Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Power of Magic in Buddhism

In the Mahayana Buddhism, venerable Pindola Bharadvaja is one of the Buddha’s sixteen disciples named in The Amitabha Sutra. He was trained under the Buddha’s auspices and he attained the holy fruit of Arahant. Once when in a jubilant mood, he said to the faithful, “Do you think flying in the sky is magical? I will show you some spectacular acts."

Venerable Pindola Bharadvaja then jumped up into the sky, flew all around and performed many other miraculous acts. The faithful and those surrounding at that time were all impressed and praised him without ceasing. However, the Lord Buddha was very displeased upon learning of this incident, he asked the Venerable to come forth and admonished him,  “My teaching uses morality to change others and compassion to save living beings. My teaching prohibit to use magic to impress and confuse people, this is the example of why Lord Buddha refused his disciples to performed magic. Lord Buddha said, you have misused the magic power today and as the results, you are punished for committing this action, I order you to stay in this world to work for more merits and to repent sincerely for this misbehavior before entering Nirvana”

Despite being an Arahant, Venerable Bharadvaja misused his power. As the result, he did not in his lifetime enter Nirvana and because of this, he still has to live and suffer amongst us. The power of magic cannot increase our virtue or eradicate defilement. Therefore, careless use will only build more obstacles to emancipation. It is obvious that magic is not the solution for cycles of rebirth (Enlightenment). Only practicing virtue is the way and steady approach toward the Buddha Path.

Source from Buddhist Wisdom Hall Group