Saturday, July 10, 2010

Can Animals have Psychic Powers?

It's the hottest craze now: Paul the "psychic" octopus from Germany predicting the outcomes of World Cup matches and is 100% accurate so far. Many in the world are amazed by him, some love him, others hate him and want to make him into calamari. But whatever they think of him, they simply could not ignore him! But the thing most people want to ask is: do animals with special powers exist? The answer is yes. Tales of mystical creatures smarter and more powerful than humans exist in the mythologies of every culture in the world - they cannot all be false and products of the human imagination. In ancient Chinese culture, there are special tortoises that are used by the Imperial Astrologers to make accurate Yi Jing divination. Even after they die, their shells are still used to make such divination with the same effect. This practice continues until today, where ordinary fortune-tellers also use tortoise shells to put their coins for making predictions.

The Buddhist scriptures say: "If I shall head for the animal realm, may all animals become wise." Many a time Bodhisattvas will manifest in animal form to help and teach sentient beings the Dharma. Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion for example, has an animal form which is called Hayagriva, or Horse-head Guanyin. Like a horse desiring grass and water, he rushes to help all those who call upon him. Lord Buddha himself was reborn as an animal in many of his previous lives, and in all those existences he was wiser than many humans. He had the perfection of truth and by reciting those acts of truth he was able to cause miracles to happen. It did not matter whether he was a monkey, a fish, an otter, a deer, a lion or an elephant. These stories are all recorded in the Jataka tales, and well known in all Buddhist cultures. It is due to the influence of such stories, as well as the precept of refraining from taking lives that Buddhists develope a respect for all living beings. Thus animals are treated with equal respect as humans, if not more so. Why? Because they could very well be manifestations of the Bodhisattvas!

Coming back to the octopus, I believe it has shown great ability and should be respected as a divine creature by its host country. The Book of Odes say, "When a nation is about to prosper, there will be auspicious signs." Whenever divine creatures appear, it is a sign that country will enjoy peace and prosperity in the near future. Germans should not be angry that the octopus accurately predicted the 2 previous matches where Germany lost, but should instead rejoice that there is such an amazing sea creature in their country. It would be auspicious indeed for the people of Germany to treat it well until the end of its natural life, for it is sure to bring the country luck.

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