Do Buddhists say god?

Do Buddhists say god?

30 Sec Answer: No, Buddhists do not say god.


Buddhism is a religion that has been practiced for centuries in many countries around the world. The main teachings of Buddhism revolve around the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment. As part of these teachings, Buddhism does not involve belief in any kind of deity or higher power. This means that when it comes to the question “Do Buddhists say god?”, the answer is no.

However, this is a somewhat complicated issue and there are some nuances to be aware of depending on which type of Buddhism you are looking at. In this article, we will look more closely at what Buddhism teaches about God and how different Buddhist schools may approach this topic differently.

What Do Buddhists Believe About God?

In general, Buddhism does not involve belief in any kind of divine being or higher power such as God. This is due to its emphasis on personal liberation through self-awareness and practice rather than relying on an external source for salvation or redemption. It should also be noted that different types of Buddhism may have varying views on this matter so it is important to consider each one separately before making any assumptions about what Buddhists believe about God.

Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism is one of the oldest forms of Buddhism and is practiced mainly in South and Southeast Asia today. According to Theravada Buddhist teachings, believing in an all-powerful God would mean believing in something that is outside of our own experience and beyond understanding—something which goes against the core principles of Buddhist practice. Instead, they focus on cultivating wisdom within themselves through meditation and other spiritual practices.

Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism is another major branch of Buddhism which emerged around 500 BCE and was largely focused on spreading the teachings across East Asia. When it comes to beliefs about God, Mahayana Buddhists generally follow similar guidelines as those outlined by Theravada teachings but with some additional beliefs included. For example, some Mahayana traditions incorporate devotional practices such as prayer to various Buddhas (enlightened beings) as well as bodhisattvas (those who strive for enlightenment).

Vajrayana Buddhism

Vajrayana Buddhism is sometimes known as Tantric or Esoteric Buddhism and originated around 700 CE in India. Unlike other branches of Buddhism, Vajrayana adherents often invoke deities into their practice such as Buddha-deities like Avalokiteshvara (the bodhisattva of compassion) or Hayagriva (a wrathful manifestation of Avalokiteshvara). However, these deities are ultimately seen as tools for helping practitioners achieve enlightenment and are not considered separate from or above human experience or understanding.

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism is a tradition which developed during the Tang Dynasty in China (618–907 CE). Zen follows many aspects of both Theravada and Mahayana traditions but emphasizes direct experience over theoretical understanding when it comes to gaining insight into reality and achieving enlightenment. As such, Zen Buddhists typically don’t speculate about the existence or nature of any divine being—including God—as doing so would go against their goal of direct experience without attachment or clinging to ideas.

Jodo Shinshu/Shin Buddhism

Jodo Shinshu/Shin Buddhism is a form of Pure Land Buddhism which began during Japan’s Heian Period (794–1185 CE). It combines elements from both Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions while emphasizing devotion to Amida Buddha (an enlightened buddha associated with mercy). Shin Buddhists revere Amida Buddha but don’t necessarily believe in him as a divine being—rather they see him as a symbol of unconditional love, compassion, and grace that can help guide them towards enlightenment.

Nichiren Buddhism

Nichiren Buddhism was founded by Japanese monk Nichiren Daishonin during the Kamakura period (1185–1333 CE). Nichiren taught that chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo ("Glory to the Sutra of Immeasurable Meaning") can bring peace, happiness, and enlightenment in this life if practiced sincerely. While he did mention gods in his writings, these were meant more as metaphors for positive forces that could help individuals reach enlightenment rather than actual supernatural entities capable of intervening in worldly affairs.

Tibetan Buddhist Schools

Tibetan Buddhist schools have become increasingly popular among Westerners in recent decades due to their incorporation of both spiritual teachings and traditional rituals into their practice. Within Tibetan schools there are two main approaches: Vajrayana (Tantric) tradition which involves visualizations and mantra recitation; and Madhyamaka (Middle Way) tradition which relies more heavily on philosophical inquiry into ultimate truth. Both approaches reject worshiping gods or believing in an almighty creator figure but instead emphasize developing one’s own understanding through study and contemplation—ultimately leading to greater wisdom and freedom from suffering.


To sum up then: do Buddhists say god? Generally speaking no they do not, although different schools may interpret this differently according to their particular doctrines and beliefs. Ultimately though most forms of Buddhist practice focus more on individual cultivation rather than belief in an external deity or higher power—emphasizing personal transformation over blind faith or obedience to dogma.

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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