Saturday, October 24, 2009

Koran verses appearing on baby

This week there was an interesting report on a 9-month old baby boy in Russia's southern republic of Dagestan, who had verses from the Koran appearing and fading away from his body every few days. This mysterious case baffled the doctors, nurses and Muslim leaders who examined the baby. Since then, thousands of Muslim pilgrims are flocking to his parents house to catch a glimpse of this "miracle baby".

Naturally, Muslims will see this as an assurance of their faith. Even though skeptics have dismissed this story as yet another hoax, I believe the wise should give it the benefit of doubt until proven false. According to scriptures of Abrahamic religions, every time God wished to communicate with Mankind, he will do so through his prophets, angels or miraculous signs. So if God wished to use the baby as his scroll, it is perfectly normal for him to do so. But whether this story is true or not is not important; what is more important is whether the warring factions in that region are willing to abandon the anger in their hearts and end the conflict.

As such, we are reminded again of the futility of belief in an Almighty God; who is said to be able to create or destroy anything at will, yet cannot make the world a more peaceful and happy place to live in. So many people have abused his name to commit all sorts of atrocities and acts of terror, but God is also unable to stop them. Indeed, despite his limitless powers God also cannot make Man relinquish evil and cultivate goodness even if he wanted to. Ultimately it is Man himself who must decide his own path by choosing to follow either good or evil in his mind, and reap the fruits of his actions accordingly. Such is the law of Karma that applies to all beings universally, no matter whether you are human, animal, God, angel or whatever else.

That is why Buddhism does not emphasize on miracles of divine manifestations or psychic powers, but the miracle of instruction, which leads Man to change himself from within his own heart, not externally. Thus the Kevatta Sutta says:

"And what is the miracle of instruction? There is the case where a monk gives instruction in this way: 'Direct your thought in this way, don't direct it in that. Attend to things in this way, don't attend to them in that. Let go of this, enter and remain in that.' This, Kevatta, is called the miracle of instruction."

Skillfully refining his own mind, avoiding all evil and cultivating all that is good, Man gradually reaches the end of all suffering. That is the true miracle.

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