After the Buddha is said to have achieved Nirvana, there were subsequent Buddhist Councils that were held.

Some years ago I came across an article that said that it was in one of these Councils that it was made official for Buddhists that there is no creator-god and no Day of Judgment. Which council was that? I think it was the Fourth? But I just can't find that information again.


3 Answers 3


It is incorrect that this is later development. From the onset in the Buddhism teaching did not have the teaching of a Creator God or Judgement Day.

The Buddhist notion of a creator is the stained mind or conditioned mind or unliberated mind. We keep creating our next moment due to Kleshas. This is further explained in Dependent Origination and the Links of Dependent Origination. This is evident from the Udana 'Anekajati samsaram sandhavissam' in which refers to the creator as Ignorance.

Aneka jati samsaram, Sandhavissam anibbisam; Gahakarakam gavesanto, Dukkha jati punappunam. Gahakaraka ditthosi, Puna geham na kahasi; Sabba te phasuka bhagga, Gahakutam visankhitam; Visankharagatam cittam, Tanhanam khayamajjhaga.

-Udana uttered by the Buddha after His enlightenment.

So many births I have taken in this world, seeking in vain the bui1der of this house; in my search over and over, I took new birth, new suffering.

Oh! house builder, now I have seen you, you cannot make a new house for me; all your beams are broken, the ridge pole is shattered; my mind is freed from all the conditionings of the past, and has no more craving for the future.

[ The 'house builder' referred to above is avijja (ignorance). 'house' or 'new house' referred to above is nama-rupa (the mind-matter continuum) which is infact the 5 aggregates (pancakkhanda)-matter or body (rupa) and the 4 parts that constitute the mind, consciousness (vinnana) perception (sanna), sensation (vedana), reaction or conditioning (sankhara).]

This has been discussed in more depth later on under "cause-effect (paticca-Samuppada)".

Above extracted from http://www.buddhanet.net/bvk_study/bvk212a.htm


To state such judgement would be to intentionally contradict with Christianity. I believe there is no internal (teaching needs) nor external (societal) need for such judgement. Thus, it's highly doubtful that any big council would make such statement, and even more doubtful that it will be 'official for all Buddhists'.

No council can prescript official opinion obligatory for all Buddhists of Earth. Because Buddhist community is not centralized/autocratic but pluralistic. Any council that will try to enforce dogma will just split community on who accept it and who is not.

  • I understand that there might be sensitive times and/or political reasons to maintain unity that councils may prefer not to make loud statements. But every religion or ideology has some central/fundamental beliefs that it claims, and to assert them is not to "enforce dogma". I'm interested more in the Theravada Buddhism councils, as I feel that they are historically the closest we can get to the real Buddha. I'm not concerned if what they say wouldn't apply to all Buddhists, and if they did say such a thing, I wouldn't consider it "enforcing dogma", but merely clarifying integral beliefs.
    – user961627
    Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 18:40
  • The fundamental teaching of Buddhism is arround Bodhipakkhiyādhammā, Three marks of existence, Four Noble Truths, Pratītyasamutpāda, Twelve Nidānas, etc. Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 8:08
  • Buddhism does not have the concept of an external creator. We are our own creators. The current moment creates the next. Also there is no concept of a law giver. The laws of nature exit on their own without any external intervention. This is the concept throughout Buddhist history. Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 8:19

Points to take note:

It is TRUE that a number of Buddhist Councils were held after the mahaparinirvana (nirvana-after-death) of the Buddha. Not during Buddha's life time nor just after Buddha attained nirvana.

It is NOT TRUE that any Buddhist Council concludes or makes official something that not part of Buddha's teaching for Buddhists. In other words, Buddhist Councils were held just to preserve the entire Buddha's sayings and rules. No changing or amending.

Since day one from Buddha's teaching, there is NO Creator, God or Judgement Day. Therefore, Buddhist Councils never have to conclude or make official for such things.

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