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I am going to be completely open here in hopes to get the right answer.

I am always kind of... full of dread when I hear about such big saints and sages like Lord Buddha did not believe in God and did not believe in the Vedas. I sincerely love Lord Buddha being a Hindu because he helped so many people attain salvation from the cycle of birth and death and helped them do this comparatively quicker than if they would have tried to do that without His help. And to know that someone you look up to and adhere to disagrees with the main scripture and aspect of your religion fills my heart with sadness. Or am I mistaken here? Why do so many personalities like Lord Buddha and those of other religions disagree with each other when our duty is the same? The main goal for a Buddhist is to attain nirvana, which means freedom from the cycle of birth and death which is basically the same as moksha in Hinduism. Both religions differ in many aspects but the ultimate goal and lesson taught is the same. Which is love, brotherhood, morality, sympathy. And also, both religions strive on meditating. The only difference being is that when Hindus meditate, they keep God in mind and chant sacred mantras of God while Buddhists meditate on other things. But both attain salvation with either methods.

Basically, what I wanna know is:

  1. Did Lord Buddha really not believe in God and the Vedas?

  2. Did Lord Buddha have any oppositions with the Vedas, Brahman and Vedic rituals, cultures and deities?


EDIT

This question is not a duplicate of "Why there is a separate religion for Buddha if Buddha is a Hindu god?" as the two questions I have asked above are very different from the other one.

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Did Lord Buddha really not believe in God?

First of all among the Six Schools of Hinduism the schools like Vaisheshika founded by Maharshi Kanada, Samkhya founded by Maharshi Kapila etc.. do not believe in God. They are non-theistic schools which do not believe in God, but believe that Vedas are authority. So, there are itself schools in Hinduism which do not believe in God.

Regarding Buddha it depends on what one mean by God? If you call God as eternal, omnipotent everwitness entity then Buddhism certainly doesn't speculate on these things. If you call God as higher being, living in heavens, having supernatural powers etc.. then Gautama Buddha certainly talked of these type of Gods.

For eg. In the Brahmajala Sutra of Pali canon (note that Pali canons are considered the most authentic part of Buddhist scriptures; actually Theravada schools holds only Pali canon as authentic) Buddha states:

There comes a time, bhikkhus, when after the lapse of a long period this world contracts (disintegrates). While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

40. "But sooner or later, bhikkhus, after the lapse of a long period, there comes a time when this world begins to expand once again. While the world is expanding, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being, due to the exhaustion of his life-span or the exhaustion of his merit, passes away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arises in the empty palace of Brahmā. There he dwells, mind made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long period of time.

Then Buddha goes on stating:

"Thereupon the being who re-arose there first thinks to himself: 'I am Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And these beings have been created by me. What is the reason? Because first I made the wish: "Oh, that other beings might come to this place!" And after I made this resolution, now these beings have come.'

"And the beings who re-arose there after him also think: 'This must be Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And we have been created by him. What is the reason? Because we see that he was here first, and we appeared here after him.'

43. "Herein, bhikkhus, the being who re-arose there first possesses longer life, greater beauty, and greater authority than the beings who re-arose there after him.

So, it's clear from the above passage that Buddha talked of powerful deities like Brahma. But he is not eternal God. He is just like Devata of Hinduism (ie. Devas having lifespan).

What does Buddha speak of all Eternal and omnipotent God?

Actually speculating these type of questions are not considered useful in Buddhism. And the Buddhist text hold that one that is ultimately responsible for his Nirvana is himself (and not any other Gods). For instance if someone asks this question to Buddha, he would have replied as:

Person: Does the Eternal, Omnipotent God exist?
Buddha:Is knowing whether the Eternal God exists or not useful for the cessation of sufferings?

Similar question were asked to Buddha by Malyunkaputta in the Malunkaputta Sutta like whether cosmos is finite or infinite, whether body and soul are same or body and soul are different etc.. and Buddha replies as:

"It's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata exists,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now. "

So, whether you know or do not know these things there is still ageing, still death still suffering etc.. So, Buddha focuses in removal of suffering and declared such things as Undeclared:

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared. And what is undeclared by me? 'The cosmos is eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same is undeclared by me'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another is undeclared by me'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' is undeclared by me.

Buddha also makes clear why he undeclared such things:

"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me.

Buddha also gives the parable of poisoned arrow to those who try to speculate such things:

"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... ..... ..... ...... ...... ....... ....... ........ ........ ...... He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

So, such Metaphysical speculation isn't considered useful in Buddhism, they are only seen by direct experience. So, these type of topics are like Mute subjects in Buddhism.

