In Islam the God is Allah, in Christianity the God is Jehovah and Jesus Christ. Is the God in Buddhism Buddha? I think it is very misleading to say that the name of the God in Buddhism is Buddha! Buddha is not a God's name but Buddha is rather an enlightenment condition. Does Buddhism have a particular God? My ultimate question is whether Buddhism was made by God or humans.


12 Answers 12


Buddhism is agnostic: it makes no claims about the existence (or non-existence) of any god. The Buddhas (for there were several aside from the eponymous Gautama) were merely those who are sufficiently awake to see the human condition, and to prescribe the remedy for what ails us all. Don't make more of it than you need to.

Of course, there are those who see Buddha as a kind of divinity. That is fine to the extent that that is what they need to make sense of the Buddhist path. It makes no difference in the long run, because Buddhists do not seek 'truth.' They seek liberation, and bondage to the 'truth' can be as restrictive as anything else.

If a god exists, then we are one with it, and Buddhist practice is the way to realize that unity. If no god exists, then Buddhist practice is the way to realize who we are. It's not something we need to worry about.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 11:24
  • I would have upvoted but didn't because you suggest that Buddhists do not seek truth. I wouldn't know what else to seek. .
    – user14119
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 13:19
  • 1
    @PeterJ — Yeah, that's an unfortunate artifact of language, that I'd hoped the scare-quotes would manage. Truth-seeking in the Western world is such an intellectual exercise that it defies Buddhist teaching; personally I tend to use the world 'understanding' when I talk about mystical/metaphysical truths. Sorry for any confusion. Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 14:09
  • Ah, I see what you mean. Fair point. Could be less ambiguous. . . .
    – user14119
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 14:39
  • @PeterJ I'll reflect on it a bit and see if I can come up with a better way of putting it; I'll edit it in if so. Any suggestions? Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 14:41

The world we see is limited to animals and humans. But according to Buddha, world is consists of 31 different realms. Those including human world, animal world, God's world etc.

So if you have done karma which cause you to be born in heaven you will also be a god. And in buddhism it's clearly explains that the time in the heavens are longer than ours. It's like 1 year of human world is one day for them (I can't remember the exact numbers). And that goes higher when the heaven is also a higher one (something like 100 humans years = one heaven day). So when someone born in that kind of heaven they think that's permanent. Because they are there from the beginning of the world. They don't know that at the end of the world they are also going to die. Buddha is the one who understand all these, and how this world works. It's all based on paticcasamuppada explained in the core buddhism. Understanding all these what buddha advised to all is: don't try to go to heaven, because it won't save you for ever, it just save you for sometime only (yes that can be a long time but that's not forever). Once you have finished your business there you have to come back to other worlds as well, and you may even go to hell later. So Buddha found a way to stop all that which is called Nirvana. Important thing on that is it gives you ultimate happiness as well.

I hope this answer clears your confusion on God view of Buddhism.


I believe Buddhism is non-theistic, especially if we take 'God' in the usual Western sense. It simply doesn't work with the concept of creator God (gods are also trapped in samsara) and rather invites you to experience the nature of ultimate reality for yourself. The Great Beyond is beyond all concepts and thoughts. The moment you try to speak about it, you are already wrong (including me right now, typing these words). Therefore Buddhism doesn't go into describing the Absolute, but instead tries to remove the poison, so that you can see the nature of reality for yourself. It is a very apophatic approach, a very direct method of experiencing the Absolute. I believe the Parable of the Poisoned Arrow is very relevant when it comes to the above mentioned approach.


Buddhism is man made in the sense that Buddha was a man. But he was no ordinary man ofc, as he achieved Buddhahood, i. e. recognizing his true nature, the buddha-nature, which is inherent in all the living beings. Discovering your true nature, the buddha-nature, is how one can experience the ultimate reality.


I used to be a Buddhist back in my teens. I was angry with God and always telling him about my day and talking to him on my way back from primary school. Messed up, right?

Here’s the kicker, Siddartha’s birth coincided in a time when Hinduism was about to be taken too literally. You know Ganesh, the god with an elephant’s face? They were about to kill anyone who thought of it as a metaphor, that Ganesh was a man with an elephant’s memory, gentle strength and loving soul. That Shiva really had 50 hands instead of seeing her as a frighteningly competent multitasker. That sort of thing.

So Siddartha was sent to break the idolatries of Hinduism. Instead of gods, he focused on philosophy as best as he could. Try as he might, it was powerless to prevent his followers from embellishing it in a multitude of variations that make nothing cohesive. I know this because I read that I could leave Buddhism if I found a better religion.

