Buddhas and Signs

"After this, Bhagvat spoke to the venerable Subhuti, 'Wherever there is, O Subhuti, the possession of signs, there is falsehood; wherever there is no possession of signs, there is no falsehood. Hence the Tathagata is to be seen (known) from no signs as signs.'"

"The Vagrakkhedika or Diamond Cutter." (S. B. E. Vol. XLTX. p. 115.)

"Jesus had often appealed to the witness of his works in arguing with the unbelieving Jews" (The Four Gospels by Rv. Rev. W. W. How. D. D.) and was in "possession of signs"

(1) "If I do not the works, of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works." (John. 10: 37-38.)

(2) "..............the same works that I do, bear witness of me?" (John. 5: 36)

(3) ".........believe me for the very works' sake." (John. 14: 11)

"Jesus wrought his miracles with surprising frequency. The miracles as performed by Jesus, exceed thirty in number." (Eadie. p. 440) The signs that Jesus showed were a convincing proof to some of the Jews of his time that he was sent of God:-

(1) "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a rifler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God him." (John. 3:1-2)

(2) "How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?" (John. 9:16)

(3) "If this man were not of God, he could do nothing." (John. 9: 33)

(4) "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs (Acts. 2:22)

(5) "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles." (Hebrews 2: 4)

Some of the modern Christians have a belief like some of the Jews of the time of Jesus:-

"The working of a miracle proves that the man who performed it is God's messenger, and speaks God's truth; for God works by him, and would not so lend His power to an impostor." (Eadie. p. 440)

In view of what the Buddha had said, the wonders, miracles, or signs that Jesus possessed, performed in public to convince people of his Divine mission, are, in the opinion of a devout Buddhist quite sufficient to disqualify him from being the Buddha Maitreya.

The attitude of Shankaracharya towards signs is not definitely known. It is said he had performed some wonderful supernatural works to convince his opponents. However we are leaving him out of consideration chiefly because "we know very little of Sankara's life story." (Ssnkara the Sublime by Dhirendra Pal. p. III.)

I give two instances which clear up the position of Mohammed regarding miracles : -

(1) "The following miracles were demanded of Mohammed by Koreish as proofs of his mission," (Sale. p. 281) whereupon this passage is said to have been revealed:-

"And they say, We will by no means believe on thee, until thou cause a spring of water to gush forth for us out of the earth; or thou hast a garden of palm trees and vines, and thou cause rivers to spring forth from midst thereof in abundance; or thou cause the heaven to fall down upon us, as thou hast given out, in pieces; or thou bring down God and the angels to vouch (for thee); or thou hast a house of gold; or thou ascend by a ladder to heaven: neither will we believe thy ascending (thither alone); until thou cause a book to descend unto us, (bearing witness of thee), which we may read. Answer, My Lord be praised! Am I (other) than a man, sent (as an apostle)?" (XVII. p. 281)

(2) ".............the Meccans required that Mohammed should either show them an angel descending from heaven in their sight, or raise their dead fathers, that they might discourse with them, or prevail on God and His angels to appear to them in a body,"(Sale. p. 131) whereupon this passage is said to have been revealed:-

"And though We had sent down angels unto them, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together before them all things in one view; tbey would not have believed unless God had so pleased: but the greater part of them know (it) not" (VI. p. 131.)

From the Koran it is clear that Mohammed was not in "possession of signs":-

(1) "They have sworn by God, by the most solemn oath, that if a sign came unto them they would certainly believe therein; Say, Verily signs are in the power of God alone." (VI. p. 131.)

(2) "They say, Unless a sign be sent down unto him from his Lord, (we will not believe). Answer, Signs are in the power of God alone; and I am (no more than) a public preacher." (XXIX. p. 392.)

(3) "The infidels say, Unless a sign be sent down unto him from his Lord we will not believe. Thou art (commissioned to be) a preacher only, (and not a worker of miracles)." (XIII. p. 240)

Like the words of Buddha the Quran declares that none of the apostles had the power to work miracles:-

(1) "We have formerly sent apostles before thee........and no apostle had (the power) to come with a sign, unless by the permission of God." (XIII. p. 244)

(2) "Their apostles replied unto them, We are no more than men like unto you; but God is bountiful unto such of His servants as He pleaseth: and tt is not in our (power) to give you a miraculous demonstration (of our mission), Unless by the permission of God." (XIV. p. 246)

(3) "We have sent (a great number of) apostles before thee; (the histories of some) of whom We have related unto thee, and (the histories of others) of them We have not related unto thee; but no apostle had the power to produce a sign, unless by the permission of God (XL. p. 762)

The Koran gives the reason why Mohammed was not in "possession of signs":-

"Nothing hindered Us from sending thee with miracLes, except that the former (nations) have charged them with imposture." (XVII. p. 277)

The Koran gives several instances of what is stated above. We quote a few of them:-

(a) "We gave unto the tribe of Thamud, (at their demand), the she-camel visible (to their sight); yet they dealt Unjustly with her: and We send not a prophet with miracles, but to strike terror." (XVIII. p. 277)

(b) "We heretofore gave unto Moses (the power of working) nine evident signs. And do thou ask the children of Israel (as to the story of Moses); when he had come unto them, and Pharaoh said unto him, Veriy I esteem thee, O Moses, to be deluded by sorcery." (XVII. pp. 2823)

(c) "And when Jesus the son of Mary said, O children of Israel, verily I (am) the apostle of God (sent) unto you.........and when he produced unto them evident miracles, they said, This (is) manifest sorcery." (LXI. p. 534)

We do not wonder when we come across the remark of Bosworth Smith who wrote: "Mohammedanism is a system in many respects unique, but in none more so than in this, that of the great religions of the world, it does not, in its authoritative documents rests its claims to reception upon miracles."(Mohammed and Mohammedanism. p. 156.) "There are some 17 places in the Koran in which Mohammed is challenged to work a sign, and he answers them all to the same effect,"(Ibid. p. 158) i.e. in the negative. Hence in view of what is stated above it is clear that Mohammed is the Buddha Maitreya, and not Jesus or Shankaracharya.


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