Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Discourse On Power Of Gods (浅谈神通)

The term ‘power of gods’ commonly used in Chinese culture generally refers to supernatural power in the West, it is synonymous in Tantric practices as ‘siddhi’. The common practices to gain these powers of gods are mainly meditation, fasting and chanting mantras.


Basically there are two ways to gain supernatural powers: gifted (果报) and trained (修炼).


The gifted folks obtained supernatural powers when they are born. People believe that it is due to their previous accumulated merits and when the karmic fruits are ripened (机缘), the power manifests automatically in these gifted folks. However, these gifted powers are not permanent. If these gifted psychics do not continue to practice or they use their powers to swindle money and flirting around; then their power will also fade accordingly. I have personally seen many of such cases and while lamenting the lost of these psychics, nobody will ever trust them again. As the saying goes:



“He prayed to the heaven, the heaven kept silent.

He then prayed to the mother earth, the earth doesn’t respond.

He turned to his fellow members, no one heeds him.”


Personally, I would think that the psychic powers obtained through training are more lasting than the gifted ones that behave as if loose cannons. Religions holistically speaking, forbid followers to gain psychic powers with an exception.  Taoism however, specifically trained to gain psychic powers through rituals, mantras and talismans.


In Buddhism, psychic powers should be treated as a byproduct of orthodox Buddhist training. The reason why the Buddha rejects the practice of psychic power is that these powers gained through many years of practices are not permanent. This standpoint is generally stated in the Vajra Sutra (金刚经):



All worldly endeavors are as if dreams and reflections on bubbles,

They are as if morning dew and also lightning.

Hence, we should treat (these efforts) as such.


I have collected some sort of training that perhaps may give the trainees some sort of supernatural power and shall be sharing here in this blog later.

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