Is the ability to perform miracles a sign of Enlightenment? I wrote this article in response to somebody's claim that his master is "Enlightened" because he could perform "miracles" like glowing in the dark.

In one sutra in the Digha Nikaya, the Buddha was asked to perform miracles so that "those who do not believe will believe, and those who already believe will have more faith". The Buddha's answer was something like this: "The Enlightened One can perform such miracles: He can read minds, He can float in the air, He can pass thru solid objs etc etc etc. However, the Greatest miracle is the Miracle of the Dharma, the Teaching that destroys all sufferings. Thus, this is the only miracle I will perform here".

Also, it's note-worthy that in the Vinya, monks are specifically banned from levitating in public. (This was after an incident where a monk showed off his levitation skills in public & was scolded by the Buddha for being like a "prostitute").

The ability to perform miracles does not make one an Enlightened One. In my part of the world, mediums perform miracles on a routine basis. I've seen some of them with my own eyes. They're a dying breed as more people turn to xtainity and Buddhism, but there r still mediums around who perform miracles on a daily basis. Interestingly, none of them ever claimed to be enlightened.

If one were to judge if a person is Enlightened just by his performing miracles, there'r plenty of them around. I think one of the true marks of Enlightenment is when the Enlightened One *refrains* from performing miracles, like the Buddha has taught. The Enlightened One knows that the greatest miracle of all is the destruction of sufferings (ie the Dharma) and He does not have to resort to showing off his magical powers to teach, spread and share his Dharma. He is confident that the power of the Dharma alone can change lives and bring about faith, peace and happiness. If a teacher has to resort to showing off miracles to spread his Dharma, something must be very wrong.