Was Buddha a God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by hug-a-tree, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. hug-a-tree Live the life Registered Senior Member

    I've been studying Buddhism for a while now and I don't understand something, is Buddha a God?

    I've never thought that Buddha was a deity, just someone who has been enlightened and teaches of the Dharama. However, I was reading this book a few days ago "Entering the Stream" and it talks about this crazy birth of Buddha.

    Like he's born then starts walking around and talking. :bugeye: I don't get that. No normal child would just jump out of you and do that.

    So was The Buddha a God or not?
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  3. hug-a-tree Live the life Registered Senior Member

    Guess I should have put this in the religion section, right?
    hahaha, oops.

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  5. draqon Banned Banned

    I really found Siddhartha Gautama bio inspiring...
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  7. hug-a-tree Live the life Registered Senior Member

    Yes. He was a very inspiring person.

    Thats awesome you read that. =)
  8. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member


    it goes something like this.

    shortly after buddha had achieved enlightenment under the tree.... he was walking down a road... and coming the other way, was some farmer or villager... and apon seeing mr buddha, the stranger was amazed and asked...
    "who and or what are you sir? are you an alien from another world? or and angel?"

    and the buddha turned and said.... "I am awake"

    -MT (FROM THE TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA, a samll book i have.)
  9. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Absolutely not. Supernatural stories surround him, because it's the same phenomenon as the creation of any supernatural religion. One guy has a breakthrough, which few understand, and instead of understanding, they worship like they always have. It is resistance to change. It is the evolution of memes in contradiction to the character of it's source material.

    I think it is probable that the same thing happened to jesus.
  10. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    Aren't there a few types of Buddhism because some people made him to look like a god?
  11. hug-a-tree Live the life Registered Senior Member

    there is more then one branch of Buddhism, yeah.
  12. VitalOne Banned Banned

    No, he was superior to Gods or Devas of Hinduism, also in Hinduism there is no separation between mankind and the devas...humans can attain higher perfections than the Gods as well as mystic powers like walking on water, flying, phasing through objects, knowing previous existences, or any other mystic power

    The devas experience happiness and distress just like regular humans so they are inferior to The Buddha who was free from suffering to any degree
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    I have never heard of any descriptions in the vedas of humans having the capacity to attain higher perfections than the demigods - do you have any vedic statements or recollection of puranic incidents to back up these claims?

    Buddha is an incarnation of vishnu (saktyavesa avatar) and his appearance is foretold in scriptures at least 2000 years before he appeared.

  14. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

    Buddha was not a god but a human being who threw out all the junk that were presented as truth. And he earnestly tried hard and succeeded to find a way closer to the truth.
  15. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I couldn't agree more.
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    the quote (SB 1.3.24) mentions that Buddha incarnated to bewilder (sammohaya) the atheist class (sura dvisam) - the reason for taking such an unusual status (god appearing as an atheist) was that people were performing sinful activity (namely wholesale consumption of animal flesh) on the strength of vedic statements (using fire sacrifice) - so buddha incarnated to advocate rejection of the vedas just to promulgate ahimsa (non violence)

    (from gita govinda - prayers glorifying incarnations of vishnu)
    nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha shruti-jatam
    sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam
    keshava dhrta-buddha-sarira jaya jagadisa hare

    O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice
  17. VitalOne Banned Banned

    Really? I don't believe there's any statements in the Vedas.

    SB 3.15.24: Lord Brahmā said: My dear demigods, the human form of life is of such importance that we also desire to have such life, for in the human form one can attain perfect religious truth and knowledge.

    SB 11.20.12: The residents of both heaven and hell desire human birth on the earth planet because human life facilitates the achievement of transcendental knowledge and love of Godhead, whereas neither heavenly nor hellish bodies efficiently provide such opportunities.

    Furthermore it is stated that Brahma and other devas desire liberation and that at the end of the universe Brahma will attain liberation. Human beings can attain liberation even in this lifetime, and realize their true identity with Brahm.

    As for mystic perfections (siddhis) and powers (Vibhutis) they're mentioned in detail in the Yoga Sutras and the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.15). Anyone who elevates their consciousness to samadhi or higher can attain them, they include abilities like flying, walking on water, materializing objects, etc...

    During The Buddha's lifetime he wasn't considered an incarnation of Buddha, he was considered to be another spiritual master. However later on they discovered that he matched the description of The Buddha-Avatara.
  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Typical, making enlightened teachers out to fufill ancient prophecy.

    Of course during his lifetime he wasn't considered an incarnation of Buddha, he started that whole idea.
  19. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    As I understood it, Siddhartha started the wheel of Dharma again, because all of the Dharma had been completely lost to humankind.
    He was the latest first Buddha - the one to come to enlightenment completely on his own accord, and that was what made him so special.