"Did Lord Buddha have any oppositions with the Vedas?"

Buddha gives a long discussion and reasoning to explain how knowledge of only 3 Vedas is not sufficient. It comes in  Tevigga Sutta.

"with the Brahmins?"

Buddha says that Brahmanas of previous times were following a good religion. In the "Brahmana Dhammika Sutta" (II,7) of the Suttanipata Buddha speaks:

The elderly Brahmins asked him, "Do the present Brahmans follow the same rules, practice the same rites, as those in the more ancient times?"
The Buddha replied, "No."
The elderly Brahmins asked the Buddha that if it were not inconvenient for him, that he would tell them of the Brahmana Dharma of the previous generation.
The Buddha replied: "There were formerly rishis, men who had subdued all passion by the keeping of the sila precepts and the leading of a pure life...Their riches and possessions consisted in the study of the Veda and their treasure was a life free from all evil...The Brahmans, for a time, continued to do right and received in alms rice, seats, clothes, and oil, though they did not ask for them. The animals that were given they did not kill; but they procured useful medicaments from the cows, regarding them as friends and relatives, whose products give strength, beauty and health."

"Vedic rituals, cultures?"

Buddha certainly opposed Vedic rituals such as Animal sacrifice and focusing only on Karma kandas, etc.. However Buddha does pays respect to Vedas. As I discuss in my question here :

In the Buddhist Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245) section the Buddha names these rishis. The names of the Vedic rishis were "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu" but that it was altered by a few Brahmins who introduced animal sacrifices. The Vinaya Pitaka's section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata says that it was on this alteration of the true Veda that the Buddha refused to pay respect to the Vedas of his time.

So, Buddha refused to pay respect to Vedas of his time because he considered they were altered. Also in Sutta Nipata 192 Buddha states:

Vidwa Cha Vedehi Samechcha Dhammam Na Uchchavacham Gachhati Bhooripanjo.

People allow sense-organs to dominate and keep shuffling between high and low positions. But the scholar who understands Vedas understands Dharma and does not waver.

However here Veda can also mean knowledge. In the Sutta Nipata 846 Buddha states:

Na Vedagu Diththia Na Mutiya Sa Manameti Nahi Tanmayoso….

One who knows Vedas does not acquire false ego. He is not affected by hearsay and delusions.

As a Sidenote I want to add here two things:

Sidenote 1:
Although there are procedures for animal sacrifice in Vedas but still ancient Rishis were also confused/speculated whether Vedas actually mean animal sacrifice or not. For eg in this chapter of Shanti Parva of Mahabharata in the Narayaniya section, Rishis say:

The Rishis said, The Vedic Sruti declares that in sacrifices the offerings should consist of (vegetable) seeds. Seeds are called Ajas. It behoveth you not to slay goats. Ye deities, that cannot be the religion of good and righteous people in which slaughter of animals is laid down. This, again, is the Krita age. How can animals be slaughtered in this epoch of righteousness?'

"Bhishma continued, While this discourse was going between the Rishis and the deities, that foremost of kings, viz., Vasu, was seen to come that way. Endued with great prosperity, the king was coming through the welkin, accompanied by his troops and vehicles and animals. Beholding king Vasu coming to that spot through the skies, the Brahmanas addressing the deities, said,--This one will remove our doubts. He performs sacrifices. He is liberal in making gifts. He always seeks the good of all creatures. How, indeed, will the great Vasu, speak otherwise,--Having thus spoken unto each other, the deities and the Rishis quickly approached king Vasu and questioned him, saying,--O king, with what should one perform sacrifices? Should one sacrifice with the goat or with herbs and plants? Do thou dispel this doubt of ours. We constitute thee our judge in this matter.--Thus addressed by them, Vasu joined his hands in humility and said unto them.--Tell me truly, ye foremost of Brahmanas, what opinion is entertained by you in this matter? "'The Rishis said, The opinion entertained by us, O king, is that sacrifices should be performed with grain. The deities, however, maintain that sacrifices should be performed with animals. Do thou judge between us and tell us which of these opinions is correct.' "Bhishma continued, 'Learning what the opinion was that was entertained by the deities, Vasu, moved by partiality for them, said that sacrifices should be performed with animals. At this answer, all the Rishis, endued with the splendour of the Sun, became very angry. Addressing Vasu who was seated on his car and who had (wrongly) taken up the side of the deities, they said unto him,--Since thou hast (wrongly) taken up the side of the deities, do thou fall down from heaven. From this day, O monarch, thou shalt lose the power of journeying through the sky. Through our course, thou shalt sink deep below the surface of the Earth.

