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Does Buddha Remain Silent When Asked About God For A Reason?


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#1
komplex

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Ok, so are there direct quotes from Buddha which state the non-existance of an all pervading Divinity? Also what of the Stories that exist that Buddha would not answer but just remain silent when asked questions on God? what did his Silent signify? Are there different Sects of buddhism which do state this existence and some don't or is this believed among all sects of Buddhism (if sects do exists)?

#2
Aspirant

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This type of response from the Buddha was a willful response. He did not do this for the sake of doing it, it had incredible meaning.

The problem is that people intellectualize it. They assume that because he did that, that he did not believe in God. Thus you find people that are looking for answers like that in order to proliferate their own atheist agenda, and I say this because recently I read an article that said Vietnam was 81% atheist because they were a Buddhist country. This is of course, complete nonsense.

I do not say this in vain, this is all leading up to something. My point is simply this: that it is a Koan.

Jesus Christ did a similar act when asked about his nature or if God existed. This too was a Koan, within the bible.

Let's analyze what a Koan is for a second:

http://www.ibiblio.o...cgi-bin/koan.pl

You can keep refreshing that page to get all sorts of koans. Try as you might, you cannot understand them with the intellect.

The intellect cannot contain great truths like this. The heart can't either. Only the consciousness can. How is the conciousness most active and able to digest koans like these? Through meditation.

If you study Buddhism or Buddha it will be no surprise that meditation is taught almost exclusively and remains the center of that teaching. In reality, meditation is the center of any religion at it's core. It is because it is the only way in which we can properly be fully conductive to proliferating the natural state of the consciousness.

If you are stressed then that stress impacts the mind very strongly, in fact muscle tension causes a lot of problems in our society because of it's impact on the mind. So we need to completely relax all of our muscles and go into a drowsy state that might even appear like sleep. At the same time we could be not more awake as a conscious and percieving force during that time.

Then you focus on that koan, perhaps while reciting a mantra or repeating and visualizing the koan. When all thoughts, opinions and so forth dissipate then the truth arrives.

So if you want to answer to this komplex, it is not as simple as giving it to you plainly. There is a saying in Zen Buddhism, that to give the answer of a Koan is to mutilate the koan, or to rape it. The fact is that you really can't give the answer to a koan, because it will not be a conscious experience.

In order to succeed in meditation then you need to follow the six paramitas. Without this, the conditions will not exist in order for the consciousness to function at the level required to penetrate such mysteries.

Go go in silence and experience God.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
The poor in spirit, or indigent of spirit, are actually those who recognize their own nothingness, shame and inner misery. This kind of being unquestionably receives Enlightenment.

#3
Aspirant

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I wanted to come back after I found this article and share it with you because it is partly the root of my post. I hope this assists you in your search for the Truth.


The Truth

Written by Samael Aun Weor

Many people believe in God, and many people are atheistic; they do not believe in God. There are also many individuals who neither believe nor do not believe, and try to behave well in life just in case there is God.

We state that a belief in God does not indicate experience of the Truth, that which is called God. We state that to deny God does not indicate experience of That which is the Truth, that which is called God. We state that doubt of the existence of God does not indicate experience of the Truth. We need to experience That, which can transform us radically—That, which many call God, Allah, Tao, Zen, Brahman, INRI, etc.

The mind of believers is bottled in beliefs. To believe is not experience of that which is the Truth, God, Allah or whatever you want to call it. The mind of the atheist is bottled within incredulity, and is not the experience of the Truth, God, Brahman, etc. The mind of the one who doubts the existence of God is bottled in skepticism, and this is not the Truth. That which Is, that which is the Truth—God, Allah, or whatever we want to call That which does not have a name—is totally different from any belief, negation, or skepticism. While the mind remains bottled within anyone of these three factors of ignorance, it cannot experience That which the Chinese call the Tao, That which is Divine, That which is the Truth, God, Allah, Brahma, etc. Whosoever has experienced That which some call God, That which cannot be defined—because if it is defined it is disfigured—it is clear that he undergoes a radical, total, and definitive transformation.

When Pilate asked Jesus, “What is the truth?” Jesus kept silence. When the same question was asked to Buddha, he turned his back and walked away. The truth is incommunicable, as incommunicable is the sublime ecstasy that we feel when we contemplate a beautiful sunset. The truth is a matter of mystical experience, thus only by means of ecstasy can we experience it.

Everybody can give themselves the luxury of having an opinion about truth, but truth has nothing to do with opinions. Truth has nothing to do with thought; the truth is something that we can only experience while in the absence of “I.”

The truth comes to us like a thief in the night, when it is not expected. Indeed, the truth is something very paradoxical. The one who knows it does not say it, and the one who says it does not know it.

The truth is not something quiet and static; the truth is the unknowable, from moment to moment.

The truth is not a goal where we must arrive.

The truth is hidden within the depth of each problem of daily life.

The truth does not belong to time nor to eternity; the truth is beyond time and eternity.

The Truth—God, Allah, Brahman, or whatever you want to call That which is the great Reality—is a series of always expansive and successively more and more deeply significant experiences.

Some people have an idea about the truth, and other people have other ideas about it, thus everyone has their own ideas about the truth, but the truth has nothing to do with ideas. The truth is totally different from all ideas. Thus, in the world are many people who believe they have the truth, without ever in their life having experienced the truth. Commonly, those people want to teach the truth to those who indeed have once experienced it.

Without wise concentration on thought, the experience of the truth is impossible.

There are two types of concentration: the first is the exclusive type of concentration. The second is the total, complete type; it is non-exclusive.

