Deities & Buddhism

Buddhism is often erroneously described as atheistic, when in fact traditional Buddhist cosmology explicitly acknowledges the existence of countless gods or devas. (And yes, the devas are in fact considered to be deities, though not always in a way that monotheistic Westerners would recognize).

It would be more accurate to say that Buddhism is untheistic. It does not have deity-worship or the cultus of gods as its central focus for the most part, though there are important exceptions to this. Devotional activity does figure into Buddhism, and it actually has a larger part in Buddhist praxis than many Westerners would like to believe.

3 thoughts on “Deities & Buddhism

    1. Of course not. That particular flavor of theism is actually pretty rare. In most religions, the gods are powerful but fallible beings, capable of suffering and pain, even death. Just look at Norse mythology.

      1. Yes, everyone should read a few Norse tales when they can. I often see parallels in Norse cosmology with Vedic and also Chinese cosmology. The 3 cosmic regions connected by a tree is most poignant for me. It’s the conception of a link, a road, a gateway, between worlds. Such as when Odin hangs voluntarily on the tree for (9?) nights, his flesh torn by a spear, in order to learn the wisdom of the dead. Wow. What an image!

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