Buddha and Divinity
(Chapter 10 of "Discriminations between Buddhist and Hindu Tantra")
Yogi C. M. Chen
Long ago in 222 A.D., King Wo asked the Buddhist Han-Chai to clearly explain
the difference between Buddhism and other religions. Han-Chai was able
to do so in only a few words and replied as follows: "All those non-Buddhist
schools give instructions based on a divinity and they dare not do anything
against the wishes of the divinity; but the Buddhists open schools and
give instruction based on a truth which is followed by all divinities and
they dare not do anything against Buddhists." I would like to make this
even clearer--the teachings of other religions are based on a divinity
who teaches men, but the teachings of Buddhism are based on man in Buddhahood
who teaches both men and divinities.
Those vast numbers of people who believe that Buddha is like a divinity,
can only attain the spiritual merit equal to that of a non-Buddhist. But
the Buddhist scholar or practitioner who learns all the doctrines in the
Tripitaka and desires to recover his own Buddhahood knows the difference
between Buddhism and non-Buddhism; such a person knows how to elicit the
assistance of all divinities beneficial for good karma and attaining Buddhahood
as they all are within the family of Buddha. Nevertheless, there are still
neophytes in Tantric Buddhism who, having learned that many images are
the same in both religions, believe that Tantric Buddhism may be based
on Tantric Hinduism.
When Lord Gautama was a Bodhisattva named All-Truth-Achievement, he did
many good karmas for living beings over many kalpas. All the gods, divinities,
and angels in all the heavens watched over him and helped him on every
occasion. It is said in the Sambara Tantra that before Lord Gautama went
into his mother's womb he had already obtained his Sambhogakaya named Sambara
and his wife, Vajravarati. Both stood on the bodies of Mahesvara or Siva
and his wife. This was a sign of their conversion.
Before Lord Gautama's Enlightenment, Mahesvara and his wife had misled
the world with the five poisons--lust, hate, ignorance, pride, and doubt,
but since our Lord's Enlightenment, all the gods of all the heavens such
as Brahma, Indra and so on, have given offerings, worshipped, followed
and always kept the vow to protect the Dharma of Buddhism.
During the Lord's parinirvana or extinction, all the gods of all the heavens
gave him offerings. When Mahesvara came with offerings, Lord Gautama refused
saying, "I know in advance that you will make a great deal of trouble for
my disciples in the future. Therefore, I do not wish to accept your good
offering." With deep devotion, Mahesvara asked the Lord (three times) to
accept the offering. Lord Buddha said, "If you bear a vow and offer an
incantation the repeating of which will rid one of troubles, I will accept
them both." Then the following incantation was offered and we may still
profit by the Lord's grace after more than two thousand years: Om Mahadeva
Thah Ubhadevi Hsei Haralisa Washom Guru Ho.
My friend Mr. Chang-Hsein-Chen has a one-story building in front of the
Mahesvara temple here in India. The tantric Hindus of that temple were
very envious when my friend began to build a second floor so they cursed
him. Whenever he began to meditate a black penis always appeared in front
of his eyes. When he asked me how to get rid of it, I told him the above
story and incantation. He repeated the incantation only once. Ten years
have passed and he has never been troubled again.
Today the Tantric Hindus still worship the Lingam (penis) and Yoni (vagina)
instead of Mahesvara and his wife. If you pilgrimage in India, you can
find these public symbols arranged in each room of a Hindu temple. We know
that every animal and insect has its own genital organs. If the organs
are worshipped we should also worship the animal. In ancient times, uncivilized
people worshipped nature out of ignorance. This may be excused, but in
these modern times such practice should be given up for the truth of Buddhism.
I shall discuss this further later.
The most well-known divinity that appears in both religions is Kali or
Bhadamramo as she is known in Tibetan Tantra. She is worshipped as giving
a war-like power and fierceness. Many evil ghosts were converted by her.