Sidenote 2:
Buddha being incarnation of Lord Vishnu is not present in any Vedas, neither it is in ValmikiRamayana, nor it is in the Vyasas Mahabharata. It is only present in some Puranas. Actually Harivamsha Purana; which is an appendix to Mahabharata doesn't lists Buddha as incarnation while it lists all major incarnations in Vishnu Parva. So, the thing that (Gautama) Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu can also be only latter additions in some Puranas.

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    See MB 12.348. p185 and 186. – Sarvabhouma Jan 4 '17 at 4:48
  • @Tezz Just one thing. You mentioned that Buddha says that knowledge of three Vedas is not sufficient. Does this precisely mean that the knowledge in those three Vedas is not enough or actually wrong? And can you please tell me what Vedas are those? I read a little of the Tevigga Sutta that you hyperlinked but I can't find it. – Pardeep Kumar Jan 4 '17 at 14:01
  • @Pardeep Kumar it doesn't mean that Vedas are wrong.. the thing is Buddha believed that Vedas of his time were adulterated and certain wrong practices like animal sacrifice were added... – Tejaswee Jan 5 '17 at 5:51
  • @Tezz Right. I understand. Thank you very much for your help Tezz! You have really helped me a lot by clearing the doubts and wrong information from my mind! :) – Pardeep Kumar Jan 5 '17 at 12:54
  • Great answer.Actually it depends on how one defines suffering. Some devotees want to be born again and again and bear thousands of pain to serve God. Love changes the definition of suffering. i can not understand why Buddha being a realised soul created stories like jataka where animals speak with men:) – user17294 Feb 6 at 17:07
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There is a lot of misunderstanding not only among Hindus, but also among many Buddhists. Buddha was not opposed to the Upanishads - he was opposed to the Karma Kanda, the ritualistic portion of the Vedas. Remember that Krishna opposed the Karma Kanda also (see Gita 2.42-44). In his book The Advaita Tradition in Indian Philosophy: A Study in Advaita in Buddhism, Vedanta and Kashmira Shaivism, the author, (Dr. Professor) Chandradhar Sharma, goes through a detailed comparison of the teachings of Buddha and compares these to the Advaita Vedanta in twenty-one pages. It is too long to quote in its entirety. Here are a few quotes:

(page 25) It is said that there are two traditions in Indian philosophy--one is the atmavada tradition of the Upanishads accepted by the orthodox systems and the other is the anatmavada tradition initiated and established by Buddha and accepted by all schools of Buddhism...Most of the philosophical quarrels are usually based on misunderstanding of the meaning of the terms employed, The fight between atmavada and anatmavada in Indian philosophy is a classical example of such misunderstanding.

(page 28-9) He calls the Absolute as Nirvana. He does not expressly identify the Absolute as the Self, but the implication is clearly there, for, if the anatma or the not-Self is perishable and miserable, that which is eternal (nitya) and blissful (sukha) must be the true Self (atma). Nirvana, like the Upanishadic Atma, is repeated described by Buddha as...As the Upanishadic 'neti, neti' negates all descriptions of Atma, not the Atma itself, so the negative method of Buddha denies the descriptions and characteristics of Nirvana as being final, but do not deny Nirvana itself. Silence is the highest philosophy for both. The Bliss of Nirvana is beyond the empirical pleasure and pain.

(page 29) Buddha was emphatic in denying that Nirvana is annihilation or momentary. True to his negative dialectic, Buddha uses negative terms for Nirvana, but due to the nature of thought and language, positive terms also are sometimes used. As the Upanishadic ‘neti, neti’ negates all descriptions of Atma, not the Atma itself, so the negative of Buddha denies the descriptions and characteristics of Nirvana as being final, but do not deny Nirvana itself. Silence is the highest philosophy for both. The Bliss of Nirvana is beyond empirical pleasure and pain.

(page 31) Thus we find that it is incorrect to hold that Buddha starts with a spirit of opposition to the Upanishads and initiates a new tradition of anatmavada against the Upanishadic tradition of atmavada...The Upanishadic seers and Buddha both are opposed to the view of realistic pluralism that the self is an ultimate individual substance and that there is a plurality of such eternal selves. Buddha carries on the tradition of absolutism so clearly set forth in the Upanishads.

