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A further photo-analysis of Odd Sighting and Auspicious Signs at Dhammananda's Cremation published by the Buddhist Channel

By Jeffrey S. Brooks (Jhanananda), Bolinas, CA. USA, The Buddhist Channel, September 29, 2006

I agree with the photographer, Lim Kooi Fong, who produced the images of "light orbs" at the cremation of Dr. K Sri Dammananda. As a student of Buddhism and other contemplative traditions for 33 years, I understand part of any contemplative tradition (such as Buddhism) is to "investigate the rising and ebbing of phenomenon," because all contemplative traditions are interested in seeing things as they truly are.  And, "light orbs" and other paranormal phenomena might just be what truly is. 

However, we have little support for the paranormal in this event other than it was a religious context. There are religious activities going on all over the Earth at any given moment, but not all of these religious events produce paranormal phenomena.

While the Buddhist community of Sri Lanka might very well wish to believe there were miraculous apparitions in conjunction with the cremation of Dr. K Sri Dammananda, so that they may have some faith in their religion, their desire for such makes them no different from the faithful followers of every religion who often seek apparitions and portents to support their faith. I do not wish to reduce the honor paid to the "chief." Nor do I wish to disparage anyone for their devotion to their teacher or their religion; however, too often people are a bit quick to seek the miraculous in the commonplace.
Nonetheless these images may just be charismatic; however, Ockham's Razor, or the law of parsimony, requiring the simplest answer, and miracles are rarely the simplest answer....

Editor's note: Ven. Dr. K Sri Dammananda's cremation was held in Malaysia, not Sri Lanka.



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