Four bases of miraculous powers

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The four bases of miraculous powers (Skt. caturṛddhipāda; Tib. རྫུ་འཕྲུལ་གྱི་རྐང་པ་བཞི་, Wyl. rdzu 'phrul gyi rkang pa bzhi) are the third group of practices in the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment, practised at the greater level of the path of accumulation. They are called bases (literally 'legs') of miraculous powers because they provide the foundation for the subsequent attainment of the six clear perceptions and so on:

  1. intention (Skt. canda; Tib. འདུན་པ་, Wyl. 'dun pa)
  2. diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་, Wyl. brtson 'grus)
  3. attention (Skt. citta; Tib. སེམས་པ་, Wyl. sems pa)
  4. discernment (Skt. mīmāṃsā; Tib. དཔྱོད་པ་, Wyl. dpyod pa)

The Sutra of the Ten Bhumis says:

"One trains in the base of miraculous powers of samadhi based on intention with the antidotes for abandoning. One remains in isolation, one remains free from attachment, and one remains in cessation and meditates on complete transformation. It is similar for the base of miraculous powers of samadhi based on diligence with the antidotes for abandoning, the base of miraculous powers of attention with the antidotes for abandoning and the base of miraculous powers of discernment with the antidotes for abandoning."

Khenpo Namdrol says:

"These four bases of miraculous powers are related to the four noble truths. ‘Remaining in isolation’ means isolation from suffering. ‘Free from attachment’ means freedom from the origin of suffering. Remaining in cessation denotes the cessation of suffering, and the meditation on complete transformation is the path."

Alternative Translations

  • Four bases of success (Andy Rotman)