You know what is the bitterest liquor you can taste? That man can never be free from the curse of forming idols in his head, even if it is called “I lack belief in a god or gods”. That very thing then becomes it’s own morality, with an umbilical cord to the rightness and wrongness. All feelings and decisions made on this premise as if it were a less intimidating force of nature, the most powerful horse that he has the heart to break, so that he can shut out the ghostly hauntings of his sweetest dreams and memories that take the soul back to preludes of time and spaces, of kisses and betrayals, blood spilled and flesh eaten while alive. Why else can’t man defeat the urge to slap a vulnerable woman who also needs a powerful idol to break her own curses?

As a Freethinker since childhood and one other thing when I came of age, I have come to terms with Buddhism. It gets you half way there, to your bliss. The other half must be searched from calling out to the darkness of our existence, to see if anything came back to life again from sacrificial condemnation. Some make a choice and some don’t want to. It is our life. Beyond lies the supreme redemption. Go blessed by my failures.


Buddha is not considered a god according to Theravada Buddhism. We currently adhere to the teachings of "Gautama Buddha." Prior to him, 27 Buddhas were born in the world, and all of them were human. In Buddhist belief, Buddha is considered a human being, but he excels in every aspect of knowledge and spiritual power.

According to Buddhist teachings, only Buddha possesses the ability to perform "yamaka maha prathihara," which involves simultaneously achieving two highly advanced meditation states that are entirely different from each other and creating fire and water within his body. This feat is beyond the capability of anyone else in the universe except Buddha.

Buddha is greater than gods, including Brahma, or any other beings, despite being a human. Nevertheless, Buddhism acknowledges the existence of gods, and you can find references to gods with names like "Shakra," "Indra," and "Varuna" in Buddhist texts. you can be god according to your "karma"


Yes there is God and Devil just as there is heaven and hell , king and commoners, saint and liars… But Buddha says all states of existence are impermanent and therefore one should not cling to any of these otherwise there will be suffering.


I think there's some overlap.

In Islam and Christianity, would it be true to say that God is a bit unknowable ... and that what people do know of Him is because of Holy Scripture -- the Bible, the Koran, the traditional interpretation (i.e., the Church)?

That might be similar to Buddhism ... where the Buddha "himself" defies any easy categorisation -- and might be called the Tathagata -- but people learn the doctrine (which in Buddhism is called the "Dhamma" or "Dharma"), and maybe strongly associate that (doctrine) with Buddhism and the Buddha.

There's a strong human-origin story to the Buddha too -- born in a palace, married, left home to discover enlightenment -- then again, Christianity too has a "God was a man" story, so that's not entirely different.

Maybe in both cases, Christianity and Buddhism, that human-origin helps to imply that the doctrine is suitable for humans.

The Buddhist canon teaches that there are heavens (and hells), in which beings live as Gods. The Buddhist twist is that those states too are impermanent, that the Gods are eventually reborn in lower realms, etc. There's even one sutta -- I'm not sure how literally to interpret it -- which says that the first God born into a heavenly realm will think, "I'm the first! So, I must have been the creator of all this..."

Two important differences, it seems to me.

  • One is that Buddhism seems to me more practical or self-evident, based on reality -- I don't know of Buddhism theology equivalent to the doctrine of "transubstantiation", for example. It might well talk about transforming yourself -- but it's not just magic, and it's based on more-or-less observable characteristics.
  • Another is that Buddhism teaches that people are responsible for their own salvation -- and I think that might be unlike other theology which says that people are saved by God's grace. On the other hand people might find the way by "hearing" the good dhamma, so, maybe not entirely unlike other religion.

In summary it seems to me that Buddhism is a bit of a science, whereas other religions are a bit of a superstition -- though I suspect that people who really know how to practice other religions see it as it is and might understand the word "God" in a nuanced way.

“And indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)

FYI here is an answer from the perspective of the Shin school of Buddhism -- which might once have seemed to me to be a school of Buddhism that's relatively close to having Buddha-as-a-"God", and to having "prayer". Reading it in detail I think it isn't theistic, nor unorthodox, but might easily be traced to the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta -- that's getting into more detail though than is justified by the question.

I'm not sure whether there are "supernatural beings" in Buddhism. The answer is probably "yes", that there are Gods and Demons who may or may not sometimes interact with humans -- "Mara" is famous, for example -- there's a so-called Secular Buddhism in the West which discounts supernatural elements. Some might also say that e.g. "Mara" is some kind of a personification.

