Various beliefs prevail in Buddhism regarding the path to liberation. Being the world’s 4th largest religion it besets a number of traditions and practices based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. Let us understand the concept of God in Buddhism through this write-up by getting an overview on the biography of Gautama Buddha and try to analyse whether the religious practices followed in Buddhism are appropriate in the attainment of salvation?
The highlights will be on the following
Who Founded Buddhism?
What did Buddha Actually Say About Divine Beings?
- Divinity in Buddhism
- Followers Who Advocates Communism
Whom do Buddhists Pray?
The Act of Insanity: Human Sacrifice
To begin with let us know who founded Buddhism?
Who Founded Buddhism?
The Buddha, 2600 years ago, was an Indian philosopher, religious teacher, and the historical founder of Buddhism.
The Buddha was also known as Shakyamuni and was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 B.C.) near the town of Kapilavastu (now in Nepal). His mother, ‘Maya’ died seven days after giving birth to him. His father, ‘Shuddhodana’ was the ruler of the city of Pataliputra; Śākyan clan, a tribe known as the Shakyas. He had all that life could offer: material possessions, a loving family, fame, reputation and power. He later ventured out in search of God.
How did Buddha's father protect him in his early years?
Soon after the birth of Buddha (Siddhartha), a seer predicted that Siddhartha would become either a great king or a great spiritual leader. Wanting him to be a great political leader, his father protected him from any contact with the problems of suffering, death, and injustice.
It is said that Gautama's father, in order to prevent him from worrying about unpleasant situations, built a special palace for him surrounded by distracting luxuries.
When Gautama turned 16 years old, he eventually married Yashodhara and had a son named Rahula. Although Siddhartha had everything he could want, he was still not happy.
“Siddhartha made a bold move and gave up his worldly commitments”
Siddhartha renounced his princely life to live as an ascetic, wandering & learning as he had a strong desire to attain God. He left his family, his palace and everything else at the age of 29 and became the founder of a sect of wanderer ascetics (Sramanas); the Buddha (means “the awakened one”).
“The Buddha is not a God, nor a saviour who can save others.”
Gautama began a search for the answers to the formal questions of life that bothered him and achieved general awareness with the self-professed religious means for dealing with them. In the absence of the True Master, he practiced against the scriptures and continued to dwell on some religious questions but did not solve the basic human predicament. He is said to have experimented with many different teachings for seven years but found none of them acceptable. After six years of severe physical austerity, he realized that extreme self-denial was not the path to ultimate happiness. He became disillusioned with things with all wrong conceptions and defilements that brought temporary, worldly happiness.
What did Buddha Actually Say About Divine Beings?
The historical Buddha viewed gods as sentient beings trapped in the same cycle of Samsara and suffering as human beings. It is clear from many Buddhist suttas (sutras) that the Buddha did not deny the gods. He didn’t believe them (gods) to be of much use to mankind. He inferred that Gods, too were caught up in the world of pain and flux, including one who could be considered a Brahma, the Creator. Buddha’s view on the concept of God was neither to accept, nor reject the concept of a creator or creation.
He merely puts God’s concept aside without ever expressing so clearly about the existence of the Gods. He preached that believing in gods was not useful for those seeking to realize enlightenment.
(From Buddha Teachings),
“Gods were involved in the cycle of rebirth like all other beings and eventually, they would disappear. ‘Belief in God’ is not necessary to achieve enlightenment.”
Divinity in Buddhism
The desires which are suppressed in the earth as "austerity", those desires are easily fulfilled in heaven as the seeker believes in a delusion that this is the salvation (the seeker) attained from the fruits of tenacity and sacrifice made on earth, which is permanent and immortal! The virtuous thirsty and yearning souls are ready to sacrifice everything for the mere sight of God. Witnessing a long or big beard, it was speculated that he is a very great saint and a special reason for Mahatma Gautama Buddha to impress every common man was his special type of costumes, which people would understand would be a great Mahatma. But none of the spiritual benefits came from the absence of scriptures in the manner of worship suggested by Buddha.
Compared to the facilities available on the earth, heaven is a place of higher-order where we can experience enjoyment. Those who earned virtue through Austerity and Spiritual Practice are thrown back into the Mrityu Lok as soon as the quota of virtuous deeds is fulfilled in heaven. Just as the merits of Mahatma Gautam Buddha were over, he had to come back to Mrityu Lok.
Followers Who Advocate Communism
In China, the ancestors are followers of Mahatma Buddha. When the Buddha came three thousand years ago, superstition was very high, so, multitudes of his disciples started becoming very enamored by believing the words of Mahatma Buddha.
Due to his previous merit, he was a good speaker and the power of his word influenced many people. He made a few points of good moral education and then, he went out to preach. "We should live with each other with love". "No one should smoke, don't hurt any soul, do not harm or tease anyone, give your best to others". These things should be done naturally by the common man. It’s good if someone propagates these things.
Generally, Buddhists think that soul takes birth on its own and dies on its own. Buddha’s followers do not know who God is and how to attain complete salvation.
“Buddhism has a residual or latent role in Education”
China became an atheist believing in Buddhism. The supporters of Buddhism in this later period now focus on materialism, putting up more and more structures or monastic buildings--and even the Sangha guides the people in this direction.
“His followers become more atheist in this way”
When we speak about “Buddhism and Education”, we are prone to referring to the past when temples were the center for education and monks were the trainers and teachers in charge of education. This type of reference is a way of showing the value of Buddhism in society, which once really existed. But at the same time, it is like accusing oneself of a kind of negligence because now these values and benefits no longer exist, which can be called a kind of degeneration.
There were no spiritual masters of Mahatma Buddha, so how can his knowledge be authenticated.
