Buddhism and God: Is there a god in Buddhism?

When it comes to religion we usually think about the God or Gods that made it all happen. Religion explains our existence and our origin as well as that of the Universe. Buddhists don’t believe in this, as the Buddha thought that these questions are irrelevant, simply because they had nothing to do with the solution to suffering. 

Creation throughout history

To understand what a no creator god is, we first need to understand what a creator god is. The need to know where it all began, and where we came from is only natural. The acceptance of the answer though, is up to our own development.

For instance, when my 5-year-old daughter asked me about where she comes from, I generally say from my belly, and that’s enough for her. That’s the kind of answer she’s able to comprehend. There is no purpose in telling her at this age, that she comes from a combination of cells that undergo a huge transformation over a period of 9 months. 

I believe that it makes sense, but I also know that for a 10-year-old, it’s better go with the second answer. The point here is that as we become wiser, we look for deeper explanations. The combination of cells is ok, but before that? The composition of atoms in arrangements of, protons, neutrons and electrons might not be enough.

We will come to a dead end if we keep on doing the reverse analysis. By dead-end I mean we’re going to reach a point where human science becomes insufficient, and we’ll be forced to enter the metaphysical world.

Some will accept an explanation because it makes sense, or because they trust in who said it, and some will believe even without a proper cause. Others will dig deeper and try to find answers through a multitude of experiences. And we can´t forget the ones who’ll simply deny, whichever explanation we might give.

What did Buddha think about the No creator God?

To tell you the truth, Buddha didn’t talk much about it. He acknowledged that there was a primary intelligent cause of creation, but since he also believed in impermanence it would be difficult to put these ideas together. So, he didn’t.

First of all, Buddha is not the God of the Buddhists. Buddha is one of many enlightened masters that came to the planet to help us evolve. The one we mention in Buddhism, who used to be known as prince Siddhartha Gautama, was a messenger for all humanity.

Many Buddhists say there is no reason to be thinking about something we cannot understand. Something that goes far beyond our reach. Others will agree that there is a God, but their concept of God is not the same as the abrahamic religions.

Buddha himself recognized that some men needed to believe in an origin story. There’s a tale where his faithful disciple Ananda was sitting beside him taking notes of the questions and answers people would ask.  

In the early morning a man came and asked if God existed, to which Buddha said yes. Around lunch time another man came and asked the same question, but this time Buddha said no. Later that day, another man came and asked the same question again, and Buddha said that he was not sure.

Ananda got very curious about why his master was giving three totally different answers to the very same question. Buddha explained to him, he gave the answer each man needed to hear. That was Buddha’s wisdom. I think today it’s safe to say that most people need to believe in a God or an all encompassing ideology.

No Creator God

Due to all the teachings we have so far, and the focus of Buddhism on ending suffering, god remains an unclear concept, but definitely not the creator of men and the Cosmos. 

Buddha chose not to go into the metaphysical side of life. He restrained his teachings to things he could explain. Things that could be questioned and understood as logical processes, not accepted as dogma. Here I make a caveat, not every believer of God or Gods is the result of a faith dogma.

Some people believe metaphysics is an essential part of life and the universe, just as physics and logic is. These were the pillars that held most philosophies together. They varied on what they would focus on more, but the existence of the metaphysical was not denied.

The main point in this concept is that it had no immediate relevance for Buddha and that’s why he didn’t develop on the idea much. The No Creator God is the spark that set fire to the universe, it is the essence of everything and everyone. It is not humanized, it doesn´t have a form. We’re all it, and we’re all in it.