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Quoted below is from, Kitagiri Sutta MN 70

…There is the case where, when conviction has arisen, one visits [a teacher]. Having visited, one grows close. Having grown close, one lends ear. Having lent ear, one hears the Dhamma. Having heard the Dhamma, one remembers it. Remembering, one penetrates the meaning of the teachings. Penetrating the meaning,

The question is where it says “one remember the Dhamma ” does this mean that the person is recollecting from previous forgotten knowledge? To be specific does mindstream-continuum from previous life reaching the person been thought contain knowledge of the Dhamma albeit forgotten?

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Is there concept of recollection in Buddhism?

Recollection meditation is a form of contemplative meditation. You should recollect as such, in the case of recollection of the Dhamma:

  • Well-taught is the True Teaching [the Dharma] of the Blessed One,

  • visible here and now,

  • immediate,

  • inviting one to come and see,

  • accessible,

  • to be personally known by the wise.

Source: (Agata,phala) Mahanama Sutta, Dhajagga Sutta

The outcome of this contemplative practice if done right is:

  • mind is straight

  • gains inspired knowledge in the goal [the meaning of Dharma],

  • gains inspired knowledge in the truth [the Dharma],

  • gains gladness connected with the Dharma;

  • when he is gladdened, zest is born;

  • when the mind is zestful, the body is tranquil;

  • the tranquil body feels happy;

  • when one is happy the mind becomes concentrated.

Source: (Agata,phala) Mahanama Sutta


The question is where it says “one remember the Dhamma ” does this mean that the person is recollecting from previous forgotten knowledge?

In the Kīta,giri Sutta mentions the following list with regard to training:

  1. he who has faith (in a teacher) approaches him.

  2. Approaching him, he respectfully draws near to him.

  3. Respectfully drawing near to him, he lends his ear [listens attentively] to him.

  4. He who lends his ear, listens to the Dharma.

  5. Having listened to the Dharma, he remembers [memorizes] it.

  6. Having remembered the teachings, he investigates their meaning.

  7. Having investigated their meaning, he reflectively accepts the teachings.

  8. Having reflectively accepted the teachings, desire [will-power] arises in him.

  9. When desire [will-power] has arisen in him, he exerts himself [he applies his will].

  10. Having exerted himself [Having applied his will], he weighs [balances his practice].

  11. Having weighed [balanced his practice], he strives on.

  12. Having strived, he realizes through his own body the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.

What is said here is to learn attentively, remember what is taught and understand the theory and practice.

To be specific does mindstream-continuum from previous life reaching the person been thought contain knowledge of the Dhamma albeit forgotten?

This remembering is to commit to memory what has been though and nothing to do with past life recollections.


In Buddhist meditation there are also techniques to recollect past lives. For this you have to develop abhiññā through Jhana.

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See this question and the answers below. It is indeed possible in the Buddhist view to remember past lives.

However in the quote presented I believe they are talking about remembering a teacher's Dhamma within the same lifetime it was taught. It seems to more be speaking towards interdependence of events and causality than the remembrance of past lives.

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