It refers to the Pali word Abhiññā , which refers to supernatural knowledge, powers and insight. Contained within Abhiññā is Chaḷabhiññā, the 6 supernatural facilities of the mind. These are:
- Pubbenivasnussati – the power to remember the past lives
- Paracittavijanana – the power to discern the thoughts of others. This includes the thoughts of all beings such as animals, spirits and human beings etc,
- Dibbasota – known as the Divine Ear, or clairaudience, which enables one to hear anything regardless of distance. Also, the capability to hear other beings in different dimensions.
- Dibbacakkhu – known as the Divine Eye, or clairvoyance, which enables one to peer into both physical and non-physical realms, regardless of distance. Under Dibbacakkhu, there are 3 subsets of abilities;
- Cutupapatanana – knowledge with regards to the death and rebirth of beings,
- Anagatamsanana – knowledge with regards to the future,
- Yathakammupaganana – knowledge with regards to the faring of beings according to their own good and bad deeds.
- Iddhividha – All other forms of miracles such as walking on water, passing through walls or into the ground, levitation, a creation of forms (in the Buddhist sutta, Moggallāna was said to change into a Naga to fight against Nandopananda, the King of the Nagas),
- Asvakkhayanana – knowledge with regard to the extinction of passions and ignorance. It is only developed by one who has gained emancipation.
The above 5 powers can be developed by anyone. However, the 6th supramundane abilities can only be attained by a liberated person, such as an Arahant.
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