Beware though that I think of this topic (i.e. theology) as a minor and tangential part of Buddhism, almost irrelevant or a side-track, and possibly a later addition to a more original doctrine, whereas sometimes in other religions the theology might be taught as if it were important -- not that the Buddha is unimportant!

I think the chief characteristic of the Buddha might be something like, "If the Buddha can attain enlightenment, so might I if I learn to practice like him" -- like a role-model (or teacher): to be remembered.

Reading the suttas I get the impression that the Buddha says that the way to enlightenment is to depend on him as a teacher, and to know and practice his doctrine.

He doesn't claim to be God (he's sometimes described as teaching the Gods as well as teaching humans).

And the doctrine isn't like divine commandment ("I want you to do X, and I will reward or punish you accordingly"), instead it's presented more like natural law ("Y is the natural consequence of doing X").


This depends somewhat on how you define "God."

The Buddha has been called "devātideva", which means "god of gods." This points out a Buddha's position of superiority among all beings. His decision to teach the world the Dharma is effectively revelation of the highest caliber and his access to it is a result of his culminated perfection.

The Buddha remained closely associated with the deities and spirits that became his disciples. But he remains the highest authority. The only one equal to him is another Buddha.


Terminology 'buddhism' was made by some educated-idiots after Buddha to mislead everyone from unbounded dhamma(right teaching) to a bounded tradition of similar ones.

There are lots of misconceptions going on nowdays.

If by word, 'God' you mean someone who is:: Tathagata, Bhagwa, ., ., ., Details can be seen at https://bodhimonastery.org/the-ten-qualities-of-the-buddha.html

Then yes, dhamma(right teachings) were given by God or if you prefer to give above qualities to word, 'human' then yes, dhamma was given by a human.

'Buddhism' has nothing to do with 'Right Teaching', word 'Dhamma' was used to denote rightness by buddha. Don't get distracted by 'Buddhism' preachers.


The God in Buddhism is Buddha ?

act-ually yes, even a creator-God, the Buddha is the "Brahma", father, giver, lord of this Dhamma of liberation, the cause (speaking to his monks:

“I am a brahman, responsive to requests, open-handed, bearing my last body, an unsurpassed doctor & surgeon. You are my children, my sons, born from my mouth, born of the Dhamma, created by the Dhamma, heirs to the Dhamma, not heirs in material things. Iti § 100

The circumstance that many deny obligation toward him and his disciples, do not have refuge and steal and carry away the Dhamma for many purposes in the world, doesn't change the fact of dependency, debts and faults.

I think this is very very misleading to say that the name of the God in Buddhism is Buddha

Act-ually not but the Opposite, since it is a matter of right view, the first step on the path to liberation:

'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' AN 10.176

Broadly Jain's actually use the Dhamma. With just this wrong view, there is no God, no giver... this grave wrong view, they are destinated to hell, conducting based on this view and ingratitude in their plunder. (youtuber, facebooker, google-worshipper, BsEler... all those lost Brahmans havn't an ease, slaves who deny giver and caught in one of those marxist Kibbutz)

God, again, stands for parents, Good, giver of real good(s), root.

[Note that this hasn't been given for trade, exchange, stacks but for release from the bond of trade with fakes and thieves.]


Buddhist teachings accept that gods exist. According to Buddhist teachings, there are negative realms [hell, animal, ghost, etc…] and there are positive realms [human, god, Brahma] but none of these realms are permanent. Even gods are not permanent; they also have a lifespan. The only permanent thing is Nirvana.

Buddha is not a god. He is a human but greater than any god or any Brahma.

So, there are realms of gods, some godly realms have more luxury and longer life expectancy than others. We can also get there if we accumulate positive karma.

But these things are not permanent except for Nirvana...


All other Gods are fake. There is no such Allah or Jesus who comes from the sky to help people. Also, there is no such being as omniscent or omnipotent. Everything is cause and effect. Buddhism is one true religion which helps you to know about the nature of being through critical analysis.

You have to keep in mind that there has been a brainwash for people to believe in such Gods. There is no one in the sky.

  • 1
    Yes, everything is cause and effect. This is why Siddhārtha Gautama teaches us not to praise ourself and slander others. Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 23:16
  • I agree with the above comment and also suggest this answer is counter to the ideas and concepts of the Buddha's responses to the Unanswerable Questions. @user17389, perhaps consider if the Buddha would have likely answered this question in your manner?
    – GVCOJims
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 19:43
  • I have no views on anything you say. However, there is no omnipotent God. Congratulation for learning Buddhism and still believing on omniscent being.
    – user17389
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 5:27
  • Buddhism is a more subtle doctrine than this answer implies.
    – user14119
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 13:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .