Monday, July 16, 2007

Miraculous Power

Miraculous Power
In Buddhism, it is recognized that supernatural or miraculous power is possible and can be attained through training. However, Buddha Sakyamuni discouraged all display of miraculous power as the proof of of spiritual attainment. The following story illustrates the Buddha's attitude towards miraculous powers.
One day the Buddha was waiting by the river bank for a boat to ferry him across the river. An ascetic passed by and proudly showed off his miraculous power, crossing the river back and forth by treading over the water.
The Buddha smiled and asked him, "How long did you train to attain such power?"
"It took me thirty years!", said the ascetic.
The Buddha replied, "Thirty years? Well, I can cross the river using the boat for only one penny!"
If a wicked man can become a pure religious man, this according to Buddhism, is a practical miracle.
* The aim of spiritual practice is not to acquire psychic powers - such powers would not help one to overcome Dukkha - Suffering, pain, conflicts and death.
* Spiritual practice has the goal of attaining the mental states of happiness, peace, wisdom and freedom.
* Religious cultivation involves the practice of Dana (Charity), Sila (Morality) and Bhavana (Meditation) to rid the mind of greed, hatred and delusion.
* The acquiring of psychic powers may be a by-product of meditation but this is not important - the important thing is the purification of the mind to grow in compassion and wisdom.
With Metta,
Bro. Oh Teik Bin

No comments: