I mean, free from misguidance, from being wrong and misdirected?
And if it the case, where is the evidence?

4 Answers 4


The spirit of the Buddha's Teaching has always been: "To come, practice, and experience it for yourself". He had long abandoned the ego to prove anything to anyone:

"Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'

"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.' ~ AN 8.53 ~"


to answer and accept an answer to this question we first have to predicate that the Buddha was an arahant, that is

Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.

Knowing, the Blessed One knows; seeing, he sees. He is the Eye, he is Knowledge, he is Dhamma, he is Brahma. He is the speaker, the proclaimer, the elucidator of meaning, the giver of the Deathless, the lord of the Dhamma, the Tathagata.

arahant is one, whos mental fermentations are ended, abandoned, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising

It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to tell a conscious lie.

Sutava sutta (AN 9.7)

So, being an arahant the Buddha could not tell lies when preaching the Dhamma and addressing questions, because all that he did consciously

and if we accept that the Buddha's realization is genuine and his own knowledge is truthful, so he himself wasn't deluded, then his Dhamma must be as truthful


I think the obvious answer is "No." Zen, as always, put this well with the famous "If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him" quote. No tradition, set of teachings, or community can remain "free from misguidance, from being wrong and misdirected." All religions fall into these categories, and are comprised of and maintained by human beings, who are by nature susceptible to delusion and error. Buddhism is a large and ancient religion, and as a result the amount of obvious bullshit you can find floating around out there under its name is enormous.

Buddhism's advantage is that the Buddha was himself clearly aware of this problem, and repeatedly emphasized the need for his teachings to be validated empirically rather than accepted on faith. As a result, there has always been a healthy current of empiricism within Buddhist teachings.

Stephen Batchelor's entire output is dedicated to excising this spirit from the various institutional traps it's been caught in over the history of formal Buddhism; I'd recommend you look at his writings if you are interested in more discussion along these lines.


Your skepticism is correct and healthy.

Buddhism is subjective and objective. It is about you and your experience. And it generalizes that experience among all humans because we are all similar thinking beings. We all have a brain and a heart.

But along with skepticism, there are practices of Shamatha and Vipassana. Practice them. Don't worry as they are not black magic practices ;) but they give you a first hand experience of the observation of your mind and things around you.

I would suggest you start with those practices along with your skepticism and start reading from various sources and be sure to organize your sources and thoughts.

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