Aquanis defined a miracle as " whatever God does
outside and beyond the order commonly determined or observed
in nature". Buddhism would agree with this definition
except that it would replace the word 'God'
with the word 'mind'. The development and purification
of the mind through ethical and meditational training
can unleash powers not normally apparent which would usually
be described as miraculous. The miraculous powers (abhinna
iddhi /siddhi) often mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures,
and sometimes manifested by the Buddha
himself, include being able to multiply oneself, fly through
the air, hear things over a long distance, read other
people's minds, remember one's former lives and know how
to destroy the defilements of the mind. Only the last
three of these is considered to be important. There is
little doubt that the Buddha had a cautious attitude to
these and other miraculous powers. He pointed out that
they could simply be due to magic or fraud rather than
genuine spiritual accomplishments.
the Vinaya Pitaka he made it an
offence for monks and nuns
who might possess such powers to exhibit them in public.
When asked to perform a miracle in order to impress and
thereby convert people, he refused saying that education
was the greatest of miracles. Despite this he once praised
a monk for using his psychic powers to rescue a child
who had been kidnapped. So from the Buddhist perspective,
the ability to perform miracles is not proof of holiness
and it need not have a spiritual value although it may
be used for the benefit of others.