Her temple in Calcutta, India, is full of worshipers who gather day and
night. Many of her followers have been cured of illness by her help. What
a powerful divinity she is! Before Lord Buddha's Enlightenment, she was
the most important protector in Tantric Brahmanism. After his Enlightenment,
she vowed to protect the Dharma especially in Tantric Buddhism. All of
the patriarchs have been in direct line of her deliverance (in the presence
of both, the guru tells the deity to protect his disciple) generation after
generation up until this present time.
The traditional line of her deliverance was first made from the Indian
patriarch Naropa to the Tibetan patriarch Marpa. When Marpa had finished
the study of Tantric Buddhism under his guru Naropa, he asked for leave.
Naropa pointed out three important protectors and asked Marpa which one
he wanted as his protector. Among the three dieties was Kali, whom Marpa
chose. Then the deliverance was made personally and it followed him to
Tibet as a shadow follows a person. This line of deliverance of Kali I
received from my guru Kung-Ko, the great incarnation of Kuan-Yin.
When I met my guru in 1937 at Lu-Shan, I had never heard of such a tradition.
One night I dreamed of Kali's brother Mahakala in a double-person meditation
form with Kali. Both rode on a tall black ass. The next morning I asked
my guru for the deliverance of them. It was made in secret to me alone.
I gave thanks to my guru for this initiation because they have helped me
greatly to attain wisdom and peace. At the time of my initiation my guru
told me that the initiation was given to me alone because I had seen her
(Kali) without initiation. He said, "You should keep them (Kali and Mahakala)
as your protectors secretly." Now I have told you because I have made a
vow to have her known in each country of the world as it was foretold by
the great guru Lotus-born (Padmasambhava) that when the iron birds fly
in the sky, the secret and most sacred Dharma will be propagated in the
West. That is why I should not keep it secret any more.
Many years ago I was uncertain as to whether the interior holy nerves
of a female Sambhogakaya are different from those of a male. It is never
described as being different in either the Sutras or Sastras. Once holy
mother Kali was so kind as to appear in the holy light of my meditation
showing the interior nerves and lotuses (chakras) in her body. It solved
my problem since I had thought that the female Sambhogakaya is different
from the male. During her appearance I heard her sing this holy and sweet
song: "To all others old or new, My interior lotuses never show, Putting
on my golden shoe, I do like to work only for you."
My dear readers, please give thanks to her. You will get her grace too.
Buddhists do not cling to self, therefore, the word "you" in that song
applies to you all.
Mahakala is said to be her brother and companion even though he was an
important protector of Tantric Hinduism. However, since Lord Gautama's
Enlightenment, he bore a vow to protect the Dharma. He manifests in several
forms. Some are with two arms while others have four or six.
Mahakala with two arms was transformed from the very first Buddha, Ardhalma,
or Kundotzonbho, or Adi-Buddha, and is worshipped for his spiritual and
material wisdom and Karma. Mahakala in Tantric Hinduism was not transformed
and is of a demon nature. The Mahakala of four arms was transformed from
the Sambhogakaya Buddha named the Great Pleasure Vajra or Sambara. He also
helps to bring about the success of the third initiation. When my guru
gave me his initiation the second time, he appeared and whispered to me,
"You are getting for the second time my initiation". At that time my body was
filled with warm pleasure and by his protection since that day so long ago I
have never lost my pleasure in the Dharma.
Mahakala with six arms has two colors--one is white and the other is black.
In his white form he helps one attain riches and long life. The black Mahakala
was transformed from Avalokitesvara (Kuan-Yin). In whatever is asked, he
will give help accordingly. My guru named Kung-Dru met him twenty-eight
times, once a month, and recorded the appearances to me, from which direction
he came, and the dates of his appearance in each month.
He has even made appearances to me, a poor yogi, in dreams and meditations.
He was, he is, and always will be my protector. Once he appeared in my
own body in a bright form. Many years ago I was in Shin-Kun. He appeared
in my dream with a great earthquake and initiated me with a long incantation
of Kuan-Yin. I have repeated it from that moment until now without ceasing.
My great mercy or Metta has been increased by his bestowal.
Mahakala stands on the body of the white elephant king, Ganapati. Ganapati
(as he is known in Hinduism) is worshipped by Hindus before they worship
their guru since he is the Lord of Obstacles. You may get more information
about him from the Mahanirvana Tantra. After our Lord's Enlightenment he
was converted by Mahakala and appears under the latter's feet.
