Religious Beliefs

Do Hindus believe in miracles?

A distinctive quality of Hindu belief generally is that all things, whether spiritual or material, result from the divine play or lila. God brings all things into being, sustains them for a time, then withdraws them from the realm of human experience, not by laboring, but as a kind of divine entertainment. That does not mean that God is cynical or cruel, dangling his creatures like so many marionettes. It means only that what we know as our “world” is the product of God’s delight. Hindu tradition teaches that human beings are the beneficiaries of that delight. We are, in other words, invited to the party. The concept of miracle presupposes that human beings already know the limits of ordinary causality. From the Hindu perspective, that assumption is the height of arrogance because it suggests that human beings have things pretty well figured out—such as the causes and cures of disease, the roots of evil, and the wellsprings of good. One of the many aspects of the Hindu tradition’s genius, and one of its major contributions to humanity, is that it refuses to close the door on surprise. All things, not merely the odd event that appears to defy the laws of nature, are cause for wonder. There is but one great miracle: God has chosen eternally to pour out the divine essence in its countless forms—and enjoys doing so. What a gift of the ultimate perspective on life, to see it all as part of one great marvel and learn not to take oneself so seriously.


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