Creator in Buddhism
In Buddhism there are no gods per se. that have attained enlightenment and are examples for others. They are known as bodhisatta or in the more common Sanskrit, bodhisattva. These are beings. Apr 07, †Ј As most monotheists define God, the answer is probably "no." But there are lots of ways to understand the principle of God. Buddhism is sometimes called an "atheistic" religion, although some of us prefer "non-theistic"--meaning that believing in a God or gods really isn't the point.
It is often asked if there are gods in Buddhism. The short answer is no, but also yes, depending on what you mean by "gods. It also is often asked if it is all right for a Buddhist to believe in God, meaning the creator God as celebrated in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other philosophies of monotheism. Again, this depends on what you mean by "God.
Buddhism is sometimes called an "atheistic" religion, although some of us prefer "non-theistic"--meaning that believing in a God or gods really isn't what can i do with a degree in business point.
But it's certainly the case that there are all kinds of god-like creatures and beings called devas populating the early scriptures of Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhism still makes use of tantric deities in its esoteric practices.
And there are Buddhists who believe devotion to Amitabha Buddha will bring them to rebirth in the Pure Land. So, how to explain this apparent contradiction?
Let's start with polytheistic-type gods. In the world's religions, these have been understood in many ways, Most commonly, they are supernatural beings with some kind of agencythey control the weather, for example, or they might help you win victories. The classic Roman and Greek gods and goddesses are examples. Practice in a religion based what level qualification is a foundation degree polytheism mostly consists of practices to cause these gods to intercede on one's behalf.
If you deleted them the various gods, there wouldn't be a religion at all. In traditional Buddhist folk religion, on the other hand, the devas are usually depicted as characters living in a number of other realmsseparate from the human realm.
They have their own problems and have no roles to play in the human realm. There is no point praying to them even if you believe in them because they're not going to do anything for you. Whatever sort of existence they may or may not have really doesn't matter to Buddhist practice. Many of what was the german death march stories told about the devas have allegorical points, but you can be a devoted Buddhist for your whole life and never give them what is being done to protect the aye ayes habitat thought.
Now, let's move on to the tantric deities. In Buddhism, tantra is the use of ritualssymbolism and yoga practices to evoke experiences that enable the realization of enlightenment.
The most common practice of Buddhist tantra is to experience oneself as a deity. In this case, then, the deities are more like archetypal symbols than supernatural creatures. Here's an important point: Buddhist Vajrayana is based on Mahayana Buddhist teaching.
And in Mahayana Buddhismno phenomena have objective or independent existence. Not gods, not you, not your favorite tree, not your toaster see " Sunyata, or Emptiness ". Things exist in a kind of relative way, what do buddhists call their god identity from their function and position relative to other phenomena. But nothing is really separate or independent from everything else. With this in mind, one can see that the tantric deities can be understood in many different ways.
Certainly, there are people who understand them as something like the classic Greek gods--supernatural beings with a separate existence who might help what do buddhists call their god if you ask. But this is a somewhat unsophisticated understanding that modern Buddhist scholars and teachers have altered in favor of a symbolic, archetypal definition. Lama Thubten Yeshe wrote.
Here, the deity we choose to identify with represents the essential qualities of the fully awakened experience latent within us. To use the language of psychology, such a deity is an archetype of our own deepest nature, our most profound level of consciousness. In tantra we focus our attention on such an archetypal image and identify with it in order to arouse the deepest, most profound aspects of our being and bring them into our present reality. Although they may not practice formal tantra, there are tantric elements running through much of Mahayana Buddhism.
Iconic beings such as Avalokiteshvara are evoked to bring compassion to the world, yes, but we are her eyes and hands and feet. The same is true of Amitabha. Some may understand Amitabha as a deity who will take them to paradise although not forever. Others may understand the Pure Land to be a state of mind and Amitabha as a projection of one's own devotional practice. But believing in one thing or another really isn't the point.
Finally, we get to the Big G. What did the Buddha say about him? Well, nothing that I know of. It's possible the Buddha was never exposed to monotheism as we know it. The concept of God as the one and only supreme being, and not just one god among many, was just coming into acceptance among Jewish scholars about the time the Buddha was born.
This God concept may not have ever reached him. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the God of monotheism, as commonly understood, can be dropped seamlessly into Buddhism.
Frankly, in Buddhism, God has nothing to do. The creation of phenomena is taken care of by a kind of natural law called Dependent Origination. The consequences of our actions are accounted for by karmawhich in Buddhism is also a kind of natural law that doesn't require a supernatural cosmic judge.
And if there is a God, he is us, too. His existence would be as dependent and conditioned as ours. Sometimes Buddhist teachers use the word "God," but their meaning is not something that most monotheists would recognize.
They may be referring to the dharmakayafor example, which the late Chogyam Trungpa described as "the basis of the original unbornness. So, you see, the question as to whether there are or are not gods in Buddhism can't really be answered with a yes or no. Again, though, merely believing in Buddhist deities is pointless. How do you understand them? That's what matters. Share Flipboard Email. Barbara O'Brien. Zen Buddhism Expert.
By using Learn Religions, you accept our.
