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Ten powers of a buddha

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Ten powers of a buddha are powers that are unique to the buddhas that identified in both Pali and Sanskrit sources, where they are described as "powers of knowing" (jñāna-bala).[1][2] They are also called ten powers or ten strengths.

The ten powers are:[1]

(1) knowing what is possible and what is impossible (sthānāsthāna-jñāna­bala, gnas dang gnas ma yin pa mkhyen pa);
(2) knowing the ripening of karma (karmavipāka­jñāna­bala, las kyi rnam smin mkhyen pa);
(3) knowing the various inclinations (nānādhimukti­jñāna­bala, mos pa sna tshogs mkhyen pa);
(4) knowing the various elements (nānādhātu­jñāna­bala, khams sna tshogs mkhyen pa);
(5) knowing the supreme and lesser faculties (indriya­parāpara­jñāna­bala, dbang po mchog dang mchog ma yin pa mkhyen pa);
(6) knowing the paths that lead to all destinations (sarvatra­gāminī­pratipaj­jñāna­bala, thams cad du ’gro ba’i lam mkhyen pa);
(7) knowing the concentrations, liberations, absorptions, equilibriums, afflictions, purifications, and abidings (dhyāna­vimokṣa­samādhi­samāpatti­saṃkleśa­vyavadāna­vyutthāna­jñāna­bala, bsam gtan dang rnam thar dang ting ’dzin dang snyoms ’jug dang kun nas nyon mongs pa dang rnam par byang ba dang ldan ba thams cad mkhyen pa);
(8) knowing the recollection of past existences (pūrva­nivāsānusmṛti­jñāna­bala, sngon gyi gnas rjes su dran pa mkhyen pa);
(9) knowing death and rebirth (cyutyupapatti­jñāna­bala, ’chi ’pho ba dang skye ba mkhyen pa); and
(10) knowing the exhaustion of the defilements (āsravakṣaya­jñāna­bala, zag pa zad pa mkhyen pa).

The list if found in numerous sources. For example, the list is found in the Mahāvyutpatti (119–129).

For a list of canonical references to the ten powers, see Lamotte 2001, pp. 1234–35. As Lamotte points out, there are numerous minor variations in the order of these ten powers in the various canonical sources. For a detailed presentation of each of the ten powers, see Lamotte, pp. 1235–79.[1]

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