July 22, 2010

Buddhism and the Supernatural

Today's Daily Dharma:

There is a widely held misconception in the West that Buddhism was originally a humanistic movement that made no place for gods, goddesses, and spirit beings. This, however, is not the case. Buddhist cosmology from the outset envisioned the Buddha with a host of spirits and divinities who participated in his career and offered support to those on the Buddhist path. While the Buddha transmitted the wisdom and methods whereby his followers could attain enlightenment, he commissioned his supernatural aides to attend to his congregation's immediate needs for well-being and relief from suffering.

-Miranda Shaw, "Mothers of Liberation" (Summer 2007)

Read the complete article here.

Image: Vasudara, Amrit Karmacharya, 1990s, pigment and gold on cloth, 16 x 12 inches

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Mark O'Leary's picture

If I thought belief in ghosties, boogie men and other supernatural hoo-ha was necessary to the practice of Buddhism, I would sell my zafu tomorrow.

Surrendering one's critical faculties is not a necessary feature of Dharma practice.