If [with the] deluded mind desiring [to] seek supernormal [powers], then [is this] so-called [to] abandon [the] root [to] pursue [the] end, [to] not [be] good [at being] diligent.
[Note 1: This is to deludedly and lazily forgo creating of the cause needed, while craving to have the effect wanted.]
If this mind [is] firm [and has] solidified, also again [with the] path [of] reason not clear, [upholding] precepts’ power not resolute, [and the] Bodhi Mind not given rise, yet [with] self-[and]-others’ mind partial [and] blazing, [to] then [become] possessed [by] demons [to] go mad, [there] still is [this] day existing [to come].
[Note 2: If set on wanting supernormal powers the wrong way, while not being reasonable with the right principles, being morally shaky, without Bodhicitta, and with strong attachment of self versus others, it is a matter of time that such spiritual weaknesses make one susceptible to demonic possession, to go crazy.]
Those desiring [to] attain supernormal [powers], must first attain [the] path, [with] attaining [of the] path, then [will] supernormal [powers be] naturally complete.
[Note 3: It is only when the path is fully attained, that supernormal powers become complete. Some partial and temporal supernormal powers might arise on the path of practice naturally, but they should be regarded with strict guidance of the precepts, while not mistaking them as signs of being enlightened. If there is strong greed for such powers, with their own powers, demons can trick one into thinking they have already been attained, so as to keep one off the right path of practice, while also tricking others into believing one is already enlightened, to use the person to spread wrong teachings to mislead many. Based on this, those who hint or flaunt their ‘powers’, be they real or not, should be avoided, as they might be possessed and thus demonic teachers. True Dharma teachers will focus on getting others to focus on the Dharma, instead of ‘impressive magic tricks’.]
If not devoting efforts to [the] path, yet only seeking to [have] supernormal [powers], moreover disregarding [that such] supernormal [powers are] not able [to be] attained, immediately attained then perhaps, [are] obstacles [of the] path instead.
[Note 4: If not focusing on the right path of practice, by veering off for supernormal powers, this is already detouring from the path, to lose the path. More distractions will also arise in time, that obstruct return to the path.]
Thus [do] all Buddhas [and] all Patriarchs, all strictly prohibit it, and not allow people [to] cultivate [and] learn these.
[Note 5: As supernormal powers are naturally attractive, especially to those with strong greed and delusion, while also able to lead them astray, away from the right path, the enlightened and Great Masters forbid focusing on practices just for attaining them. As all will naturally be empowered to have all supernormal powers fully upon reaching Pure Land, there is no hurry to attain them here, with such ‘obsession’ now distracting from walking the right path instead.]
Pure Land Tradition’s 13th Patriarch Great Master Yìnguāng
(Reply Letter [To A] Certain Yǒngjiā Layperson [And His] Brother)
Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an
Verses On Quick Accomplishment Of Buddhahood
Verses On The Foremost