Supernatural Powers; is it ever justified?

First of all i understand the Buddha and many monks specifically mentioned that one should not yearn for such powers as it would cloud one’s journey and meditation.

It is not supernatural powers of able to fly, float, being at two places at one time etc that were mentioned in Buddhist tales or according to some modern day belief that some monks were able to do it.

But it is the ability to remember one’s past live that i am interested in. There are lots of questions pertaining to my life that is unanswered.

The nature of these questions are mostly regarding the situation of my life and how many people i’ve met in my life seemed to treat me in an unfavourable ways even when i’ve showered them with kindness and generosity. There were some that seem to just even go out of the way to make things hard for me even if it doesn’t benefit themselves.

I know, i could just attribute these to normal human behaviors where we are living in a dog eat dog world. However, the Buddhist side of me wants deeper answers. There were times where i made resolution when i was in meditation that i hope i would be able to see what kind of karma i’ve commit in my past lives to warrant such a state now.

The reason i am interested is in hoping, after knowing what actually happened, i would be able to readily accept what is happening and will hold no grudge towards my debtors.

So my question is, is it ever justified for wanting these kind of powers? Or am i down a deluded path?

Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

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This is just my personal opinion, but it seems to me that blaming oneself for one’s own personal misfortunes, especially when the causes of those misfortunes are obscure and hidden in the past, is burdensome suffering, and an unwholesome reaction that we should try to bring to an end.

Similarly, the Buddha also clearly taught that blaming others for our misfortunes is also a burden that we should try to put down.

Trying to get relief from these kinds of suffering by identifying some starting point for them in the past strikes me as futile, because even if you see events in the past from which the present misfortune seems to arise, one is then left with the question, “Why did those events occur?” Such a quest seems endless.

It seems better to just let go of blame altogether, both toward oneself and others, and not make this forgiveness contingent on figuring out where good fortune and bad fortune come from.

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This is definitely a sticky subject, but it seems to me the more you desire to develop these things, the more likely it is they won’t happen or at least not happen in their full form. If they happen, fine, if not, that’s fine too. I think desire for these powers is an obstruction on the path. I totally understand the inclination to want to understand your “account balance” of kamma, unfortunately we’re mostly just flying blind here and have to do the best we can not knowing.

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…and that is all one can do. If you are to develop these abilities it will happen, beyond your control.

I’m certain all of us have a certain amount of bad karma- it is like the weather- can we ever hope for good weather only?

I don’t want this to sound harsh, but Buddhism isn’t going to stop bad things from happening to you. The 8 worldly conditions of praise, blame etc will always happen. What Buddhism offers is to stop the suffering they cause. This is a worthy goal - the cessation of suffering. The path is to reduce craving, aversion and delusion.

I hope you find this forum useful, and welcome!

with metta


It is not only you even Buddha had to face the eight worldly conditions.
How I address this issue is by extending my loving kindness and support to the very people who try to make my life difficult.

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