Do Buddhists Believe In God?…


Do Buddhists Believe In God?



Most people, when talking about Buddhism, usually have one question that lingers in the back of their minds: what do Buddhists think about God?

The answer may surprise you….

SEE ALSO: 13 Things You Need To Know About Enlightenment

What did Buddha say?

Buddha didn’t exactly say anything about the idea of God. This is mainly because Buddha didn’t have anything around him to raise too many questions about it. There was no Christianity or Islam around him…it was Hinduism that surrounded his group. He largely stuck with the idea that creation stories were irrelevant — that is, they had no bearing on the present moment and the pursuit of enlightenment. In fact, they could be a distraction for some people. In those days, you could make the argument that Hindus had become obsessed with ritual and tradition rather than honoring the true meaning behind everything.

Gods and Deities

Though it is true there is not an explicit belief in one God, there is a strong tradition of poly-theism. Early Buddhist stories often describe interactions between deities and Devas. Many of these stories have important allegorical lessons and important points that discuss the tenets of Buddhism. However, all of these gods and goddesses fade away with time, and are subject to the same problems of suffering…and many participants of Buddhism believe the stories are allegorical.



Saints

Buddhist teachings are there to empower the individual to pursue enlightenment or find release from suffering. Because of this, there are certain monks and lay-members that are considered to have attained Nirvana. Those who have conquered the bondage of suffering are known as an Arhata perfected person. These people are often venerated and written about, as their lives serve as an example to everyone else.

Open to interpretation

Buddhism doesn’t necessarily state that there is an actual beginning to the universe…instead, the universe is a cycle of death and birth; and as such, there is no need to explain anything. But this is ok in Buddhism, because the end of suffering is more important than the belief in a god, and staying focused on enlightenment is the most important thing of all.

To this day, there are those who think Buddha condoned belief in God, and those who say the opposite. I think what really matters is simply finding a path that works for you.

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. – Dalai Lama



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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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