Sunday, August 14, 2005

In Buddhism, there is no God who hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day. The Buddha himself rejected metaphysical speculation as a matter of principle, and his teachings focused entirely on the practical ways to end suffering.
On the other hand, the Buddha did not explicitly rule out the existence of a God or gods.

When asked whether God existed, Buddha Shakyamuni usually responded with complete silence (Om). On one occasion, he responded with a story of a man shot with a poisoned arrow:

When the doctor arrived to remove the arrow, the man grabbed the doctor's hand and asked:


"Before you start treating me, Doctor, tell me, who was it that shot me? Was he of warrior class or some other class? Was he tall or was he short? Was he young or was he old? Was he dark skinned or light skinned?"
The doctor ignored the questions and removed the arrow. Had he taken the time to answer the questions, the patient would have died.

"For this reason," said the Buddha, "I will not answer your question about God. If I did, you would just spend your time in endless speculation, and never awaken from your current state."

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