My friend Mr. Edward James had received the initiation of Ganapati in
tantric Hinduism. Once when he meditated on him he heard a heavenly voice
ask him to collect the doctrines about Ganapati from Tibet and Japan. He
wrote to me concerning this matter. I replied indicating that one who worships
Ganapati in Tantric Hinduism is only worshipping a king of obstacles, but
he who worships Ganapati according to the doctrine of Tantric Buddhism
(in either Tibet or Japan) has a real helper who helps overcome obstacles.
My good readers, please choose carefully the tradition that you would follow!
Some of you will be very doubtful about whether one deity can have two
very different characteristics. Let me explain this to you as though we
were talking about some human personality. In the first case, there is
a man who is an evil person, a robber. At the same time, he is engaged
by the secret police to detect and report the activities of other robbers.
When he is a robber, he robs those who are not related to the police department.
When he is working for the police he is not a robber but helps to capture
Again, there is a man who is a very bad person in his village or neighborhood
and at the same time is a servant in an office in town and is controlled
by the Chairman of some governmental or citizens' organization. While working,
he is obedient to the Chairman or Master; so if you were to request a favour
from the Chairman, through that power the servant must faithfully help
you. If a favour is asked of him while he is in his own environment, he
will grant it only according to the offerings given to him but not in accordance
with your good wills in Tantric Buddhism. He also creates obstacles when
the offerings do not please him. This is a very dangerous business!
The Female Buddha of Voice called Saraswati by Hindus is worshipped by
them as a virgin for the attainment of knowledge or intelligence. Even
though Hindus might say that Saraswati is the consort of Brahma, they never
worship them together. When worshipped as a virgin, only the wisdom of
the higher self can be attained. In Tantric Buddhism she is married to
Manjusri and in this relationship denotes the highest wisdom, that which
overcomes the bondage of the higher self. It is a very secret truth that
the highest wisdom is in the third initiation which is called the wisdom
initiation. By the "love actions" in this initiation the highest pleasure
is produced and this pleasure produces the voidness of truth--the highest
wisdom. The secret purport of the yoga lies in the anthropomorphic relationship
between the sexes. Even in everyday life, the layman's intelligence develops
during married life. According to Chinese history, the well-known work
Ton-lai-po-yee was written during the author's honeymoon.
The veena (a South Indian musical instrument, similar to a large mandolin)
that Saraswati holds denotes music or good rhythm in literature according
to Tantric Hinduism. However, it is very clearly the manifestation of the
truth of voidness in Tantric Buddhism.
Once my guru No-Na was teaching me Mahamudra and used the veena to explain
a point. He said, "Do you know what voidness means? It doesn't mean anything
but it is everything in conditioned existence and has its own usage. But
just because it is conditioned existence, it has no permanent existence
in itself, just as the veena is composed of conditions, and without these
conditions there is no sound. The sound that comes from the veena is not
from the strings alone or from the form of the instrument or the fingers
alone but rather from the action of all these conditions. If any of these
factors or conditions is lacking there would be no more sound. Of all its
conditions, there is none with a self nature, that is why we say the veena
is voidness". Thus the most profound and highest truth of Buddhism is shown
to be a denial of the highest truth of Tantric Hinduism, the higher self.
Before I learned something about Tantric Hinduism, I never had heard of
the name Saraswati. I only knew that Manjusri's wife's name is Female Buddha
of Voice. Once I pilgrimaged to the holy place of Tantric Buddhism in India.
When I arrived at Rajgiri, I saw a small river which is regarded as the
nectar of the Female Buddha of Voice. I drank a few mouthfuls. That night
she appeared in my dreams. Five years later I began to study Tantric Hinduism
and then learned of Saraswati. If the goddess belongs only to Hinduism
why would she appear in a Buddhist's dream--one who has never heard of
her? And why did she appear after I had drank the nectar which is described
in the doctrine of Tantric Buddhism?
It is only in human nature that you belong to this religion and I to that,
but it is not the deities' nature to belong to one religion and not another.
In both Hinduism and Buddhism, powerful and merciful Indra is worshipped
for protection. Of the four Vedas, the most important one is the Rig-Veda
which contains 1028 verses. Most of the verses are in praise of Indra,
for example: Indra's birth, Indra's arrival, the invitation of Indra to
the sacrifice, Indra's relation to his worshippers, Indra invited to drink
the Soma draught, Indra's drinking song, Indra drinks the libation, Indra
attended by the Maruts sets out to encounter Vritha, Indra's conflict with
Vritha, Indra's greatness, etc. Lord Gautama converted the tantric Brahmins
through Indra who helped him instead of Brahma.
Once Gautama Buddha went to the hermitage of a community of Brahmanical
fire-worshippers and wanted to spend the night in their fire temple. While
Buddha preached to them, Indra joined the meeting and emitted a heavenly
light which made them believe in Buddha and become converted. Indra was
so humble and devoted to Buddha that he not only wanted to be a disciple
but also a servant. When Buddha wanted to dry his clothes in the sun, Indra
got a large hexagonal stone for him.
Before Lord Gautama's Enlightenment, Indra offered the best grass for
his seat. After Buddha's extinction, Indra took the holy relics or sariras
and made a stupa in heaven for them. Even when Gautama was only a Bodhisattva,
Indra did a great many things to protect him. Because Indra is the God
of Gods in the thirty-three great heavens, every God in every heaven is
the protector of Buddha. The following quotations are from various sutras
and show how Indra and all other deities worshipped our Lord:
The Mahapadana Sutra states: "It is the rule, brethren, that when the
Bodhisattva ceases to belong to the hosts of the Heaven of Delight and
enters a mother's womb, there is made manifest throughout the universe--including
the world above of the gods, the maras and the world below with its recluses
and Brahmins, its princes and people--an infinite and splendid radiance,
passing the glory of gods. Even in those spaces which are between the worlds,
baseless, murky and dark where even the moon and sun so wondrous and mighty
cannot prevail to give light, even there is made manifest this infinite
splendid radiance passing the glory of the gods. Those beings who happen
to be existing there, perceiving each other by that radiance say, "Verily
there be other beings living here", and then ten thousand worlds of the
universe tremble, shudder and quake."
"It is the rule, brethren, that when the Bodhisattva is descending into
a mother's womb, four sons of the gods go toward the four quarters to protect
him saying, "Let no one, be he human or non-human, or whatsoever he be,
work harm to the Bodhisattva or to the mother of the Bodhisattva."
"In that group of gods, brethren, several thousands of them came up to
me saluting me."
The Mahaparinirvana Sutra states: "There are spirits, brethren, in the
sky, but of worldly mind, who dishevel their hair, weep and stretch forth
their arms and weepingly fall prostrate on the ground, rolling to and fro
in anguish at the thought. "Too soon has the exalted one died. Too soon
has the light gone out of the world."
Once Buddha Gautama transformed his body into that of Indra and flew to
a temple of Brahma where he was welcomed by those worshipers. After they
had prostrated on the ground, Buddha went back to his own body and converted
all the followers of Brahma at that temple. This story can be found in
the "One Hundred Holy Stories of Buddha."
I have written a long Chinese poem of sixty stanzas to praise all the
gods who have done so many good deeds for Lord Gautama. I hope that they
will be translated into English someday.*
(These stanzas have been translated and appear herein as Chenian Booklet
Below I have translated one stanza:
Four kings of Heavens,
Raise up the feet of the horse,
Sending Buddha to the deep forest,
Hence our Lord is without a house.
Brahma is the highest God in Tantric Hinduism. He is higher than Indra.
