Buddhists believe in giving the temples and monks something special to gain favor. Some come to the temple to give food. Some meet the monks on the street to give food every morning. Some give donations of tens of millions of dollars so abbots of gigantic temples can build a big Chedi, a big Buddha, or a new building. Thais fully believe that some monks have the power to make their lives better.
The abhinnas are said to come out of jhana 4. Or, more accurately, when someone is getting into jhana 4 regularly, the person may have some of these abhinnas start.
There are six abhinnas.
If you are interested in knowing more about these relatively unknown states of mind, I have some more posts about them here:
- What Is Abhinna?
- My Experiences with Abhinna
- Knowing Hearts and Minds – Abhinna (Abijna, Abhinnanana) experiences
- My “Divine Eye” Experience
At least some of the abhinnas are real. I’ll vouch for them. Others, I haven’t experienced, and cannot vouch for them at all. In particular, one of the abhinnas is said to give someone the power to move through solid things – walls, etc. It sounds bizarre, I know. I didn’t experience anything like that, and I won’t ask you to believe that anyone else living today has either. However, if the abhinnas that I’ve experienced are true, are real, and they certainly are… maybe that means they are all real, they are all true.
Anyway, have a look at some of the links above if you have an interest.