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    False Christs


         We are now living in a materialistic age where the fundamentals -our thoughts, words and actions- are centered on money, power, sex, egoism, status in society, and all these needs are governed by our ego. We are never completely satisfied, we always want more and more. As time goes by, that which had caused us great joy or satisfaction, no longer brings to us those feelings, then comes unhappiness. Nowadays some people try to move closer to God, but at present it is very hard to find real spiritual leaders. It is easier to find a pearl in the sea than to stand in front of a real spiritual being.

         The nonscientist and unwary 'Sunday' mystic is confronted by many pitfalls when examining the whole New Age lexicon of pseudo-mysticism. When surrounded by so much misinformation often third or fourth-hand in content, it is hard to avoid even the most obvious traps.

         Many pseudo-spiritual souls deceive thousands of beings using different patterns of behavior. Some of them appear exhibiting long beards, dressing in white or ochre robes, or using clothes of particular colors, in order to appear to us as saintly persons. Buddha declared, "Many wish to put on ochre and yellow robes and be venerated as ascetics. Neither the robe nor the color, makes an ascetic. The man who wishes to be an ascetic, without first cleaning his thoughts

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    of anger, greed, ego and vanity is chasing a mirage."

         Others exhibit siddhis -occult powers- performing miracles to attract the people that are near them. Levitation, teletransportation -disappearing from the presence of someone and appearing in another place-; walking on fire, piercing their skin with sharp objects, moving objects without touching them, the appearance or disappearance of certain objects; these are just a few examples of occult powers. This is not the real spirituality required in this era -Kali Yuga in order to attain spiritual liberation. This goes in contradiction with the Dharma -Spiritual Law- of this age. Having reached the summit of spirituality, a fully realized Guru, does not carry out this mission of the Supreme through the performance of miracles. Miracles and the temporary physical gains accruing to believers, are not the yardstick for measuring one's spiritual knowledge. We think of those people who perform miracles as highly evolved souls, but most of them have developed these powers in previous incarnations, or in this birth itself, though this is detrimental to spiritual progress and hence no attempt is to be made to get it.

         In India two Great Souls, Buddha and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, severely criticized the people who were trying to develop occult powers.

         In Buddha's time, in one of the rainy seasons, many bhikkhus -Buddhist monks- were staying in the Vajji territory during a famine. And one of the bhikkhus proposed to his brethren that they should praise one another to the

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    householders of the village, saying: "This bhikkhu is a saint; he has seen celestial visions; and that bhikkhu possesses supernatural gifts; he can work miracles." And the villagers said: "It is lucky, very lucky for us, that such saints are spending the rainy season with us." And they gave willingly and abundantly, and the bhikkhus prospered and did not suffer from the famine. When the Blessed One heard it, he told Ananda to call the bhikkhus together, and declared unto them: "There is a great prohibition which I declare to you: An ordained disciple must not boast of any superhuman perfection. The disciple who with evil intent and from covetousness boasts of a superhuman perfection, is no longer a disciple of the Sakyamuni. He who attempts to perform miracles has not understood the doctrine of the Tathagata -literally, one who has become authentic."

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