What the Tantric Hindus call their supreme self is Brahma, and their final
goal is unity with him. He is also called the supreme universal soul. Brahma
is represented as a man of red color with four heads and four arms who
rides on a swan or goose. In one Vedic hymn it states that Brahma sprung
from the mouth of Purusha. Brahma is the head of all created beings in
Hinduism, but in Buddhism he is only the deity over all the other gods,
a disciple of Gautama and a protector of the Dharma. In the Janavasabha
Sutra it states that Brahma himself confessed that he had practiced the
four ways of Buddhism. I quote: "I too, sirs, through practices and improvements
in just these four ways to Siddhi have acquired such power and potency
therein." In the Tripitaka there are many sutras from which Brahma received
instruction from Lord Gautama personally, such as the "Mind Holding Brahma
Request Sutra" (contains eighteen chapters), and "Brahma requests the Dharma
with Six Events Sutra", etc.
It is written in the "Good and Evil Sutra" that when the masters of the
six schools of Indian philosophy asked Lord Gautama to take part in a contest
to compare powers with them, Indra stood on the left side of Buddha and
Brahma was on the right side to protect him. But in Tantric Hinduism there
is no person or yogi who has even seen Brahma the supreme self. I shall
write more on this point in the next chapter. Before I began to write this
article, I begged grace from both Buddha Gautama and Brahma, the highest
god. In the light of my concentration, I saw Brahma standing on the right
side of Buddha lopsidedly. In his right hand he held a white whisk. Before
I prayed to Brahma, I did not know how he would appear but after I saw
him I found a Sutra which described his appearance exactly as I had seen
him. Many thanks to Brahma for the grace of his appearance.
Since Brahma learned all the instructions from Lord Gautama, he has become
an assistant teacher for Buddha and teaches other gods. The Janavasabha
Sutra states: "Then Lord Brahma Sanamkumara betook himself to one end of
the hall and then sitting down on the divan of Sakka the Lord of gods addressed
the thirty-three gods: "Which are the four ways? In the first place a brother
practices that way which is compounded of concentration and effort with
desire. In the second place a brother practices that which is compounded
of concentration and effort with energy. In the third place a brother practices
that way which is compounded of concentration and effort with idea. In
the fourth place a brother practices that way which is compounded of concentration
and effort with investigation. These, sirs, are the four ways to Siddhi
revealed by the exalted one who knows, who sees the arhat, Buddha supreme
for the development thereof, for proficiency therein, for the elucidation
thereof." He also said, "Those recluses and Brahmins in the past, present
and future have enjoyed, enjoy, and will enjoy Siddhi in one or more of
its forms by these four ways." Thus preaching, he was witness of the Dharma
too and again proved that the gods and men who had taken refuge from Buddha
have gotten such and such advantages."
It is also written in the Janavasabha Sutra: "In as much as the happiness
of the people, out of pity for the world, for the advantage, for the welfare,
for the happiness of gods and men, they whoever they be, sirs, who have
taken the Buddha for their refuge, the truth for their refuge, the order
for their refuge, they on the dissolution of the body after death have
been reborn, some of them into the communion of the Paranirmita-Vasavartin
gods, some of them into the communion of the Tusita gods, or of the gods
in the retinue of Yama, or of the thirty-three gods, or of the four great
kings. Those who fill the number of the lowest group go to fill the number
of the Gandharva host." Briefly, he who believes in Tantric Hinduism and
is against Tantric Buddhism is against Brahma himself. He can neither go
to Brahma's heaven nor to Nirvana.
In all of the above paragraphs, I have dealt with the divinities in Tantric
Hinduism. They are the disciples and protectors of Buddha. Besides these,
there are many, many divinities and protectors which never appear in Tantric
Hinduism; for instance, the female protector named A-San-Ma. She has only
one hair which stands in the center-top of her skull, only one eye which
is between the eyebrows, one tooth which is in the center place of the
incisors and only one breast which is in the middle of the chest. Such
a wonderful form has never been seen in Tantric Hinduism; but she has appeared
to me many times and is one of the protectors of my work.
Once in the light of my meditation, a protector appeared before me. He
had two heads--one on top of the other--of different colors and four arms.
