Can A Buddhist believe in God?

Devils' Advocate

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In this so called Reality. Well, most of the time.
While a lot of this seems to get quite complicated, the simple answer to me (maybe too simple!) is that there is nothing in traditional Buddhism that prevents someone following the Buddha and believing in a God as well. Buddhism does not require a God; it doesn't seem to restrict the concept of a God either. But again, maybe I am oversimplifying.
 

earl

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"In the beginning was the Word." To me that speaks to Primordial Consciousness. Earl
 

Nicholas Weeks

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Buddha met God, that is, Brahmaa the Creator and the latter admitted to Buddha he was not the Creator, but the first being and he wrongly surmised that he was the creator. Later beings, his disciples, thought the same and Brahmaa did not disabuse them of the notion.

So God is real and Buddhists know of him, but do not take refuge in him or any other being. Only the Triple Jewel of Buddha, Dharma & Sangha are the refuge for Buddhists.
 

Nowhere Man

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Guess, it might depend on your definition of God as in http://www.alanwallace.org/Is Buddhism Really Nontheistic_.pdf Earl

God, as such relates with Buddhism, remains empty of any inherant existence by which there is no permanent abiding form found in Buddhism, which comparatively with Cristianity's definition, is vastly contrasted.

There remains no recognition in any theistic sense, and the usage of the term is oftentimes colloquial and metaphorical in nature.

A novice can hold to a belief when starting a Buddhist practice, but as practice and insight is revealed, the theistic baggage dissipates.
 

Nowhere Man

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While a lot of this seems to get quite complicated, the simple answer to me (maybe too simple!) is that there is nothing in traditional Buddhism that prevents someone following the Buddha and believing in a God as well. Buddhism does not require a God; it doesn't seem to restrict the concept of a God either. But again, maybe I am oversimplifying.
Many people started Buddhist practices with a belief in God. I was one of them, so your correct that a Buddhist can believe in God for which that belief can be held onto or dropped, depending on the persons disposition and effectiveness of the particular form of Buddhism that was chosen.
 

Nick the Pilot

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For many Buddhists, the question of God is just not important. There may or may not be a God, but it is not a question that many Buddhists worry about, or try to come up with an answer to. (There are also many Buddhists who say God does not exist.)

But Buddhism is very clear that the task at hand is to concentrate on what is happening right here, right now, and not put a lot of importance on metaphysical contemplations on what may have happened billions of years in the past or may happen billions of years in the future.

This way of looking at things is very different than the Christian way of looking at things, and many Christians find this Buddhist way of thinking strange and unacceptable.

I believe that Buddhism neither requires people to believe in God nor not believe in God.

It must also be said that many Buddhists are puzzled by Christians who badger them about whether they believe in God. (I get this a lot). Even more puzzling is when Christians tell Buddhists that they "must" believe in God, then they (Christians) get angry and/or become manipulative when Buddhists reject such ideas outright. To us Buddhists, it is as if these Christians become obsessed with such discussions, an obsession that does not affect Buddhists. Rather, Buddhists see the absence of such an obsession as another example of a mind that is calm and at peace.
 
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Aussie Thoughts

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It must also be said that many Buddhists are puzzled by Christians who badger them about whether they believe in God. (I get this a lot). Even more puzzling is when Christians tell Buddhists that they "must" believe in God, then they (Christians) get angry and/or become manipulative when Buddhists reject such ideas outright.
Christians preach the existence of God, because our scripture tells us to do so. Unfortunately, a lot of my brethren take that to mean, go forth and jam the scripture down everyone's throat. I say, state your peace to those who are receptive and move on. Obsessing about it serves no purpose.
Buddhists see the absence of such an obsession as another example of a mind that is calm and at peace.
Well said.
 

Nicholas Weeks

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Many, maybe most theists cannot understand how virtue and divinity can be innate. They only can fathom an external entity that supplies such if one connects to that outside being.
So they are truly puzzled and can get angry at such an obvious need for God (to their mind) which Buddhists, Jains and other atheists forgo.
 

Nowhere Man

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I would say the issue of God and belief is a moot point that's best acknowledged and let go. It's really a matter of strong ego and attachment that is being contended with.
 
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Thomas

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Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Wood at Anathapindika's monastery. On that occasion the Lord was instructing... the bhikkhus with a Dhamma talk connected with Nibbana, and those bhikkhus... were intent on listening to Dhamma.
Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:
There is, bhikkhus, a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, not-brought-to-being, not-made, not-conditioned, no escape would be discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. But since there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, conditioned. (Udana 8,3)
 

Ahanu

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And how would various Buddhists view this, Thomas?

I'm aware Thich Nhat Hanh has no problem with a belief in God, as long as we're talking about the ground of being.
 

Thomas

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And how would various Buddhists view this, Thomas?
No idea.

I'm aware Thich Nhat Hanh has no problem with a belief in God, as long as we're talking about the ground of being.
That rather begs the question, who isn't?

Paul Tillich 'popularised' the idea of God as Ground of Being, but Tillich's apologetics seem to make simple concepts infinitely complex!

As for the idea of Ground of Being from a Christian POV, it's there in Scripture, so I cannot foresee any reason why a Christian and a Buddhist should have any issue with the idea.
 

Nowhere Man

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And how would various Buddhists view this, Thomas?

I'm aware Thich Nhat Hanh has no problem with a belief in God, as long as we're talking about the ground of being.

The excerpt provided by Tom dosent reference God in any capicity. Oftentimes theistic views on God tend to be colloquially used terms during conversations and debates.

There is no deity in Buddhism, yet theism isn't discouraged either in cases involving a practitioner's personal view, but isn't addressed in Buddhist practice.

However as you may already know, a strongly held belief is certainly a detriment past the holistic benefits that arise from Buddhism. In short, a person cannot practice Buddhism if you hang onto the bone of theism without first letting go.
 

earl

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The excerpt provided by Tom dosent reference God in any capicity. Oftentimes theistic views on God tend to be colloquially used terms during conversations and debates.

There is no deity in Buddhism, yet theism isn't discouraged either in cases involving a practitioner's personal view, but isn't addressed in Buddhist practice.

However as you may already know, a strongly held belief is certainly a detriment past the holistic benefits that arise from Buddhism. In short, a person cannot practice Buddhism if you hang onto the bone of theism without first letting go.
http://www.tricycle.com/blog/god-or-human Not quite true. Earl
 
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