The first power of the Buddha -- knowing truths as truths & falsehoods as falsehoods?

Hi I’m wondering about the translation of the following:

“Idha, sāriputta, tathāgato ṭhānañca ṭhānato aṭṭhānañca aṭṭhānato yathābhūtaṁ pajānāti.”

The Chinese agama parallels translated it as “knowing truths as truths & falsehoods as falsehoods” [“於 是處 如實知 是處,於 非處 如 實知 非處]. I think this makes much more sense for the first power of the Buddha, than "the Tathāgata understands as it actually is the possible as possible and the impossible as impossible. "

Your input is appreciated.


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In Theravada the powers are the most active qualities possible, and possible/impossible refers to action, not theory. These powers constitute the muscle of the path (iddhi-pada). For example passive mindfulness cannot overcome the hindrances, application of the opposite is required to do so.