Who is the Dominant God in Buddhism?

The word “religion” integrates the relationship between people and God(s) as well as the worship of mortals toward deities. When talking about religions we naturally connect them with supreme beings.

Buddhism, however, though being ranked amongst the Top Three Religions of the world, denies the existence of any divine power. In another word, if the definition of “religion” enforces establishment of belief in God, then Buddhism couldn’t be categorized into that group.

Instead we shall list Buddhism as atheism based on her disbelief in deities when compared with theism. The word Buddha indicates the enlightened one. Once upon a time, when Buddha Shakyamuni achieved full enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree concerning the ultimate truth of the universe and life, he then figured out that everything and every phenomenon in our universe rises and falls as well as thrives and vanishes following the rule of Karma (the sum of one’s actions in this and previous states of existence) and Causality (seeds and fruits), rather than being judged by any subjective supreme being.

Seeds lead to fruits. “Anatta”, one of the “Three Marks of Existence”, the most fundamental doctrine of Buddhism, refers to the teaching of “non-self”, that there is no unchanging, permanent self or soul in living beings and no abiding essence in anything or phenomenon. Everything occurs as a result of previous events (seeds).

“Self”, when placed into the grand universe, implies the existence of an eternal and dominant God. While with regard to an individual life, “self” means an eternal soul ruling a living body.

Generally speaking, religions identify God(s) as the dominion(s) of the world while souls as the rulers of life. But in Buddhists’ view there is only karma and causality running our world rather than any eternal dominant deity or soul.

Thus the advocate of “Anatta” (“Non-self”)serves as the most fundamental feature that separates Buddhism from religions.

Original Chinese version