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Who is GOD in Buddhism? - Dhamma Wheel

Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dragonwarrior
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Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby dragonwarrior » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:12 pm

Hi guys, I've just graduated from a Christian high school. In my school, there are 15% of Buddhist students. All of the students must learn the religion lesson for 3 years, which in the end, we had to do the final test. In that test, the teacher asked me: Do you fear of God?
That was a tricky question for me, because I don't believe in God. It's sad to say, but the teacher also mocked Buddhism, when I said Buddhism doesn't teach to fear of God. Am I wrong? So based on my answer, I might got a bad score. :cry: Sometimes I could hardly explain what is 'God' in Buddhism to my friends. And actually, I don't even know whether we have a God. What is the concept of God in Theravadin? So, please explain to me. :thanks:

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kc2dpt
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:29 pm

- Peter


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karuna_murti
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby karuna_murti » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:31 pm

There are gods, but they are also subject to death.
If you mean god as prima causa, the single cause of all being, then there is no such thing.
Theravadin have Brahma Baka though, which has wrong view that he is the single cause of other beings. Brahma Baka himself actually is not eternal, and at some point will die too.

Edit.
Ah, I just notice that you come from Indonesia. Don't confuse god with Udana VIII 3 which often told in Indonesia. Udana VIII 3 explain about Nibanna. In our country, the requirement for a religion is have a god. And at some point our elder make God = Nibanna so Buddhism can be accepted legally. Suffice to say that Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa (One God) in Buddhism doesn't mean a personal god.

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Jechbi
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Jechbi » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:17 pm


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genkaku
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby genkaku » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:30 pm

As far as I have been able to figure out, Buddhism does not teach that there is something or someone "else." If there is something or someone else, that is not Buddhism.

But this position is not just a matter of belief. Belief -- however useful it may be as a starting point -- implies by its nature that there is something or someone else. Because Buddhism does not teach that there is something else, it recommends various practices -- meditation among them -- that will allow the student to actualize beyond doubt what may be spoken with the lips or written on an Internet bulletin board page.

Just my two cents.

Best wishes.
Smile just one smile




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clw_uk
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:32 pm

Hey


I was supposed to be taking a break from Dhammawheel but i had a quick glance today and seen this topic which relates to something i had just listened to which might be of interest


its a talk by Stephen Batchelor about Buddha, God and buddhanature

Really worth a listen

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/169/?p=1&q=

The talk itself is just called "god and buddhanature"

Metta
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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cooran
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby cooran » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:24 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Ben
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:28 pm

Hi Winny

I hope you did well in your final exams. I think you answered well. However, I am a little disheartened by the actions of your teacher - it would amount to religious discrimination in Australia and punishable by law.
Over the last week I have been thinking about how some people feel that they can mock the Buddha and Buddhism but the same people don't have the courage to mock Mohammad or Islam. But I think that it is our equanimity that is our strength.
Take care

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:00 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:29 am

most non buddhists ive met seem to think we worship a fat happy guy... so :shrug:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Kare
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Kare » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:08 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:37 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:10 am

Image




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Ben
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:53 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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dragonwarrior
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby dragonwarrior » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:34 am

:clap: :clap: :thumbsup:
Thanks a bunch for answering.. It seems so clear now.
Btw, non-Buddhists in Indonesia really got the wrong perceptions about Buddhism..
They think we are worshiping the Buddha Statue. Gosh :cookoo:
Some of them even think The Buddha is The God..
Anyway, I got 85 for the Christian lesson in the report card. haha pretty shocking coz I thought I might get worse..
Even though the teacher is a very fanatic person, but the new principal is a very tolerant person. :bow:

:namaste:

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Ben
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:40 am

Cogratulations Winny!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

SleepyAndAwake
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby SleepyAndAwake » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:29 pm

I don't think it matters if there is or isn't a god... further that a Christian would mock anyone for what they believe is a preposterous display of closed mindedness and un-Christian behavior. Jesus asked us to love each other as ourselves, not pick each other apart. There shouldn't be any fear. Beating a dog doesn't make him love you. I think it would be pertinent, here, to point out that the Christians who wrote the bible also believed blindness and insanity to be cause by demonic possession (a giant, red flag blowing in the winds of ignorance).

Ask yourself this: if someone does a good deed for the reward of going to Heaven or fear of burning in Hell, does that make them a good person? Right people find ways to act rightly with or without the excuse of authority. I think that if there is a god he very explicitly did not tell us so we couldn't rightfully bully each other like that. I think the way we live our very short life spans is, and should be, free from the tyranny of knowing what's to happen after we die. The existence of a god is irrelevant.

So the Buddhist answer to your question is a resounding "I don't know or think it matters".

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kc2dpt
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:02 pm

- Peter


Son of man
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Son of man » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:48 pm

To answer, you really need to get the definition of "God" from your professor. If by "God" only implies "the unsurpassed wisdom and knowledge" then it's easy the Buddha is the "God" of Buddhism. However, if by "God" implies "creator of the universe" then "God" in Buddhism is "The law of cause and effect". For every attribute your professor includes in his definition of "God" you should be able to find an answer in Buddhism. If he says "God" is "love or compassion" then in buddhism "God" is within the Buddha and all the bodhisattvas. So if those are his only three aspects then God in Buddhism could also be thought of as a Trinity:

Buddha (the unsurpassed wisdom and knowledge)
The law of cause and effect (creator of the universe, intangible though it is)
In-dwelling the Buddha and all the bodhisattvas (love or compassion)

Son of man
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Re: Who is GOD in Buddhism?

Postby Son of man » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:00 pm



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