Abhibhū

Renderings

sabbābhibhū: transcended the All

sabbalokābhibhū: transcended the whole world (of phenomena)

Introduction

The dictionaries

• PED (sv Abhibhū): overcoming, conquering, vanquishing, having power over, a Lord or Master of.

• DOP (sv Abhibhū): vanquishing, overcoming, one who surpasses, a master, a sovereign

The world and attachment

But the suttas do not support the idea that the All or the world should be conquered or vanquished, but rather that attachment should be conquered:

• He has overcome attachment to the world.
tiṇṇo loke visattikan ti (M.1.160).

This is confirmed in the following quotes, which link Sabbābhibhū to freedom from attachment:

1) I have transcended the All. I have understood the All. I do not cleave to any phenomenon. I have abandoned the All.
Sabbābhibhū sabbavidūhamasmi sabbesu dhammesu anupalitto
Sabbañjaho 
(Dh.v.353).

2) One who has transcended the All, understood the All, who is of great wisdom, who does not cleave to any phenomenon, who has abandoned the All.
Sabbābhibhuṃ sabbaviduṃ sumedhaṃ sabbesu dhammesu anupalittaṃ
Sabbañjahaṃ (Sn.v.211).

3) free of attachment, who has transcended the whole world (of phenomena)
nirupadhiṃ sabbalokābhibhuṃ (Sn.v.642; Dh.v.418).

Bhikkhu Bodhi: ‘transcended’

Bhikkhu Bodhi recognises ‘transcended’:

• I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all, unsullied among all things, renouncing all, by craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all for myself, to whom should I point as teacher?
Sabbābhibhū sabbavidūhamasmi sabbesu dhammesu anupalitto
Sabbañjaho taṇhakkhaye vimutto sayaṃ abhiññāya kamuddiseyyaṃ
(Bodhi, M.1.171).

• Suppose I were to abide with a mind abundant and exalted, having transcended the world and made a firm determination with the mind.
Yaṃnūnāhaṃ vipulena mahaggatena cetasā vihareyyaṃ abhibhuyya lokaṃ adhiṭṭhāya manasā (Bodhi, M.2.262).

The All

• And what is the All? The visual sense and visible objects, the auditory sense and audible objects, the olfactory sense and smellable objects, the gustatory sense and tasteable objects, the tactile sense and tangible objects, the mental sense and mentally known objects. This is called the All.
Kiñca bhikkhave sabbaṃ. Cakkhuñceva rūpā ca sotañca saddā ca ghānañca gandhā ca jivhā ca rasā ca kāyo ca phoṭṭhabbā ca mano ca dhammā ca. Idaṃ vuccati bhikkhave sabbaṃ. (S.4.15).

Illustrations

Illustration: sabbābhibhū, transcended the All

I have transcended the All. I have understood the All. I do not cleave to any phenomenon. I have abandoned the All. I am liberated (from perceptually obscuring states) through the destruction of craving. Having fully understood (the All) by myself, who could I designate (as my teacher)?
Sabbābhibhū sabbavidūhamasmi sabbesu dhammesu anupalitto
Sabbañjaho taṇhakkhaye vimutto sayaṃ abhiññāya kamuddiseyyaṃ
(Dh.v.353).

Illustration: sabbābhibhuṃ, transcended the All

One who has transcended the All, understood the All, who is of great wisdom, who does not cleave to any phenomenon, who has abandoned the All, who is liberated (from perceptually obscuring states) through the destruction of craving, the wise know him as truly a sage.
Sabbābhibhuṃ sabbaviduṃ sumedhaṃ sabbesu dhammesu anupalittaṃ
Sabbañjahaṃ taṇhakkhaye vimuttaṃ taṃ vāpi dhīrā muniṃ vedayanti (Sn.v.211).

Illustration: sabbalokābhibhuṃ, transcended the whole world (of phenomena)

One who has abandoned both sensuous delight and disgruntlement (with the celibate life), who is freed from inward distress, free of attachment, who has transcended the whole world (of phenomena), a Hero, he is what I call a Brahman.

Hitvā ratiñca aratiñca sītibhūtaṃ nirupadhiṃ
Sabbalokābhibhuṃ vīraṃ tamahaṃ brūmi brāhmaṇaṃ
(Sn.v.642; Dh.v.418).

COMMENT

Sabbalokābhibhuṃ: ‘transcended the whole world (of phenomena).’ Which is defined in this quote:

• ‘Whatever is destined to decay is called ‘the world (of phenomena)’ in the (terminology of the) Noble One’s training system.
Yaṃ kho ānanda palokadhammaṃ ayaṃ vuccati ariyassa vinaye loko (S.4.53).

Illustration: abhibhuyya lokaṃ, transcending the world (of sensuous pleasure)

How about if I, by transcending the world (of sensuous pleasure) with resolve, were to abide with an awareness that was abundant and enlarged? Having done so, unvirtuous, spiritually unwholesome mental states such as greed, ill will, and aggressiveness would not exist. With their abandonment, my mind would become immeasurable, unlimited, and well developed.’
Yaṃnūnāhaṃ vipulena mahaggatena cetasā vihareyyaṃ abhibhuyya lokaṃ adhiṭṭhāya manasā. Vipulena hi me mahaggatena cetasā viharato abhibhuyya lokaṃ adhiṭṭhāya manasā ye pāpakā akusalā mānasā abhijjhāpi vyāpādāpi sārambhāpi te na bhavissanti. Tesaṃ pahānā aparittañca me cittaṃ bhavissati appamāṇaṃ subhāvitan ti (M.2.262).