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Creation in Buddhism

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We have some Buddhist friends who visit these forums. I was curious what the Buddhist creation story is? I saw one program with Robert Thurman who mentioned that in some Buddhist traditions they do believe in Brahma as god (perhaps not as an eternal God, but as the highest being in the universe). Is there a Buddhist creation story?

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years ago,on maui, i went to a speaking engagement

by a visiting tibetan buddhist monk.


i asked him, where did he believe the universe

came from ?


He answered 'the universal soul'.


this is one of the problems with impersonal philosophy,

they believe in karma,reincarnation, Brahman, etc.


Yet in order for there to be a mechanism to keep track

of everyones karma,reincarnation etc, that immediatly

makes necessary a singular entity to do the

actual work of cosmic maintenence, keeping track

of the details, and having everything run cohesively,

and perfectly.


this necessity is overlooked by impersonalists,

they ignore that in order for everything to run

smoothly, an actual controller/record keeper of the cosmos must exist,logically, even for their own philosophies

of creation,karma, and reincarnation.


due to a poor fund of knowledge, and the desire to

become gods, they ignore the obvious necessity

of Bhagavan,Isvara, and paramatma, and focus on

attaining freedom from material bondage for their

own fantasy of becoming god.

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Here is an answer given by the Dalai Lama of Tibet. But, it deals more with their beliefs of ultimate creation, as opposed to creation within the material realm.




Q: You have said that according to Buddhist philosophy there is no Creator, no God of creation, and this may initially put off many people who believe in a divine principle. Can you explain the difference between the Primordial Buddha and a Creator God?



A: I understand the Primordial Buddha, also known as Buddha Samantabhadra, to be the ultimate reality, the realm of the Dharmakaya-- the space of emptiness--where all phenomena, pure and impure, are dissolved. This is the explanation taught by the Sutras. However, in the context of your question, the tradition explains the Dharmakaya in terms of Inherent clear light, the essential nature of the mind. This would seem to imply that all phenomena, samsara and nirvana, arise from this clear and luminous source.


We can say, therefore, that this ultimate source, clear light, is close to the notion of a Creator, since all phenomena, whether they belong to samsara or nirvana, originate therein. But we must be careful in speaking of this source, we must not be led into error. I do not mean that there exists somewhere, a sort of collective clear light, analogous to the non-Buddhist concept of Brahma as a substratum. We must not be inclined to deify this luminous space. We must understand that when we speak of ultimate or inherent clear light, we are speaking on an individual level.


In this way, death and the intermediate state are moments where the gross manifestations emanating from clear light are reabsorbed. At death we return to that original source, and from there a slightly more gross state emerges to form the intermediate state preceding rebirth.


At the stage of rebirth, clear light is apparent in a physical incarnation. At death we return to this source. And so on. The ability to recognize subtle clear light, also called the Primordial Buddha, is equivalent to realizing nirvana, whereas ignorance of the nature of clear light leaves us to wander in the different realms of samsaric existence.


This is how I understand the concept of the Primordial Buddha. It would be a grave error to conceive of it as an independent and autonomous existence from beginningless time. If we had to accept the idea of an independent creator, the explanations given in the Pramanavartika, the "Compendium of Valid Knowledge" written by Dharmakirti, and in the ninth chapter of the text by Shantideva, which completely refutes the existence per se of all phenomena, would be negated.


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Thank you. If you come across anything in regards to creation in the material world please post as well. By the way, what is the relation of the Dalai Llama with other Buddhist traditions. Do various lines recognize each other? or do they each believe they are following the true Buddhism? If anyone knows please inform. For instance, I have heard of Pure land Buddhism, which I might be wrong on this, but I seem to recall they have a concept of a heaven (the Pure Land). I'm probably wrong on this, but how does each path see other Buddhist paths?

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Buddhism explains existence in terms of an endless continuation of cause and effect. Every being has a cause, and there is no first cause. This concept is technically known as Paticcasamuppada. See http://www.hawaiian.net/~dsparks/do.html


If you say, "God created the world" the classical Theravada answer is "Who created God?". In fact there is a story of Buddha meeting with Brahma, and Buddha telling brahma "you are not the cause of everything, your actions are coming from another cause, an earlier cause".


