Could it be true for Prince Siddhattha to take seven steps immediately after he was born? How can we explain this phenomenon to a skeptic?

Buddhists today have wondered whether if it could be true for Prince Siddhattha to take seven steps immediately after he was born. How can we explain this phenomenon to a skeptic? https://dmc.tv/a3532

Dhamma Articles > Question and Answer for Life
[ Jan 15th, 2005 ] - [ read : 13613 ]
 
Question:
Dear Luang Phaw, Buddhists today have wondered whether if it could be true for Prince Siddhattha to take seven steps immediately after he was born.  How can we explain this phenomenon to a skeptic?
 
Answer
by Venerable Dhattajeevo Bhikku
 
 
 
Could the story of the newborn Siddhattha taking seven steps immediately after birth be true? Not only have you and many others wondered about it, I did too! I have been wondering about it since I was a child.  Only until the last years of college did my doubts about this occurrence disappeared.

Why do we have doubts? Let’s first start here.  Well, because the occurrence, if compared to our own experience in this world, seems incomprehensible, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t contemplate on it.  We can still reflect on it.  The question is whether the depth of our knowledge and mind is sufficient to reach the truth.

Let’s compare it to advanced Mathematics or Physics. If we presented these advanced subjects to middle school students, they will be unable to comprehend the material because their foundation is insufficient. Lord Buddha considered these kinds of questions as Acinteyyas, which means that they are beyond our comprehension.  The four things in this world which are considered Acinteyyas or incomprehensible are:

           1. The power of Lord Buddha, Buddha-visaya, which we are discussing. 

           2. The sphere of the trances, jhana-visaya; describes the exalted meditation ability of a person with an extraordinary clear mind. It brings exceptional grace and capability, such as the ability to recall past lives. 

           3. Retribution (kammavipaka) of the results of our actions. We know that doing evil brings unfavorable consequences, and doing good brings favorable results. However, kamma is more complex and intricate than that if we want to pinpoint to the exact details of what could happen from a specific action. Only when we train ourselves to the fullest extent in generosity (dana), moral conduct (sila), and mental development through meditation (bhavana) can we have the clarity of mind to do it.

For example, we now know that our body is made from the food we eat, but we cannot specify exactly which muscles are derived from which food.  We just know that our body is sustained from the food we’ve consumed.

Our intelligence is unable to clearly differentiate things that are extremely profound because there is a limit to our ability.  For that reason, Lord Buddha has taught us a simple paradigm: The Law of Karma.  There is always a consequence to our actions, whether it is positive or not.  He did not elaborate on specific details because our mind is too limited to comprehend them.

          4. Dwelling on how the world came to be, (loka-cinta); who created it or whether it occurred naturally.  Don’t waste your time contemplating it.  It is beyond our ability.  If we can recall past lives, we can then recall the Earth’s creation. Since we do not have that ability, don’t waste your energy trying to figure it out.

Now, if we use the analogy of Acinteyyas as advanced Mathematics, then our knowledge is only at the level of preschoolers. We are incapable of understanding the subject thoroughly. Therefore, to explain whether newborn Siddharta could immediately walk after birth, I will offer some helpful hints to help with your understanding:

 
1. Before Lord Buddha was born, he had accumulated a tremendous amount of merit.  In Buddhist terms, this accumulation is called the Perfections. In essence, the Perfections are accumulated merit over many lifetimes.  Merit arises when one does good deeds repeatedly.  When one puts his life at stake to do good deeds, that merit has even more potency.  This type of merit He considered the Perfections.

Lord Buddha had fully pursued the Perfections in each of His past lifetimes.   Its power gave Him “The Body with the Marks of a Great Man,” which had the thirty two auspicious signs. His body was unblemished, well shaped and proportionate. It was perfect in every way, ever since He was in his mother’s womb.  He was unlike any other child.  While He was in her womb, He was able to position Himself in a meditative position. He wasn’t moving all over the place like us in the womb.  It was the result of the tremendous merits he had tirelessly pursued.

2. He was in his mother’s womb for exactly ten months, no more and no less.

3. His every body part was flawless and perfect in shape and size.

4. While pregnant, Lord Buddha’s mother was in excellent health. More importantly, she observed the precepts diligently, maintained a clear, kind and generous mind, meditated, and gave donations during the entire pregnancy. Therefore, the little Bodhisatta was in the womb as if he was an arahant in the highest form of happiness from deep meditation (nirodha-samapatti) unlike all other babies.

Being in a sublime state of meditation, the Bodhisatta’s mind was continuously purified. As for the birth, unlike us, the Bodhisatta came into the world with his feet first, which gave stability to his body. As a result of his enormous merits from the Perfections, immediately after he was born, he touched the ground with both feet, stood up, and was able to walk with full awareness.

It is complicated to grasp the concept of karma because we are so used to bad karma that we do not recognize the effects of good karma. Let me give an example of a bad kamma. Because of negative karma, fish can swim immediately after birth, but not us. Fish and fowl were born as a result of negative karma that influenced their conditions.  However, Lord Buddha was influenced by positive karma, through the Pursuit of the Perfections.

Let me leave you with a little reminder whenever you think of the future.  Human beings have the tendency to think that everything revolves around them and anything beyond our immediate understanding simply cannot be possible. However, we must remember that the Bodhisatta, unlike us, accumulated Perfections.  His endeavor was significantly greater and fundamentally different from our own.  For this reason, His efforts became a part of His characteristics known as the Buddha Attributes.  Please listen to the things I’ve said, and do not just believe or reject it.  Focus on the practice of meditation wholeheartedly. Once you attain a crystal-clear, calm, and radiant mind, you will understand thoroughly on your own all the difficult subjects that I’ve mentioned and be able to explain them to the world much better than I can.  Just continue to practice meditation and soon you will understand.  It is not difficult.


http://goo.gl/FdEQu


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