The upper arms held a bow and arrow. He shot the arrow into the sky. The
lower arms held the same objects and shot down to the earth. Not only is
he not seen in Tantric Hinduism but has not been seen in Buddhism in modern
times. However, his authenticity was proven by our highest guru, King of
the Dharma, Gyalwa Kamapa, that he was a protector of the Dharma in ancient
This chapter contains three kinds of higher and highest beings all of
which are in great number: the Tantric Hindu deities which have all been
converted into Tantric Buddhism; the divinities in Tantric Buddhism; and
Buddhas. Even if I used the ink equal in quantity to 1000 Pacific Oceans,
I would not be able to write the names of all the Buddhas and deities so
I will only write some briefly.
Up to the highest heaven, down to the oceans and hells of all beings who
have sensation; whether gods of higher animals, or of lower animals, insects
or just cells, they are all members of Buddhism and followers of Buddhism
in spite of the religion to which they belong. As the heavenly beings and
men are the higher sentient beings, they have good knowledge by which they
can understand what a Buddha is and what Buddhism is; therefore, many of
them have joined the assembly of the Dharma. In every Sutra, whether Hinayana
or Mahayana, all the eight kinds of "supernatural beings" such as Gods,
Nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Maharagas, and the
group of Demons who are followers of the four Maharagas such as Pisacas,
Kumbhandas, Pretas, Nagas, Putanas, Yakshas and Rakshasas. The Mahaparinirvana
Sutra states: "Now of the eight kinds, Ananda, of these assemblies, which
are the eight? Assemblies of nobles, Brahmins, householders and wanderers
and of the angel hosts of the guardian kings of the thirty-three maras
and Brahma". There is this special description in the Avatamsaka Sutra
which states that when the Dharma Assembly opened, many gods appeared.
"Those divinities mentioned in the Rig-Veda, Atharva-Veda and Brahma Sutra--the
three groups of eleven Gods distributed on the earth, in the air and heaven (the
three divisions of the universe)--appeared without exception. Vasus, Rudras,
and Adityas were not exceptions. Indrani, Agnani and Varunani of the Brahmana
were not exceptions either. All the gods of Hinduism such as Shatr, the great
supporter, Vidhatr, the disposer, Tratr, the protector, Neti, the Idear, Prajapati,
the Lord of creatures, Visvakarman, the creating, Brhaspati, the lord of the
spell, were not exceptions. The many gods of the sun and stars appeared. The
five sun gods of Hinduism, Mitra, Surya, Savitri, Pusan and Usas were present.
Many divinities of light appeared: Trita in Tantric Hinduism was not an exception.
Matairsvan, Vaya and Vata in Tantric Hinduism were not exceptions. Many divinities
of water ppeared: Saraswati, Napat, Sindhu, Vipas and Sutudri in Tantric Hinduism
were no exception. Many divinities of rain appeared, Parjany in Tantric Hinduism
was not an exception. Many divinities of fire appeared; Agni in Tantric Hinduism
was not an exception. Many divinities of the earth appeared, Prithivi in Tantric
Hinduism was not an exception. The many gods of plants and the Lord of Forests
appeared: the twenty-four Sam as in Hinduism were not exceptions. Many female
divinities of the Lord of forests appeared: Aranyani in Tantric Hinduism was
not an exception. Many divinities of night appeared: Ratri in Tantric Hinduism
was not an exception. Many demons appeared: the Asuras, Susna, Samabara, Pitru,
Dhuni, Cumuri, Yatu and Yatudhana in Tantric Hinduism were not exceptions.
Not only those gods and divinities in Tantric Hinduism appeared at every
Buddhist assembly, but also those gods of other religions such as Jehovah
of Judaism, Jesus of Christianity, Ra of the Egyptian religion, Allah of
Islam, Isanmi-no-Mikoto of Shinto, Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrianism, Tien
of Confucianism, Sen-Chin, Sen-Wong, Sen-Dee of Taoism, and all the other
gods and divinities of all other religions appeared. None were left out
of the assembly of the Dharma.
My good readers, it is human nature that people of various nationalities
call the gods by different names according to their language. The gods
themselves, however, have a higher heavenly nature and do not make petty
differences based on language, land area, etc. as we humans do. He who
has faith in Buddhism, makes a fellowship with all the gods and divinities
of all religions. The one that clings to a higher self, under his god as
Brahma against the other religions, makes one friend but more enemies.