True concentration is not the outcome of options, with all of its fights, nor is it the outcome of the choosing these or those thoughts: “that which I think,” that this thought is good and that one is bad, and vice versa; “that which I must not think” about this and that, “it is better to think about that,” etc. In fact, this forms conflicts between attention and distraction. Quietude and silence of the mind cannot exist where there are conflicts.

We must learn to wisely meditate, and as each thought, memory, image, idea, concept, etc., arises within the mind, we must watch it, study it, and extract what is of value from each thought, memory, image, etc.

When the parade of thoughts is exhausted, the mind remains quiet and in a profound silence. Then the Essence of the mind escapes, and the experience of That which is the Truth comes to us.

Our system of concentration excludes nothing; it is total, integral, complete. Our system of concentration includes everything and does not exclude anything. Our system of concentration is the way that leads us to the experience of the Truth.

This chapter is from Spiritual Power of Sound (1966) by Samael Aun Weor.


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
The poor in spirit, or indigent of spirit, are actually those who recognize their own nothingness, shame and inner misery. This kind of being unquestionably receives Enlightenment.

#4
R. Paradon

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Nice posts! As a practicing Buddhist for many years one of the best things I have learned is that the truth is not always what we percieve it to be. It is simple truth. We are trained to follow the middle road....for example we learn to "not like" as well as to "not not like." Buddha to my understanding did not believe in a God that was personified as a person but as the essense of life and death.
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#5
Magic Pixel

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It's not the only question Buddha said he wouldn't answer. The end of the journey for all living beings is nirvana. For that end, is belief in God the way to go? The Buddha wanted us all to know that the after-life doesn't end with heaven or hell. Even those end, for us individually that is. How to permanently end the cycle is where the Buddha's wisdom and direction comes in. His answer would've caused us to interpret it according to what we feel or like to believe or what we are taught to believe. His silence therefore makes us question ourselves about what we should do rather than question him or God. I hope that helps a bit. ;)

#6
Esperahol

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As I recall the Buddha did speak of it and his words were divided into two camps. On the one hand he said if you meet God, then you must kill him even as you kill your father, mother, lover, child - because only by killing your attachments can you hope to meet Nirvana. Then on the other hand he said Atheists are blinded because the firm denial of a God is as much a belief as faith in a God. That then goes back to the first point of beliefs blinding one to the Truth which is freedom from the Wheel of Things.

That said there is no belief system that can go forth without being shattered into many sects. The original sect was obviously too intellectual and too hard, so there are many smaller ones that do mention a Peaceful Land (Heaven) and I know there is one which required speaking the name of a Buddha in order to reach it. Effectively you could do as you want and then at the moment of death speak the name and voila` you get to go to heaven.

#7
SifuPhil

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I like to think that if God met Buddha on the road, He would kill him. ^_^

Apart from all the other metaphysical reasons that are ascribed to Buddha's silence, it often serves as the ultimate answer in that it forces the questioner to take responsibility for their own reality.

Or as the Buddha would say, "Mu!" :)
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#8
Sandra Piddock

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I like to think that if God met Buddha on the road, He would kill him. ^_^

Apart from all the other metaphysical reasons that are ascribed to Buddha's silence, it often serves as the ultimate answer in that it forces the questioner to take responsibility for their own reality.

Or as the Buddha would say, "Mu!" :)

Agreed, Phil. Sometimes we ask questions because we're too lazy or too hesitant to work out the answers for ourselves, yet if we stopped and thought instead of just asking, we'd eventually arrive at an answer that made sense on more than one level. As another poster has said, Jesus also deployed the silent treatment to force His questioner to think more deeply. It's the only way to effectively construct your personal belief system, whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all.
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#9
Victor Leigh

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A very long time ago, I read something about this. Apparently Ananda, one of Gautama Buddha's main disciples, asked whether there was God. To which, if my memory serves me right, the Buddha replied,

"Why do you ask about something which you cannot understand, when you cannot even practice what you understand?"

I think those, more or less, were the words which the Buddha used. Of course, I was reading a translation. The original, in Pali, could have been quite something else. However, I am intrigued by the meaning of the words which, I feel, made a lot of sense.

#10
dreyz

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A very long time ago, I read something about this. Apparently Ananda, one of Gautama Buddha's main disciples, asked whether there was God. To which, if my memory serves me right, the Buddha replied,

"Why do you ask about something which you cannot understand, when you cannot even practice what you understand?"

I think those, more or less, were the words which the Buddha used. Of course, I was reading a translation. The original, in Pali, could have been quite something else. However, I am intrigued by the meaning of the words which, I feel, made a lot of sense.


Very nice quote by Buddha, if it is accurate. Buddha teaches us not of how the world is created, who created it and why. Buddha teaches us the right of ways, the way to live life prosperously with a clean conscience. Follow Buddha's path and he will lead you the right way to enlightenment. That is the summary of what I understand from Buddha's teachings.

#11
writer811

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From what I understand, it's not important to believe in a god or gods in Buddhism. If they're there, ok. If not, ok. They're not needed for personal enlightenment because you reach enlightenment by helping yourself, not getting help from an outside source, including a deity.

#12
tasoncool1997

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Nice posts! As a practicing Buddhist for many years one of the best things I have learned is that the truth is not always what we percieve it to be. Buddha did speak of it and his words were divided into two camps. On the one hand he said if you meet God, then you must kill him even as you kill your father, mother, lover, child - because only by killing your attachments can you hope to meet Nirvana. Then on the other hand he said Atheists are blinded because the firm denial of a God is as much a belief as faith in a God.




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