According to Buddhist scripts, Gautam Buddha possessed several superhuman power and abilities. But he never flaunted those abilities for fear that they could be abused by unscrupulous people. He often used to reject request or challenge for display of miracles.
Buddha is believed to have performed many miracles in his lifetime. Principally, four sites in India are understood as miracles sites of Buddha — Vaishali, Rajgir, Sravasti and Sankassiya. However, many say that the Buddha’s birth was a miracle in itself.
Lumbini : Walking Seven Steps Right After Birth
Gautam Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautam in Lumbini of Nepal. It is believed that Mother Mayadevi begot Buddha while traveling to her maternal home in Devdaha. She delivered Buddha by holding onto a branch of a Sal tree. The young Prince is believed to have stood right after his birth and walked seven steps proclaiming:
“I am chief of the world,
Eldest am I in the world,
Foremost am I in the world.
This is the last birth.
There is now no more coming to be.”
Sravasti : Performing Twin Miracles
Buddha is believed to have spent 25 rainy seasons in Sravasti – the longest he has live in one place. Buddha is believed to have performed Yamaka-pātihāriya or Twin Miracles after some heretics questioned his enlightenment. The miracle consisted of phenomena of opposite characters like emitting flame from upper part of the body and steams of water from lower part of the body alternatively. The phenomenon proceeded form the left and right sides of his body alternatively.
Rajgir : Subduing an Angry Elephant
Rajgir is said to be one of the favorite retreats of Gautam Buddha. It is believed that the Buddha performed one of his miracles here. According to Buddhist texts, Buddha’s cousin Devadutta, who was jealous of the Buddha, set loose a drunken elephant toward Buddha while he was delivering sermon to his disciples. Seeing the elephant, all his disciples, but Ananda, fled. But Buddha tamed the angry elephant by showing love and compassion.
Vaishali : Accepting Honey Offering from a Bunch of Monkeys
In Vaishali, an elephant used to provide food and water to Buddha. Seeing this, a monkey also decided to offer something to Buddha. He brought a honeycomb and offered it to Buddha. Buddha received it but put it in the ground. Surprised, the monkey lifted the comb and saw some insect eggs. It then removed all the eggs and offered it to Buddha. Buddha ate it. They monkey was so happy that danced, climbed a tree. But it fell down and met its death. It is believed that the monkey was reborn in paradise.
Sankassiya : Descent from Tushita Heaven
After her death, Buddha’s mother Mayadevi was reborn in heaven. Buddha descended on the heaven to repay the kindness of his mother by liberating her from Samsara – a cycle of birth, existence, death and re-birth. There, he taught Abhidharma to his mother and other celestial beings. He then descended to earth at a place called Sankassiya which is in Uttar Pradesh, India, where thousands of followers were waiting for him.