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I have heard and read that relics of Buddha have certain supernatural powers. I was reading a book once that said that it is not the relic alone that performs these supernatural acts but the deities that protect the relic. Can anyone help me understand this. thanks!

  • The sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is said to be capable of making rain – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 18 '16 at 13:32
  • @SankhaKulathantille Yes I have heard so but is the deities protecting it that makes it rain? – Heisenberg Mar 19 '16 at 7:52
  • Hard to tell unless you develop the faculty of the divine eye :) – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 19 '16 at 10:46
  • @SankhaKulathantille I have heard all dathu of Buddha converge to a particular place and perform the yama maha pelahara before the end of Buddhism in this era. Only a Buddha can do this and I doubt deities can perform such a miracle. I do not know whether this is true though. – Heisenberg Mar 19 '16 at 11:16
  • Yes, it will happen after about another 2500 years. It happens due to an Adhiṭṭhāna of the Buddha himself. Not because of deities. – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 19 '16 at 11:30
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The supernormal acts can happen in 2 ways:

  • The Person has Jhanic powers and made a strong determination that so and so should happen with the relicts
  • A deva or being which the power influence matter in the human realm influences the relicts

Generally in my opinion the latter is happens when relicts mysteriously appear in shrine rooms and places of worship. If the relicts do not get veneration in where they are a deva may bring them to another place where they might get the veneration.

The former case may be associated with crystallizing of the relicts. E.g.: http://www.bdcu.org.au/bddronline/bddr12no7/Mun168.htm

  • Is there a way to distinguish between the two – Heisenberg Mar 18 '16 at 12:51
  • This might be distinguishable to someone who has developed psychic abilities to the needed extent to identify between the two. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 18 '16 at 15:22
  • If it relics of the Buddha or one of the great Arahats or a monk with super normal ability it can very well be the former. If it is a monk with high virtue and spiritual attainment but not noted for psychic abilities then it might be the latter. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 18 '16 at 15:28
  • Yes it is the latter which happens. Power of deva or such influence relics. I have read it in a book of Ven. Rerukane Chandawimala thero. – seeker Mar 19 '16 at 3:51
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    @DewminiGunasekera Yes I read about it in the same book! – Heisenberg Mar 19 '16 at 7:52
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I have heard and read that relics of Buddha have certain supernatural powers. I was reading a book once that said that it is not the relic alone that performs these supernatural acts but the deities that protect the relic. Can anyone help me understand this. thanks!

Sadly what you have heard and read is just some conjured up mumbo jumbo propagated by trinket peddlers, and has nothing to do with the Dhamma. True practitioners will stir clear from these baseless and blatantly false stories. Once the idea has been embedded in a devout person that a certain relic has supernatural powers its very difficult to get rid of such ideas.

The Buddha on many occasions referred to his body has foul object, in his latter years, he referred to it as a derelict cart plastered together. After his demise the foul thing was burnt.

People who are unable to realize the nature of impermanence, who have yet to destroy the view of self pertaining to the body (form) and the other khandas, say such things as the Buddha's immortality and continued existence through remaining pieces of bone.

Many Sri Lankans fall gullible, or at least used to, when some monks claim to display relics of great Arhats of the past. In most cases its a money making scam. These days people want more definitive proof about the origins and authenticity of such relics.

There is certainly a sense of nostalgia and awe to be in presence of a the relics of the a great man. However, the mindful realize that its not the relics that are great, but the life and the dhamma of the person who lived, and for the truly motivated, we don't need relics.

May you be well and happy.

  • "After his demise the foul thing was burnt". This is a vile statement. We all know what happens to people who destroy Buddha statues etc. So I would caution you, out of respect, to be more respectful when it comes to the actual relics of Buddha – Heisenberg Mar 20 '16 at 13:26
  • I mean no disrespect. However if the Buddha called out something, especially his body as foul who am I to say otherwise. The Buddha on numerous times instructed his disciples to pay heed to the dhamma and not his body. – Kaveenga Wijayasekara Mar 20 '16 at 23:08

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