Points of Controversy

21.4. Of Supernormal Potency (Iddhi)

Controverted Point: That either a Buddha or his disciples have the power of supernormally performing what they intend.

Theravādin: Do you imply that the one or the other could effect such wishes as “Let trees be ever green! ever blossoming! ever in fruit! Let there be perpetual moonlight! Let there be constant safety! Let there be constant abundance of alms! Let there be always abundance of grain”? Or such wishes as “Let this factor of consciousness that has arisen contact, feeling, etc., not cease!” Or such wishes as “Let this body, this mind, become permanent!” Or such wishes as “Let beings subject to birth, old age, disaster, death, not be born, grow old, be unfortunate, die!” All this you deny. Where then is your proposition?

Andhakas: But if I am wrong, how was it that when the venerable Pilindavaccha resolved: “Let the palace of Seniya Bimbisara, King of Magadha, be only of gold!” it was even so?…