    He said that, in the future, when all of the Dharma will be completely forgotten and lost to makind, another Buddha will reappear to discover it "for the first time" again.
    This is the whole point of Tibetan Buddhists keeping the prayer wheels spinning - so people will not forget the Dharma.

    How, then, could his appearance have been prophesied anywhere?

    What am I missing?
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    In addition to amarakosa, there are also many other buddhist scriptures confirming this as fact. In the prajnaparamita sutra, astasahasrik prajnaparamita sutra, lalita vistara and other gives evidence of three different platforms of buddhas as decribed below

    1) Adi Buddha - the original omnipotent Visnu avatar incarnation of Lord Buddha
    2) Bodhisattva Buddha : the buddhas like Samanta Bhadra who were born enlightened
    3) Human Buddhas - The buddha like Sakya Singha who attained enlightenment in one lifetime

    The original incarnation of Lord Visnu as Buddha possessed all opulences and potencies while any other subsequent manifestations that have been referred to as Buddha as well are on a totally different platform possessing only a portion of this potency in the form of enlightenment. Sakhya Singha Buddha was not born a Bodhisattva, he attained Bodhi or enlightenment after years of intense tapasya and severe austerities. Samanta Bhadra ws born enlightened and thus he had no need to perform intense tapasya and severe austerities to attain that state. Adi Buddha who incarnated as one of thel ila avatars of Lord Visnu was a manifestation of the supreme absolute truth and totally transcendental to material existence being perfection personified. He appeared for the specific purpose of putting an end to the slaughter of animals by preaching the philosophy of ahimsa or the abstaining of violence towards any living entity.

    Besides the 18 names of Visnu Buddha and the 7 names of Sakhya Singha Buddha (which don't correlate) found in the amarakosa we find in the lalita Vistara on pp178 the following reference (regarding Sakhya Singha Buddha)

    "This one seated on the pedestal of the earlier buddha, this traveller on the path of voidism and selflessness, holding the powerful bow which kills the enemy in the form of distress, breaking the illusions will attain the griefless auspicious detachment and the best wisdom"

    It is clearly evident from this text that Sakhya Singha Buddha considered the pedestal of penance of the original Visnu avatara Buddha at Bodhi Gaya (Gaya, in the Bihar region of India, --SB 1.3.24 Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Aïjanä, in the province of Gayä, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist. -- is given as the place of appearance of adi-buddha, distinct from Sakhya Singha Buddha's birthplace at Kapilavastu in Nepal) to be extremely sacred and holy. Thus he performed tapasya there sitting under a pipal tree and attained bodhi or enlightenment

    So in short, the reason why the adi buddha's appearance and activities can be anticipated by the vedas is because he is a lila avatar (a catagory of avatar that appears at very specific time periods during the eternal cyclic time of the universe, ie lila avatars are constantly appearing and reappearing in the material creation, hence statements such as kalau prapte yatha buddho bhavet visnuh prabhu - " Just as in the age of Kali Lord Visnu beomes buddha" (in other words every adi-buddha appears every kali-yuga)

    ....and even more specifically from the second chapter of Nirnaya Sindhu specific information that it is the second month of the indian year on the second day of the bright half of the month that adi buddha visnu will appear.

    SB 6.8.19: May the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva protect me from all kinds of ignorance resulting from the absence of Vedic knowledge. May Lord Buddhadeva protect me from activities opposed to Vedic principles and from laziness that causes one to madly forget the Vedic principles of knowledge and ritualistic action. May Kalkideva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as an incarnation to protect religious principles, protect me from the dirt of the age of Kali.

    sorry if this appears too heavily ladened with scriptural quotes but they are a necessary resource when discussing these things - being an incarnation of god, contrary to contemporary ideas, is not such a common thing

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    CC Madhya 20.352: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, "As in other ages an incarnation is accepted according to the directions of the śāstras, in this Age of Kali an incarnation of God should be accepted in that way.

    CC Madhya 20.353: "The Vedic literatures composed by the omniscient Mahāmuni Vyāsadeva are evidence of all spiritual existence. Only through these revealed scriptures can all conditioned souls attain knowledge.

    CC Madhya 20.354: "An actual incarnation of God never says 'I am God' or 'I am an incarnation of God.' The great sage Vyāsadeva, knowing all, has already recorded the characteristics of the avatāras in the śāstras.

