Jhanacittas - Supernormal powers

Those who have cultivated jhāna can develop the various types of 'direct knowledge' (abhiñña). They should attain the highest stage of rūpa-jhāna (the fourth or the fifth, according as to whether they follow the fourfold system or the fivefold system) in the kasina meditations, and they should exercise 'complete mind-control in fourteen ways'; for example, the attainment of the jhana stages in the different kasina meditations in order and in reverse order. In developing the 'kinds of direct knowledge' or 'supernormal powers', one's concentration will become more advanced. The 'supernormal powers' (abhiñña) are the following: 

1. Magical powers such as passing through walls, walking on water,      travelling through the air.

2. Divine Ear, by which one hears sounds both heavenly and human, 

    far and near.

3. Knowledge of the minds of other people.

4. Divine Eye, by which one sees the deceasing and rebirth of beings. 

5. Remembrance of one's former lives.


These are the five 'mundane supernormal powers'. However, there is a sixth

power, which is a lokuttara citta, namely, the eradication of all

defilements, when arahatship is attained. The sixth power is the greatest

and in order to attain it insight has to be fully developed.

  Sometimes three kinds of knowledge are mentioned, namely:

1. Remembrance of former lives.

2. Heavenly Eye. 

3. Destruction of the the Āsavas.


Topic 195