Лестница до небес: чудо в картине мира буддиста-паломника (V–VII вв.)
Miracle tales are often found in the texts of Chinese pilgrims
who visited India in the 5th – 7th centuries. The role of “miracle” in the world
outlook and the text of Buddhist pilgrim looks also structurally determined.
One can trace a certain consistency in “embedding” stories of miracles into the
overall structure of the text. Being associated with various sacred objects these
stories form stable relationships with them and each category of shrines (stupa,
statue, cave, etc.) has its own stories about the miracles. The obvious function
of “miracles” marking the places of events of the sacred past is to “overcome”
the length of time which separates past and present, what looks typical for
mythological way of thinking. Miraculous phenomena connect the devotee
with the sacred time of the tradition, include him in the attraction zone of
deeds of the remote past, make it possible to tangibly feel an impact of the past.
In that impact, the degree of holiness of the doer of ancient deeds recognized
by the adept as well as the degree of his approach to a world of the true, are of
decisive importance in this influence. The possession of “supernatural powers”
(ṛddhi) is one of the topics on which attention is also focused in the narratives
of the pilgrim.