Nov 15, †Ј Myoho is the Mystic Law. Myo, meaning unfathomable or beyond conception, indicates the true entity of life, and ho or law, its phenomenal manifestations. Some Buddhists equate this to . In a word, no. There is no divine creator god or supreme being in the Buddhist teachings, so that Buddhism is often called a nontheistic religion. The historical Buddha began as an ordinary person, who gained awakening by training his own mind and apprehending the true nature of reality. The second reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is because there does not seem to be any evidence to support this idea. There are numerous religions, all claiming that they alone have god's words preserved in their holy book, that they alone understand god's nature, that their god exists and that the gods of other religions do not.
There are many views on this topic. Citations included. Budding professor of religion. Love many subjects, bilingual third year uni student. Part of the problem, of course, labels. The Buddhist path embraces everyone, regardless of any belief in God Ч or not. So, what did Buddha actually say about divine beings? Buddha lived in a time totally different from our own Ч a time in which belief in Gods and divine interventions was incredibly natural and universal.
It is clear from many Buddhist suttas sutras Ч supported by the views of many scholars Ч that the Buddha did not deny the gods. When he did mention them, they seemed unimportant. He matter-of-factly described them, as he might talk about an ordinary person.
On the other hand, he did NOT criticize them, or any other belief. It is clear from various sutta references that he viewed gods as sentient beings trapped in the same cycle of Samsara and suffering as human beings.
Not only do the Gods appear regularly in the Pali Sutta and Mahayana Sutra Ч but they also are referenced by the Buddha in the Dhammapada:. Then, why is Buddhism considered by many to be atheistic or nontheistic? In explaining why he remained unresponsive to the four questions, Buddha used the parable of the poisoned arrow. The answer to this can be known by the famous parable of the poisoned arrow. The Buddha replied:. I have to know how tall he is, where his family comes from, where they live, what kind of wood his bow is made from, what Fletcher made his arrows.
When I know these things, you can proceed to take the arrow out and give me an antidote for its poison. What would you think of such a man?
It is to show people how to achieve nirvana and release themselves from suffering. The reason why the Buddha does not talk much about God, especially in Pali Sutta, is simply that belief in God is not necessary to achieve enlightenment. The Dalai Lama in an article on his website comparing the doctrines of theistic religions says the same thing, that Buddhism along with the contemporary religion of Jainism does not focus on God:.
In the Samyutta Nikaya he explains he knows much more than he is revealing, through the parable of a handful of leaves:. As Dr. Alexander Berzin writes, there were fourteen such metaphysical questions on which the Buddha maintained silence when he was asked about them, again neither confirming or denying them which included most of those asked by Malunkyaputra.
These beings were created by me. How so? He goes onto to describe it as a wrong view that one should think that though Brahma is eternal, we whom he created and the conditions of the world are impermanent:. He was condemning this idea as wrong. Even if he believed in these things himself, he viewed the answers to these questions as not necessary to achieving enlightenment.
However, atheism is also perfectly compatible with Buddhism too, and some Buddhist thinkers reject the concept of a creator based on Buddhist philosophy and doctrine. Gunasekara for example, says that the concept of a God is incompatible with the idea of the three marks of existence.
The Venerable S Dhammika also categorically denies that Buddhism believes in a God for many reasons, including that it is based on fear and appealing to more traditional arguments such as lack of evidence.
There appears to be plenty of room for atheistic or scientifically-minded Buddhists within Buddhism as well as theists and anything else too. However, there is also a middle ground approach that has not been considered yet. The Buddha was trying to show that language was not equipped to deal with a reality that lay beyond concepts and reason. Maybe the whole issue should be seen in another way. As Karen says, maybe Buddhists and Theists are actually addressing the same reality in different terms.
Thinking along these lines can offer a great way to engage in interfaith dialogue with followers of other faiths and offers Buddhists a profound new way of looking at the Buddhist path that is defiantly food for thought. To conclude then, As stated at the beginning of the article, in Buddhism, there is room for all types of views on the idea of God.
One can be an Atheist Buddhist, Christian Buddhist, Scientific Buddhist or any other kind of Buddhist, one can even follow another faith and aspects of Buddhism at the same time. Buddhism neither confirms nor denies the idea of God and different interpretations of Buddhist scripture and philosophy can give a diverse and rich variety of views and ideas about God as hopefully shown successfully in this article. Buddha Buddhist Sutras and Sutta English. You failed to add your definition of dukkha.
It seems to mean suffering. I suggest you think about the concept of existence. It is not the same as phenomenal things. For instance, are you a phenomenon? How do you know you exist?
I focus, over the years, on the existence of the unknown. Does the unknown exist? I fall in the dark and hit my head. Did I hit anything? It seems we need to affirm the existence of the unknown in order to justify investigating it. This seems the basic claim of any happy person. If the unknown is bad, and it exists, then all hope is lost, etc.
If the unknown does not exist, the only thing that exists isЧwhat? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What does Buddhism say about the idea of God? Does it even matter?
What did Buddha say? The Poisoned Arrow parable Too many questions: the parable of the handful of leaves Bramajala Sutta, the impermance of all, including gods Buddha: neither accepted nor rejected God Scientific Buddhists and Athiest Buddhists. Do Buddhists believe in God? What does Buddhism teach about the idea of God? Neither concept is right or wrong. Buddha teaching. Other Popular Stories. His merits are so vast, the very name of Amitabha is a practice Ч and synonymous with compassion and happiness.
Buddhist Sutras and Sutta English. Medicine Buddha Sutra: video audio recitation of full Sutta Ч listening or reciting is a very empowering healing practice. Invalid Email. Spread the Dharma. Share Our Stories.
Tsog and Dharma Dates for Full Year of