Q:

What do Buddhists believe about God?

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Quick Answer

Buddhists do not believe in one all-powerful God, like followers of the Abrahamic religious tradition believe. Instead, Buddhists believe that the origins of belief in an omnipotent God emerged out of fear. Buddhists adhere to teachings of the Buddha in order to ensure they are living mindfully and following the path of goodness.

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Full Answer

The Buddha, or "the enlightened one," is not a God in the Buddhist tradition. He was a real man named Siddartha Gautama. Gautama was born in 563 BCE in what is now Nepal. At the age of 29, he realized that wealth and power do not manifest happiness themselves.

Born to a royal family, Gautama sought enlightenment differently than his predecessors. He studied meditation for six years, until he reached a place of enlightenment. He spent the remainder of his life teaching the path to enlightenment to his followers.

For Buddhists, Buddhism is a philosophy and a way of life, not a religion. Buddhism teaches its followers to lead a moral life and maintain a critical awareness of one's actions. Buddhists seek to develop wisdom and understanding through putting dharma into practice. Dharma refers to the ways of living that keep one in accordance with the Buddhist path. Buddhism promotes peace, love and understanding of all living things to achieve happiness.

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