It is a foolish misconception. Other religions are religions of a part
while Buddhism is a religion of the whole.
I don't want to make this chapter too long concerning the gods and divinities
of Buddhism so I will not write further about this. However, I will write
a few lines about Buddhas. Some Westerners and even Easterners call the
Buddha a God. This is quite wrong! A god is the highest being of all those
in transmigration. A Buddha is the highest being of the four kinds of Buddhist
enlightened sages who are out of transmigration and the six kinds of beings
in transmigration. This is the main difference in brief. Even as there
is only one sun in the sky, so there is only one Buddha in each generation.
Time is infinite and many ages have passed and many will come. Before Lord
Gautama there were many Buddhas and after him there will be many others.
It is said that every being will recover his Buddha-nature sooner or later.
There is a Buddhist sutra that contains 300 Buddha's names. There are
88 Buddhas who are commonly known. Their names are repeated most often.
There are 35 Buddhas who witness our confessions.
In the Sung dynasty (960 A.D.) Mrs. Sen Lo-An read the entire Tripitaka
after her husband died and wanted to write all the Buddhas names that she
had seen in the Sutras and Sastras into one book. More than one myriad
names of Buddhas had been gathered. Mrs. Sen Lo-An asked her two sons to
write the names. This sutra turned out to be in 10 volumes and is titled
the "Myriad Buddhas Sutra."
For a detailed description of Buddhas there is the "Seven Buddhas Sutra".
Below I have only presented a list giving some information about them.
(See end of chapter)
Even in Buddhahood every Buddha has his own special vows, characteristics,
pure lands, and family of sages. The most important thing is the wisdom
of the Buddha which I shall write about in another chapter.
Truly to compare the subjects of worshipping between Tantric Buddhism
and Hinduism on any point, quality or quantity, we cannot help but choose
In order to rectify the mistake of regarding Buddhism as atheism made
by not only western scholars but also by modern eastern workers, an accessory
supplement should be made here.
Atheism is a Greek term which not only means no creator but means no god
at all. There are three kinds of Atheism among which none should be attributed
to Buddhism: 1. Dogmatic Atheism is positive in its assertion. Buddha never
denies any god's conditional existence. He denies the absolute God and
Creator only. 2. Skeptical Atheism maintains that the finite mind of man
is incapable of determining the question of whether God exists or not.
Buddha is a fully enlightened man, not like those Agnostics. If he could
not determine, who can? 3. Critical Atheism holds that the evidence for
theism is inadequate. Buddha teaches his disciples the evidence for God
in a certain reasonable limitation and often denies blind faith even in
himself. Buddha does not hold that any deity has absolute ego but admits
there is a God of every religion in a shadow-like appearance.
The knowledge of religion is one of Metaphysics, unlike those animals
or plants which may be easily classified into Phyla, subphyla, classes,
orders, families, genera, and species. All those terms for religion such
as Atheism, Theism, Monotheis, Pantheism and Polytheism are of non-sense.
Whichever religion there is, we find Theism and not Atheism. Whichever
religion there is formed, there is Pantheism or Polytheism but not Monotheism.
Mahavira and Parasvanath are said to be Omniscient but Jainism is said
to be Atheism. Is Omniscience not a name and an actual characteristic of
God? Besides these two, there were 22 proceeding Tirthankaras in Jainism.
Is Jainism not Pantheism? In the Jainist Scripture, verse No. 41 it is
written, "One must worship God". Why should one say Jainism is Atheism?
Christianity is said to be Theism and Monotheism but in Genesis Chapter
1, verse 26, Cod said: "Let us make man in our own image." Chapter 11,
verse 7, "Let us go down". Should "us" be used for Monotheism? Jesus is
God too, the Trinity is not single. There is no room in the religious sphere
for Monotheism at all. Buddhist writers should not follow the foolish western
philosophers. To particularize the philosophic emphasis and the unique
practice of each religion is better than to generalize the similarities
of common conditions of all religions. Sunyata and wisdom energy of Buddhism,
pure soul and Ahimsa of Jainism, High-self and yogic asanas of Hinduism,
and so on should be learned by the readers. This is my advice.
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