The God Dilemma

Many perceptions exist about the existence of God – who he is, what form he takes & how he created the world etc….

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It all depends I guess on which teachings you live by. Although Buddhism stands with a great respect for all religions, it doesn’t recognise God as creator. Here’s my dilemma on the existence of God which I hope you might help with…….

If as many believe, God created the Universe – where was he when he did so? If God is a person (Many address him as the Father) then from whom was he born? And doesn’t this imply the existence of a universe at the time of his birth? If as many believe, God is an energy Omnipotent & Omnipresent, where did that energy exist when it created itself?

I’d love to have a conversation and hear your thoughts – let’s have the debate šŸ˜Š

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8 thoughts on “The God Dilemma

  1. Well there are the realms of gods and semi gods in Tibetan Buddhist teachings, gods are born and gods die, just like we do. I could imagine that a god dies fully when nobody believes in him/her any more. It would be so painful to live and not have anyone to recognize your existence.

    Or maybe what the Buddhist might call mind is the exact same thing that the Christian calls god?

    QP

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    • Hello and thank you very much for your reply.
      It’s often really confusing when we talk about Gods in Buddhism. Buddhists don’t believe in God as creator, but they do refer to Gods & Demigods. It’s also sometimes called an “atheistic” religion, but some prefer “non-theistic”–meaning that believing in a God or gods really isn’t the point.Ā 
      In Buddhism there are all kinds of god-like creatures and beingsĀ called devas living in the early scriptures. Vajrayana Buddhism still speaks of tantric deities in its esoteric practices. And some Buddhists believe devotion to Amitabh Buddha will bring them to rebirth in the Pure Land. So let me try to explain what we mean and why it seems so contradictory.
      Many world religions have what we call polytheistic-type gods. Usually supernatural beings controlling the weather, for example. It’s a little bit like Catholics praying to Saints for various things or help in certain situations. Based on polytheism, practices usually involve these Saints or Gods interceding on one’s behalf. If you deleted all the various gods, there wouldn’t be a religion at all.Ā 
      In traditional Buddhist folk religion, theĀ devas or demigods are usually depicted as characters living in a number of other realms very separate from the human realm. They each have their own problems but don’t play a role in human realms so there’s really no point praying to them. It doesn’t matter in Buddhism what kind of existence they have because they don’t impact our lives.
      But then there are others called Tantric Deities. In Buddhism, Tantra means the use of rituals, symbols, yoga practices and stuff like this, to produce experiences that can bring about realisation of enlightenment. Many Tantric Buddhists actually practice taking on the form of a deity. It’s only a practice though and Buddhist science teaches the nature of Emptiness meaning nothing exists independently. And law of causality meaning nothing happens without a root cause.

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      • No offense but you do realize that I am also a Buddhist, don’t you. Check out my website here on WordPress. http://Www.quantumawareness.net I have practiced within the Karma Kagyu school for almost 10 years now. I meditate daily and go to lectures very often.

        Let’s skip the basic stuff and dig really deep in this topic if your interested.
        What do you practice?

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      • Hello there yes of course I realise and Im delighted to have found this discussion and your website. It’s refreshing to be honest to have found a topic I can resonate with. My lineage or school is Gelugpa. I have studied Mind Only but am pretty much Middle Way. It’s lovely to discuss with you.

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      • Very good, thanks. I was expecting for you to tell me next that Buddha was a prince from India next šŸ˜‰ , just my ego here.

        I find Mind only or chittamatra incomplete. One of the things that makes vajrayana Buddhism so inspirational to me is the Madhyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy. The big difference here is that chittamatra is only concerned with the relative truth Madhyamaka goes much further and tries to tackle the ultimate truth or the hard problem of existence. This is not easy to describe something that by its very nature is indescribable. I do not think that one school is better than another I think they are a system or path of understanding. Don’t forget the VaibhaÅ”ika and Sautrantika schools that chittamatra might look down on or be superior to. Once one has understood one and let go of the concepts at that level one can move onto the next. In the case of Madhyamaka one finds many masters from Nagarjuna the great philosopher to many of the Karmapas who fully developed the way and texts of understanding things on an ultimate level.

        Its mind blowing

        QP

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      • Hi there yes I absolutely agree with you and feel far to much emphasis is placed on the different schools being more superior than the others. Yes again I agree about Mind Only or chittamatra being incomplete however, and I must admit to being guilty of this as a practitioner of Madhyamaka , it’s really easy to see one more superior than the other hence the names Hinayana & Mahayana. Personally I believe now as I’ve become more comfortable in my study & practice that one actually complements the other in many ways.

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      • What about vajrayana, the diamond or indestructible vehicle?
        It like if you need to cross a river to get to the summit of a mountain, you need a boat, but you leave it behind on the shore after you are finished with it. You don’t take it with you to the top. In this way the Buddha Dharma has an entry point for everyone and we learn to let go of concepts however good they were, along the way, until there are none left.

        What do you practice, meditation? What kind?

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      • Hi there, so sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I’ve been away teaching so I only just got back. To be quite honest I very rarely pick up my iPad when I’m away but I’m going to sit down now and answer your question the best I can.
        As you know, the Middle Way doesn’t offer new meditation practices. It’s more about finding different ways of approaching them. They’re open pretty much to anyone from any school but each may have a slightly different approach. In relation to my own practices, these days I’m putting much more effort into the practice of Tonglen & Maitre mainly because I’m surrounded daily by people’s suffering and also it helps me bring my own into perspective. This is very important to my own practice because without compassionate thinking, any kind of Buddhist practice is pretty much futile. Calm abiding meditation also plays a huge part in my life as does Dzogchen. Next year most of my time will be spent on the practice of Dzogchen.
        For me it very much depends on the situation or environment I’m in for example: Sometimes I’ll spend long periods paying homage to mother Tara or Manjushri etc.
        Yes I’m familiar with vajrayana of course and it makes perfect sense if we are to break the cycle of samsara and achieve enlightenment we become aware of Varayana practice however, as you’ll know, it is a form of Buddhism quite separate in many ways from Mahayana traditional practices and very complex. I have spent time with the Tantric monks in India who spend years in Tantric monasteries perfecting the practice of Varayana in order to achieve Buddha hood in a single lifetime so I must admit it’s not something I have personally involved myself in the practice of – I’m really not at such a level.

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