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Questions tagged [the-buddha]

For questions about the Buddha (Siddartha Gautama) as a person - his life, sayings, actions, etc.

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Can the Buddha ever be a woman?

Is it true that the Buddha will never be a woman? If so, why is this? To be specific, I am particularly asking whether or not the Buddha itself can be female. I am not asking whether a woman can ...
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6answers
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Did Gautama Buddha exist?

Is there any historical third-party evidence that the Gautama Buddha actually existed? Is there historical third-party evidence that Prince Siddhartha or the Gautama Buddha existed outside of the ...
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12answers
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How do you tell a 4-year-old who the Buddha was?

I'm in the process of organising a family day at my Local Buddhist Centre. I'll be taking my 4-year-old daughter with me and she will once again ask me who is the Buddha? Previously I have always ...
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15answers
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Why do Buddhists believe there is no creator?

Why do Buddhists believe there is no creator? Do Buddhists in general also believe there is no supreme being, or do they settle on that there is no intervening supreme being? Are these the Buddha's ...
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11answers
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Should a Buddhist feel offended by misuses of Buddha's name or image?

I have just found out that there is a person producing and selling a beer in my town called "Buddha Beer" with Hotei's picture on it. Initially I found it offensive and disrespectful (marketing ...
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8answers
4k views

Life of Buddha, to be taken seriously?

I've been studying Buddhism for the past few months and part of it entails reading about Siddartha's life story, including his path to enlightenment. What's been confusing to me is whether or not ...
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10answers
3k views

Does God exist in Buddhism?

I'm new to this site. So I'd like to ask a question about God. Do Buddhists believe in the existence of a God? Does Lord Buddha mention anything about this?
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4answers
2k views

Why did the Buddha suffer before he died?

I understand that the Buddha became severely ill prior to his death as a result of eating bad food. I also was under the impression that perfectly enlightened beings have obliterated, or rendered ...
13
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2answers
178 views

What are the texts that contain words which can be attributed directly to the Buddha?

If I understand correctly, the Buddha never wrote anything but some Buddhist texts quote him by describing meetings or situations where he was present. Is there a comprehensive list of all scripts ...
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12answers
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Attachment is a poison. Why is attachment to the Buddha and to Buddhist philosophy not a problem?

Attachment (aka craving or greed) is one of the Three Poisons. Why is attachment to Buddha not a poison? Perhaps it's related to the Tibetan Buddhist lojong "Don't make gods into demons"?
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12answers
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Why is Buddha almost treated like a God in most Buddhist traditions?

While I find some buddhist ideas intriguing - mainly using meditation to find insights in oneself - I'm also quite irritated, why so many traditions are so full of dogma, i.e. things you just have to ...
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4answers
453 views

How sacrosanct is the “source material” of Buddhism?

In this answer to my question about why we keep referring to antiquated old parables and similes, Inzenity wrote, "The scriptures are part of the teachings, the source of the teachings. It makes ...
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5answers
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Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

I was reading a work that claims Buddha "was born of the Virgin Maya". What Buddhist works address the birth of Buddha? Do any support or conflict with a virgin birth for Buddha?
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4answers
552 views

Teachings from Buddhas other than Gautama

I asked this question earlier: What "religions" did previous Buddhas practice? Now I'm wondering if any teachings from earlier (or later) Buddhas have been passed down to our time. And if ...
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6answers
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Why the Buddha didn't originally allow ordination of women

Is it true that the Buddha didn't allow women in the Sangha? If this is true then why is that?
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3answers
650 views

Words of the Buddha

This question is motivated by a comment from another user. Highlights in the quote are made by me. It's written: "You have no reason to believe that any words of the Buddha are preserved except ...
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2answers
483 views

What “religions” did previous Buddhas practice?

I recently found a book called "A Buddhist Bible". In it, Buddha refers to that there have been many Buddhas before him. If Buddha was the one to put the foundations of Buddhism, what "religions" did ...
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3answers
2k views

Why are Buddhas always Indian, male and human?

Dipankara, Siddhartha Gotama, Maithreya to name a few (of the 28 named in the Buddhavamsa) - it feels a bit like a Hollywood plot where it's always only an all American hero that fights off the alien ...
9
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3answers
405 views

Was Buddha one man?

On Wikipedia Buddha redirects to Gautama Buddha, but there is also a List of the twenty-eight Buddhas Was Buddha a single human man? Or is Buddha a concept or maybe a spirit often reborn?
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4answers
629 views

If there is no soul or self, why did the Buddha speak of his past lives?

How is it possible that he had past lives and how did he know they were his? What defines them as his?
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2answers
559 views

What was the chronology of events in the Buddha's life?

This is the sort of question I'd find really useful to get an answer on; I'm looking for a rough chronology of the 45 years of the Buddha's (not the Bodhisatta's) life, year by year. I know there is ...
9
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4answers
707 views

Why is the Buddha described as trackless?

In the Dhammapada, within the Buddhavagga section, the Buddha is described as being trackless. By what track can you trace that trackless Buddha of limitless range, whose victory nothing can undo,...
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7answers
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What was the historical Buddha's ethnicity?

Gautama Buddha is traditionally regarded as having a noble body with 32 signs of a Great Man and one of those signs are deep blue eyes. I came across many online discussions about Buddha's ethnicity ...
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3answers
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Did Gautama Buddha believe in God?

I hear the Buddha rejected the cultural gods when he achieved enlightenment and made statements that seem to reject gods, is this true? If not, what kind of God did the Buddha believe in?
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3answers
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Why does the Buddha always answer a question if asked three times?

I've read in many places in the Pali canon that the Buddha will answer a question if asked three times even if the Buddha is extremely reluctant to give the answer. For instance in the Talaputa Sutta ...
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4answers
15k views

What language did the Buddha speak?

Do we know, or have a good idea, what language the historical Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) spoke. I've just assumed it is Pali but a moment's thought tells me this is probably wrong since the Pali ...
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3answers
355 views

Meditation technique proposed by the Buddha

What type of meditation is proposed by the Buddha for attaining self realization? Is it Vipassanna medition? Is Mindfulness meditation the same as Vipassanna? Which scripture mentions these techniques?...
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3answers
159 views

How to reduce distractions in sitting practice?

How are people supposed to practice sitting meditation when there are so many distractions around like working, internet social media pages and other things like that?
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3answers
2k views

Do monks not have responsibility towards parents and family?

In this age, getting enlightened is not sought after by many as in Buddhas era. So I assume it must be harder for parents to accept such a decision. But monks who decide to ordain also have ...
8
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3answers
659 views

Did the Buddha ever talk about his family?

When Siddhārtha Gautama left his home to become an ascetic, he left a wife, son, father and step mother. His achievement of enlightenment and subsequent teachings of the 4 Noble Truths and 8 Fold ...
8
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5answers
203 views

Did the Buddha ever delve on the dangers of one's own spirtual achievements feeding the ego?

This question came up when I really thought back on both my and many others' spiritual journey. In the New Age community, especially, the sense of viewing things as illusions and making progress in ...
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7answers
1k views

Did the Buddha ever say something proven wrong later?

Is there any teaching of the Buddha one can say has been proven wrong, any statement about the universe, the world, the future or the past maybe?
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3answers
1k views

Why did the Buddha touch the earth at his enlightenment?

At the Buddha's enlightenment, he pointed to the earth or touched the earth, meaning the earth (or world) was adequate witness to his spiritual accomplishment or new status, or, perhaps the only ...
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9answers
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What tenets must a person accept to be a Buddhist?

I'm curious what minimal tenets a person must accept in order to be considered a Buddhist. As an example of the type of answer I'm looking for, I'll give you the minimal tenets of Christianity as I ...
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7answers
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Does the Buddha like dogs?

I am not a buddhist but I have a friend who is. He dislikes dogs and I have questioned him as to whether he is a true Buddhist. I believe that the Buddha is peaceful and nature loving, and so would ...
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4answers
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What are the suttas in which the Buddha provides instruction on how to meditate?

What are the actual suttas in which the Buddha described how to meditate? A list of all such suttas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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5answers
753 views

When do I realize that I am free from rebirth?

By following the Buddha's Path, when will I realize that I am free from rebirth and suffering? Is there any indication or sign ? Does one knows it at one's death bed?
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7answers
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What is the relation between Nirvana and Parinirvana?

The Buddha attained Nirvana at the age of 35. He lived 45 years more after which his Parinirvana occurred. Is it not somewhat contradictory? If Nirvana means the end of rebirth and rebirth means the ...
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8answers
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Did the Buddha ever mention the Upanishads or the Vedas?

I don't know a lot about those two, but I hear that they are full of wisdom. Since they date farther back than buddhism, I was wondering if the Buddha ever mentioned them. What did he think of them? ...
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3answers
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Did the Buddha Meditate?

This may come off as a very strange question. From small days I have been taught Buddhism, not in the way it should have been, but in a way which took most stories and teachings for granted. Those ...
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5answers
889 views

Supernatural beings and the 31 planes of existence

Did the Buddha have any personal experience with maras and devas and supernatural beings in general? And, if I'm not mistaken, the 31 planes of existence is something he taught. So, how did he come ...
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7answers
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Why do Buddhists believe that the Buddha was enlightened, despite that he claimed it himself?

All the answers to the question about the living enlightened people suggest that talking about one's enlightenment is taboo, so if somebody claims to be enlightened, he probably is not. Why doesn't ...
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1answer
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Who is the laughing Buddha?

Given that Gautama Buddha was an ascetic until shortly before his enlightenment and several Dhammapada verses reflect a moderate attitude toward food, such as: Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on ...
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3answers
399 views

Attainment of enlightenment without desire

The Noble Truths make us aware that the cause of suffering is desire. Isn't it a desire to become enlightened and attain Nirvana; thus, causes suffering? If you drop the desire, will it be possible to ...
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9answers
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Why should we worship statues of Lord Buddha?

Why should we worship Lord Buddha statues with flowers, lights and food, even when we know Lord Buddha is not alive and does not exist? Did Lord Buddha instruct us to do so or is there any other ...
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5answers
1k views

Why is an emaciated Buddha rarely represented in art?

Surely The Buddha appeared quite emaciated when he realized full enlightenment. Why is an emaciated Buddha rarely represented in art?
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6answers
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Are there examples of the Buddha showing humour in the Pali Canon?

Leading on from this question - are there any examples of the Buddha showing a sense of humour or a certain lightness in his teachings within the Pali Canon? I was once told that it is possible to ...
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7answers
4k views

Do enlighted people cry? Did the Buddha ever cry?

What is the Buddhist view on crying? I don't remember hearing or reading about the Buddha ever crying. Is crying a consequence of "lack of understanding" of the ultimate reality?
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4answers
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Why did physical representations of the Buddha only start to appear a few centuries after his death?

Prior to around the 1st century CE, Buddhist art tended not to depict the Buddha himself, instead preferring to depict relics/symbols of the Buddha, such as his footprints, or the Bodhi tree. That ...
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3answers
518 views

Buddha's advice regarding meditation practice

It seems clear to me that the Buddha's only intention throughout his life (after becoming a Buddha) was to help as many people as possible to reach Nibbana. But I think he gives different meditation ...