DN11.1. The Demonstration of Psychic Power

Kevaṭṭa Sutta ("With Kevaddha")

“Kevaddha, there are three kinds of demonstration, which I declare having realized them with my own insight. What three? The demonstration of psychic power, the demonstration of revealing, and the demonstration of instruction.

And what is the demonstration of psychic power? It’s a mendicant who wields the many kinds of psychic power: multiplying themselves and becoming one again; going unimpeded through a wall, a rampart, or a mountain as if through space; diving in and out of the earth as if it were water; walking on water as if it were earth; flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird; touching and stroking with the hand the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful; controlling the body as far as the Brahmā realm.

Then someone with faith and confidence sees that mendicant performing those superhuman feats.

They tell someone else who lacks faith and confidence: ‘It’s incredible, it’s amazing! The ascetic has such psychic power and might! I saw him myself, performing all these superhuman feats!’

But the one lacking faith and confidence would say to them: ‘There’s a spell named Gandhārī. Using that a mendicant can perform such superhuman feats.’

What do you think, Kevaddha? Wouldn’t someone lacking faith speak like that?”

“They would, sir.”

“Seeing this drawback in psychic power, I’m horrified, repelled, and disgusted by demonstrations of psychic power.

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