So they don't really admit that there is any beginning point, and thus that there is a single original being. Rather, lots of little things combine to make things happen, as with material evolution where many chemicals are believed to come together to make living cells. Buddhism easily melds with mundane evolutionary theory.



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I searched around but didn't find a whole lot. From what I could find it appears that certain sects of Buddhism accept various gradations of heavenly beings, with Brahma being the highest creation. Still I can't really find a creation story even for Brahma. What I have seen almost suggests he just appears when the universe is first created, and dies when the universe dies. Then the next eligible soul takes that position when the universe is reborn. Here is one quick excerpt I found regarding Buddha & Brahma:



Brahma has a long association with Buddhism. It is said that when Siddhartha Gautam was born he was received by Brahma. There are several stone sculptures in Nepal of the BuddhaÕs birth showing the mother Maya Devi, the infant Buddha, and Brahma as an attendant deity.


When the Buddha, later in life, went to Tushita heaven to teach the Dharma to his mother who had passed away, he returned to the earth accompanied by Brahma. This association of Brahma with Buddha is considered to be very important by Buddhists all over the world.


Brahma is abstractly considered one of three supreme gods of Hinduism, while being one of the least worshipped of that religionÕs many deities. Today, strange as it may seem, there could be as many images of Brahma in Buddhist surroundings as in Hindu. Perhaps this shows, more than temples or images, the ultimate power of Lord Brahma.


Dr. Trilok Chandra Majupuria



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I've been away from my computer for a long time.

I asked my Lama about a beginning and he said that there is no beginning. It's an infinite cycle of samsara. This raises a new question for me. If there is no beginning how can there be an end? He has told our sangha on numerous accounts that there will be an end to samsara but it's aeons upon aeons away.


Someone mentioned Purelands. Tibetan Buddhism and most Mahayana Buddhists believe in pure lands however they arent really defined as a heaven. Hinayana (Theravadin) Buddhists do not recognise pureland teachings. There are many purelands however these places are not like a heaven. Yes they are very pleasent places to exist in however, they are impermenent and will have an end eventually. The easiest Pureland to get to is Dewachen which was created by the Boddhisattva Chenrezig. Purelands are places of existence where it's much easier to attain enlightenment.

As for the question about other branches accepting each other. Hinayana practitioners do not accept Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism as "pure" Buddhism. Mahayana accepts Hinayana but stresses compassion more. Tibetan Buddhism accepts Mahayana and Hinayana but incorporates Tantric Practices and a little of Bon (native religous practice of Tibet.) There are many branches of Buddhism I just listed the three major. I believe one should remember the words of Buddha "One should work out their own salvation and be a lamp to oneself." Buddhism is a very flexible psychological philosophy that can be edited to fit ones own personal beliefs. The soul purpose of Buddhism is the relief of suffering. I hope ive answered your questions.

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  • 2 months later...
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shiva is a perfect example of a brainwashed westerner.


who says someone has to keep tabe on the universe? sounds to me like you aply your beliefs on everything you hear and if it confirms your beliefs its just and if not its rubbish. that is what we call ignorance.


by the way no buddhist monk would say the universe came from a "universal soul". sounds like you just made that up. your a religous freak who is so insecure they have to tear down all other beliefs to make thier own hypocritical views more justified. your sad your pathetic, your ignorant. get a grip.

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Like Hinduism, Buddhism also believes in cycles of creation and destruction over great periods of time.


According to Buddhism, what will happen in the next round of creation depends on the collective action and collective desire of all the beings in the current round of creation. It comes from the Buddhist teaching that all desire (human intent) is what sets the world in motion.


It is said that Buddha once said, "And there will be a time when the Earth turns hot, with two Suns, and then oceans depths drop to that of the height of a man, to knee-high, to ankle-deep, and then all water is gone with "several Suns" in the sky burning away the earth.

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** your a religous freak who is so insecure they have to ** tear down all other beliefs to make thier own

** hypocritical views more justified. your

** sad your pathetic, your ignorant. get a grip.


You can easily turn this around and say the same about you. Your comments show that you do the very thing you are complaining about.

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