Some major religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have a Creation Story, which describes how God created the universe. These stories describe how a deity created the earth and then the first man and woman, who are regarded as the father and mother of all mankind.

Does Buddhism also have a similar Creation Story?

  • NO!!! Have you 'heard' any? :)
    – sangharsh
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:23
  • Just wanted to confirm. :)
    – Mawia
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:33
  • may be I am not an authority. ;)
    – sangharsh
    Jul 15, 2014 at 15:06

4 Answers 4


The creation or non-creation of the universe is among of the unanswered questions of the Buddha i.e.

  1. Is the world eternal?
  2. ...or not?
  3. ...or both?
  4. ...or neither?

The answer is not to concern yourself with such matters. The Buddha teaches one thing and that thing is liberation.


Interestingly there is a creation myth in the Aggañña Sutta. But it don't think it should be taken too seriously as I believe it is a satire on the caste system.

  • 1
    Supplementing this answer, he declares numerous times in the canon that "there is no discernible beginning". Assuming these questions mean what we understand of them, its delightful how careful he is for not using that observation to draw a conclusion.
    – user382
    Jul 16, 2014 at 19:05
  • 2
    Creation story in Aggañña Sutta is how human beings came to dwell on Earth, after all the worlds destroyed up to Abhassra. It's not the creation story of the universe...
    – Nalaka526
    Aug 11, 2014 at 16:02

Simply, Buddhism does not have such kind of Creation story since it rejects the concept of Creator God. Instead, in the Aganna Sutta, the Buddha tells the story of how the human beings came to dwell on Earth. The Buddha told that sooner or later, after a very long time, there would be a time when the world shrinks. As the universe shrinks, many of its inhabitants would die. Of these deceased creatures, some were born again (due to good karma) in the Heavenly realm of Abbhasara (Lucid Light). There, they floated for a very - very long time, as a bodiless, radiating extreme light. They don’t eat or drink, as they nourish themselves from pure spiritual joy.

The following is how the scholars drew a conclusion that the Buddha's Anganna Sutta corresponds very closely to the scientific view. "The Buddha seems to present a model of cosmology wherein the universe expands and contracts over extremely long periods of time, this description has been found by some to be consistent with the expanding universe model and Big Bang. The Buddha seems to be saying here that the universe expands outward, reaches a stabilising point, and then reverts its motion back toward a central point resulting in its destruction, this process again to be repeated infinitely. Throughout this expanding and contracting process, the objects found within the universe undergo periods of development and change over a long stretch of time, according to the environment in which they find themselves. Following this passage above, the Buddha goes on to say that the “beings” he described in this paragraph become attached to an earthlike planet, get reborn there, and remain there for the duration of the life. As a consequence of this, physical characteristics change and evolutionary changes takes place. This is often interpreted as a very rough theory of evolution. Furthermore, the Aggañña Sutta presents water as pre-existent to earthlike planets, with the planet forming with water and the life moving from the water onto the earth. Buddha does not talk about a specific earth, but about earthlike planets in general."

  • 5
    Nice answer. I would add the reference for your final quotation. People may want to read the article or essay that you quoted. Thanks.. Jul 15, 2014 at 14:47
  • @DharmaEater A copy of the quote can be found here. That may be quoting an earlier version of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_evolution
    – ChrisW
    Oct 23, 2014 at 0:05

As Crab Bucket rightly states:

The answer is not to concern yourself with such matters. The Buddha teaches one thing and that thing is liberation.

If you were to refer to a theory of Creation in the time of the Bhudda, the closest occurence of it would be the dualist cosmology of the Samkhya. For philosophy was the leading current of thought at the time (rationalization & systematization of the metaphysical, religious and ritualistic Brahmanism;) and Samkhya was its leading philosophy, before Buddhism perfected it. The Samkhya sees creation as follows:

The Samkhya system espouses dualism by postulating two irreducible, innate and independent realities: Purusha (the Cosmic Being(s)) or Self(ves,) and Prakriti (the phenomenal realm of Nature). Two monads:

  • Purusha: the “controller” is intelligent, indifferent and inactive, yet pervasive.

  • Prakriti: has all the powers (latent, potential and actual) and is active and cloddish.

When these two distinct principles meet, there is creation.

Creation - Samkhya

In Buddhism (as in Samkhya,) liberation consists in getting rid of the influence of the gross elements, the organs of action and senses, the mind, and the Ego; so as to reach the Awakening and enter the states of the unmanifested/avyakta (which differ slightly among the different Indian philosophies and religious beliefs, but remain, for all of them, in the phenomenal realm of Nature.)
As far as going back to the Self (Purusha,) Buddhism does not seem to be concerned with that.

Understanding the inverse process of creation (liberation) that these philosophical schools (Samkhya, Bhuddism and Yoga) teach, allows people to better understand the process of creation, that is pretty much the same for all the Indian philosophies (including Brahmanism, in its purely religious form.)


When looking for the creation of things, we are wanting the answer. If you are looking for the answer, you are seeking again something. When you are seeking something you are a materialist. Let's say we need not be looking for anything, lets say we do not need beliefs, beliefs imprison us. Body like the mountain, breath like the wind, mind like the sky.

  • We are unfortunate in that in this time and age almost everything is looked upon as something to get, to aquire, to own. We think that if we collapse down around something we will understand it, this implies that focus to the extent that all other awareness is suspended is not dharma. What Dharma is about is attention
    – user489
    Jul 15, 2014 at 18:50
  • 3
    While this answer might be thought-provoking and possibly inspiring, it doesn't really answer the original question, which is "Does Buddhism have a creation story?". Answers in the style of a meditation teacher teaching a student, may be best reserved for meditation teachers teaching students. On this website the answers should be expert-style, with citations of sources to back up the answer.
    – Anthony
    Jul 15, 2014 at 23:58

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