    CC Madhya 20.355: "'The Lord does not have a material body, yet He descends among human beings in His transcendental body as an incarnation. Therefore it is very difficult for us to understand who is an incarnation. Only by His extraordinary prowess and uncommon activities, which are impossible for embodied living entities, can one partially understand the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'

    CC Madhya 20.356: "By two symptoms — personal characteristics and marginal characteristics — the great sages can understand an object.
  21. lightgigantic Banned Banned


    here's one

    here's two

    here's a sequence that spells it out in case you are still thinking that humans are more elevated than demigods

    I could give you stacks more but I think the message is clear - humans seek the heavenly planets to attain perfections (in terms of sense enjoyment and mystic perfection)

    And in response to your posts of texts to suggest otherwise

    notice how the purport to this text gives no indication of mystic perfections like walking on water

    and if you want to try and jump over the purport (which i don't recommend) the word tattva-visaya (the subject matter of the absolute truth) is used to indicate what is so special about the human form of life (as opposed to yoga balena, mystic power, which is something the demigods have in great reserves already)

    same problems in your next text

    transcendental knowledge is translated fromt he word jnana bhaktibhyam as opposed to jnana yogibhyam
    bhakti is something very unique and distinct from mystic perfections, which are outwardly declared as being mundane and an impediment to the serious spiritual practioner

    SB 11.15.33: Learned experts in devotional service state that the mystic perfections of yoga that I have mentioned are actually impediments and are a waste of time for one who is practicing the supreme yoga, by which one achieves all perfection in life directly from Me.

    SB 11.15.34: Whatever mystic perfections can be achieved by good birth, herbs, austerities and mantras can all be achieved by devotional service to Me; indeed, one cannot achieve the actual perfection of yoga by any other means.

    further evidenced from purport to 1.7.10
    According to Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, the import of the word ittham-bhüta is "complete bliss." Transcendental bliss in the realization of impersonal Brahman becomes comparable to the scanty water contained in the pit made by a cow's hoof. It is nothing compared with the ocean of bliss of the vision of the Personality of Godhead. The personal form of Lord sri krsna is so attractive that it comprehends all attraction, all bliss and all tastes (rasas). These attractions are so strong that no one wants to exchange them for material enjoyment, mystic powers and liberation.

    here you are talking about bhakti - the demigods (that are knowledgable about the value of bhakti) are eager to take birth in the earthly sphere because in the heavenly planets the opulences of wealth and mysticism are great impediments to th eperformance of bhakti - in other words they are prepared to cash in their materially and mystically superior positions ot take birth as humans because they understand that both things (opulences and mystic perfection) are temporary and do not solve the real issues of life

    These things are not what the demigods are queuing up for to take birth on th earth for - on the contrary they already have them and are eager to renounce them for the valuable oppportunity to perform bhakti

    eg - SB 3.24.8: At the time of the Lord's appearance, the demigods flying freely in the sky showered flowers. All the directions, all the waters and everyone's mind became very satisfied.

    from the purport
    "It is learned herewith that in the higher sky there are living entities who can travel through the air without being hampered. Although we can travel in outer space, we are hampered by so many impediments, but they are not. We learn from the pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that the inhabitants of the planet called Siddhaloka can travel in space from one planet to another without impediment."

    thats because buddha was dealing primarily with atheists (sura dvisam). His mission wasn't to getthem to accept him as god but to get them to obey his instructions, particularly on ahimsa, so that they would refrain from sinful activity

    The scriptures that elaborate on Buddhas appearance were in existence many many years before Buddha
  22. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Well, that depends on who you ask.
    Most modern scholars date the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to about the 10th Century CE.
  23. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Thats just to make it correlate with their ideas of history - according to the vedas (that is numerous quotes and refernces amongst puranas) srimad bhagavtam is the personal commentary on the entire vedas (more books than you can read in a lifetime, much less understand) by the celebrated compiler of the vedas Vyasadeva, who performed the task 5000 years ago.

    This is the general view of contemporary scholars

    1. The Aryans first entered India from the North West and subjugated the indigenous tribes around 4463 B.C.

    2. The Battle of Kuruksetra took place in 1912 B.C. (3976 years ago),

    3. The present Mahabharata is not the original Mahabharata written by Vedavyasa, but one put together by a later Vyasa,

    4. The Ramayana achieved its present form sometime after the compilation of the Mahabharata in about 500 B.C.

    5. The Puranas were written successively between 400 A.D. and 1000 A.D. The Markendeya Purana is the oldest and the Srimad Bhagavatam is the youngest.

    6. The Srimad Bhagavatam is a southern text, likely written during the 10th century by some unknown respected person who had rightfully assumed the title of Vyasa.

    These ideas can be challenged - perhaps this is not the thread to do it but a good head start are these links

    The first indologists

    for whom does hinduism speak

    Modern historical consciousness - its cause and cure

    Problems in the Interpretation of Vedic Literature: The Perennial Battle Between the Scholar and the Devotee

    Puranic Time and the Archaeological Record

    Questioning the Aryan Invasion Theory and Revising Ancient Indian

    State and Society in Ancient India

    Anyway, numerous links aside, I was anticipating such a comment which is why I posted to your reply mostly with the buddhists texts prajnaparamita sutra, astasahasrik prajnaparamita sutra and lalita vistara

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2006

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