After reading Mahasihanada Sutta, I think many modern “Buddhists” (especially the western secular, EBT & eastern Buddhadasa’s followers) misunderstood who the Buddha really is.
The Buddha wasn’t just some random guy on the street, went for meditation and poof… Enlightenment. He was not a thinker, or philosopher or scientist of anything at all. He was not the originator of the Dhamma too. He was not an ordinary being like the rest of us (because of his great compassion and understanding, which all of us don’t have).
On the contrary, the Buddha is the one who sees all things are they are, knowledge of all phenomena appeared to him as long as he wish to know it, and such achievement is brought by the all Parami perfections cultivated lives after lives with great effort and determination. He is endowed with various supernormal powers and truly incomparable (“Miracles” of “Jesus Christ” of Christianity and “Muhammad” of Islam, couldn’t even compare to the supernormal powers of the Gotama Buddha, just like comparing the size of a bacteria compared to that of a planet, there is no comparison at all.)
And if anyone denied the Buddha as such, I think there will be no good ending.
“Sāriputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: ‘The recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma merely hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it occurs to him’—unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as surely as if he had been carried off and put there he will wind up in hell. Just as a bhikkhu possessed of virtue, concentration, and wisdom would here and now enjoy final knowledge, so it will happen in this case, I say, that unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as surely as if he had been carried off and put there he will wind up in hell."
I am sure those so-called EBT supporters, secular Buddhists and Buddhadasa’s followers aware of this Sutta. But somehow they still reluctant to accept the Gotama Buddha for who He really is.
I think the Buddha here was giving assurance to the certainty.
If people denied the enlightenment of Gotama Buddha and don’t change their views till death, then they will certainly reborn in Hell. But because of the Buddha’s power or punishment, but rather the bad Kammas accumulated through their hatred and arrogance cause it to happen.
So too, whoever practice the teaching and fulfilled Sila, Samadhi and Paññā, this person is assured to gain Enlightenment soon.
Therefore, monks, whatever Teachings have, with deep knowledge, been taught by me, after grasping them well, you should practise, develop, and make a lot of them, so that the Spiritual Life may last long, and may endure for a long time, and that will be for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, benefit, and happiness of Divinities and men.
Generally abhiññā is interpreted as “super normal knowledge”.
And I’m not sure the above interpretation “deep knowledge” (ven Anandajoti’s) as well as the interpretation “direct knowlege” (ven Sujato’s) renders the proper meaning.
Buddhadatta Dic: Abhiññā (f.) special knowledge; supernormal power.
Nyanatiloka Dic: Abhiññā The 6 ‘higher powers’, or supernormal knowledge’s, consist of 5 mundane (lokiya, q.v.) powers attainable through the utmost perfection in mental concentration (samādhi, q.v.) and one supermundane (lokuttara, q.v.) power attainable through penetrating insight (vipassanā, q.v.), i.e. extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya; s. āsava), in other words, realization of Arahatship or Holiness. They are: (1) magical powers (iddhi-vidha), (2) divine ear (dibba-sota), (3) penetration of the minds of others (ceto-pariya-ñāṇa), (4) remembrance of former existences (pubbe-nivāsānussati), (5) divine eye (dibba-cakkhu), (6) extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya).
Wrong view is said worse than killing own parents because one with wrong view would end up in hell, staying there to end of earth, and after the end of earth will have to be born in a similar hell in another planet.
Some beings are certainly going to attain liberation (nibbana) because they are on Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
Some beings might attain liberation.
Some beings are never to attain liberation because they walk the opposite direction, on opposite path or the ignoble path: wrong view, wrong resolve…
Nothing worse than wrong views. Hence, there are two paths: Noble Eightfold Path, and the opposite path that starts with wrong view… as the opposite path. As the right view leads to Nibbana, wrong view leads to samsara. We have been in Samsara because of wrong views. About the hell is explained by Mogoke Sayadaw. It’s in Burmese. Actually, any person with micca-ditthi (wrong view) is destined to apaya.
The Buddha said that the root cause of falling into Apayagati (woeful and miserable plane of existence) must be exterminated and uprooted. The root cause is the manifestation of Miccha Ditthi. Those who have Miccha Ditthi inherent in them have no compunction to take the life of a being, to steal, to commit sexual misconduct, to commit matricide and to even commit the greatest crime of shedding the blood of the Buddha. Hence all sorts of wrong doings and misdeeds are the outcome of Miccha Ditthi.
The Ten Wrong Views (Miccha Ditti) – thebuddhadhamma The wrong view or Miccha Ditti in the other hand, said to be the view of the Nihilists, is identified as the ‘definite wrong view’, Niyatha Micca Ditti , that destines one to lower realms, i.e four states of deprivation ( sathra apaya) and conceal one’s path toward enlightenment or Nibbana.
‘Twenty kinds of Sakkaya Ditthi can never lead a being to the Sugati but instead it can lead him down to Duggati (Apaya Bhumi). As the pebbles of the size of a pea can never float on the water so never could a being with Sakkaya ditthi come up and float on the surface of Samsara.’
Sakkaya Ditthi is the breeding and the birth place of the sixty two kinds of Ditthi. Depending on Sakkaya Ditthi all kinds of Ditthi arise, hence the Buddha said, 'SatthiyaViyaOmatho, Dashyamanova matthake; Sakkayaditthim Pahanaya, SatoBhikkhuParibbhaje’. It means, as a man who has caught fire on his head and being pierced by a spear on the chest so the Bhikkhu who is mindful should try to eliminate Sakkaya Ditthi with all haste.