Who do Buddhists Pray?
One of the famous Buddhist chants when they pray to experience a non-dual reality.
"Om Mani Padme Hum"
Which means “I devote myself to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra”.
Buddhism is the fourth-largest religion in the world and yet, it is not centered on the relationship between humanity and God. There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. They consider only Buddha could communicate with the gods. The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom. The monks and nuns can marry after receiving their higher ordination in the Buddhist tradition. Education for the monks has been conducted by the monastic institutions themselves, and there are no laws which recognize it; it is therefore, a kind of "outlaw" education, school, or university.
“Nirvana Vs Complete Salvation”
Human life is attained to achieve salvation by doing scripture-based worship of One God. Buddha, a virtuous soul, maintained false beliefs regarding the way of Salvation.
Due to lack of proper guidance and in the absence of the True Master (who has Complete Spiritual Knowledge of all the religious scriptures), Mahatma Buddha with his unrealistic beliefs or opinions failed to recognize the nature of god and the hidden facts ~ given in our holy scriptures including the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita. Due to such unawareness, countries like Japan, China and Russia became atheists.
“If he did not find God by practicing his self-professed religious acts, this means that his way of getting God was wrong and not that ‘there is no God’….”
Until a living being returns to Satlok, he will keep performing actions in Kaal lok in this very way and after spending his earnings of Naam and meritorious acts like charity etc in heaven-like restaurants, on the basis of his actions will again keep revolving in Kaal lok to suffer in the bodies of 84 lakh types of living beings. It is said in Gita that salvation is possible only by going to the shelter of a Complete Saint.
An incomplete guru should be abandoned immediately.
“Jhoothe guru ke paksh ko, tajat na keejae vaari”
Without the Tatvadarshi Guru (God-realised saint), all living beings including, Buddha, suffer extreme misery in this immortal world of sorrows.
Koti janm tu raja kinha, miti na man ki asha |
Bhikshuk hokar dar-dar handya, milya na nirgun rasa ||
Lord Kabir says, “O Human being! You performed an extremely difficult religious practice of Kaal (Brahm). Renouncing home, you resided in the jungle. Then, you roamed in villages and cities from door to door. You used to perform intense penance according to the method mentioned in the Lokved (folklore). Because of not finding a Tatvadarshi Saint, you did not find the Nirgun Rasa, that is, the hidden knowledge which is called Tatvgyan.
“Need to search for the place where there is true sustenance.”
Today in Kalyug the most difficult question before the Bhakt community is to identify a Purna Guru. In Holy “Yajurved Adhyay 40 Mantra 8” that “Kavir′ maneeshi swayambhuH paribhu vyavdhaata”, meaning is that Kabir Parmatma is omniscient (the meaning of ‘maneeshi’ is omniscient) and manifests Himself. He is Satnam (Paribhu) i.e. the First God. He is the ‘Vyavdhaata’ of all the brahmands i.e. is the Creator of all the different loks.
Supreme cannot be found by starving oneself.
“Starvation cannot lead to enlightenment.”
Sant Rampalji Maharaj Ji has revealed that Mahatma Buddha was a virtuous soul who came from Vishnu lok, that is, from heaven. The facilities he had in heaven, he could not have found in this world, he thus wandered in the search here and there and even abandoned his house and kingdom. He started doing self-willed meditation (Hath yoga) under a banyan tree in Bihar. He stopped eating completely (starved himself) and his body also completely shriveled up. God resides with his children. Buddha was also the child of the same God (Paramatma). God saved his life. Else, he would have died due to his Hath yog. An old lady was inspired to feed him some kheer (rice milk pudding). The first day he ate some and the next day some more, his body became a little bit healthier. He ate all the Kheer this way, and he then declared that "Starvation cannot lead to Salvation''. When he didn't find God, he became an orator, due to which he gained many followers. He went out of the league of the society and due to his special skills, as the society was uneducated around 3000 years ago, many went after him and embraced Buddhism. Only the virtuous beings of previous lives leave the house in the yearning of the divine and whatever the guidance is given to anyone, the seeker starts doing the same spiritual practice. But, the lack of (Sat Marga) True Devotional Path and the Right Guru causes innumerable miseries.
The Act of Insanity: Human Sacrifice
One can never achieve God by renouncing worldly pleasures with Hatha Yoga. The act of sacrificing the lives of animals or humans to a higher purpose, usually as an offering to a deity is Useless. No one can attain God by walking on the self-made path created by Buddha.
“The Absolute God is Kabir Saheb, who sits on a throne in Satlok”
Since 1403 only, Purna Parmatma Kabir Ji had started telling the knowledge of all the scriptures in His sacred speech (Kavir Vaani). He who clears up all your doubts, only he is a Complete Saint i.e. is Tattavdarshi. To know the true path of salvation, we must understand the spiritual knowledge given by Parameshwar Kabir. In the present, Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj had to pay a heavy price for speaking the truth. In order to attain God, in the Kali-yuga, God himself has descended from the Satlok on earth. Purna Parmatma Kabir Dev (God Kabir) had Himself come in the form of a Tatvadarshi Saint (Sat Guru).
Respected Garibdas Ji is saying on the behalf of his Guru and God, Kabir Sahib Ji that, obtain the true Mantra i.e. Satyanaam and Saarshabd; you will achieve complete liberation. Otherwise, you will remain held in Kaal’s trap by doing baseless sadhna and by listening to sweet talks of fake saints and priests and will bear hardships one after another.
“Anant koti avtar hain, Maya ke Govind |
Karta ho ho avtare, bahur pade jag fandh ||
A living being can become liberated only by doing the bhakti of SatPurush, Kabir Ji.”