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Prophesy

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A prophesy (ādesanā) is a statement, usually within a religious context, that accurately predicts how events will unfold in the future. Christianity is often described as a prophetic religion in that Jesus’ birth and career were supposedly foretold in the Old Testament and that the New Testament foretells his Second Coming and the dramatic events that will precede it. Prophecy has never had any significance in ancient Indian religion and has no part to play in Buddhism at all. This is because Buddhism is mainly concerned with the individual and his or her experience in the present – not with foretelling the future. Further, while some religions believe that the ability to accurately prophesize events is proof of God’s involvement in human affairs, Buddhism would see such a thing (if it is really possible) as merely one of several psychic powers that might occur spontaneously or be developed in meditation training.

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