(page 32) Both use the negative dialectic, the 'neti, neti' (not this, not this) for indirectly pointing to the nature of the Inexpressible. All the epithets which the Upanishadic seers use for Atma or Brahma[n] (or their synonyms) Buddha used for Nirvana...Buddha's omission to identify the Absolute with the Pure Self, though the implication is clearly there. He identifies the Absolute with Nirvana. Buddha's omission to identify the Absolute with the transcendent Self has led to the misunderstanding of his anatmavada. But though Buddha does not expressly identify the Absolute with the Pure Self, nowhere has he expressly denied it. His descriptions of Nirvana are similar to the descriptions of the Upansihadic Atma and leave no doubt that he is carrying on the tradition of the Upanishadic absolutism.

(page 33) It is significant to note, as Dr. E.J. Thomas points out, that among the views mentioned and rejected in the Brahmajala Sutta (Digha Nikaya, 1), the Upanishadic view of the Atma is not included.

(page 34) Many Vedic schools of Indian philosophy have noticed the similarities between Mahayana Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. Eminent Advaitans like Gaudapada, Shriharsa, and Chitsukha have pointed out the similarities between Mahayana and Vedanta. Gaudapada approves of the doctrine of ajativada and the critique of causation in Shunyavada and the arguments of Vijnanaavada against realism. Shrisharsa says the onslaught of the dialectic of Shunyavada and Advaita Vedanta is valid against all views and cannot be set aside. Chitsuka admits the similarity of the Madhyamika distinction between samvrti and paramartha with the Vedantic distinction between vyavahara and paramartha and defends the former against the attacks of Kumarila Bhatta. Even Kumarila, who is an arch-opponent of Buddhism, admits that anatmavada is helpful for purification of mind and detachment. The theistic Vedantins, Bhaskara, Ramanuja, Madhva, etc., are unanimous in condemning the Advaitan as crypto-Buddhist (prachchhanna-Bauddha) which shows that they admit the similarities between Mahayana and Advaita Vedanta.

The fact that Buddha carried on, according to his own realization, the Upanishadic tradition of Absolutism and that Mahayana Buddhists developed it in the light of the teaching of their Founder, is undeniable.

Finally in my own talks with a senior Tibetan Buddhist monk, he said that there was no difference between Buddhism and the Advaita Vedanta - which was Swami Vivekananda's conclusions also. To directly answer your questions at the end, Buddha realized, he had no need for belief, in the absolute Brahman. He also taught that working towards your own moksha was more important than any beliefs, rituals, or opinion in any religious matters, which is why He was silent on many of these.

  • But if it is truly as you state, why do people say that Adi Shakaracharya had omitted Buddhism from India. People even say that Adi Shakaracharya opposed Buddha. – Pardeep Kumar Jan 4 '17 at 14:06
  • The same book quoted also has 9 pages where the author analyzes Sankara's criticism of Buddhism. He analyzes in detail Sankara's criticism of Sarvastivada Buddhism, Vijnanavada Buddhism, and Shunyavada Buddhism. One of the points made is that Sankara summarily dismisses Shunyavada Buddhism as he took it in its popular sense as meaning nihilism and not absolutism. "His criticism applies with full force to Svatantra-Vijnanavada which had degenerated into subjective idealism and has vigorously revived the theory of universal momentariness." – Swami Vishwananda Jan 4 '17 at 14:30
  • Buddhism was in the decline at the time of Sankara. Not only were there many different interpretations of Buddha's message, but Buddhist practices had degenerated considerably at the time of Sankara. A combination of all these different factors with the revival of Advaita by Sankara led to its downfall in India. – Swami Vishwananda Jan 4 '17 at 14:34
  • I understand. Thank you very much Swami Vishwananda for clearing my doubts on this matter! Thank you for taking your time to find the quotes and for composing this answer! Otherwise I wouldn't have known that I was wrong. – Pardeep Kumar Jan 4 '17 at 15:05
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Buddha was asked by his desciples, "Is there a God?" He answered, "I do not know, But I am going to tell you what I do Know. Desire is the root cause of sorrow and if you give up desire, you will be free from sorrow, which is the goal of everyone." (Many of the Buddhist scriptures were detailed many many years after the passing of Buddha, by his desciples.Thus many commentaries developed by Bhikkus of Mahayaana almost contain many Hindu thoughts and customs.) Buddha himself did not dwell too much on detailed philosophy, but definitely did not believe in the rituals practiced at that time.

The basic Hindu Philosophy is Purusha Traya, ie. Three basic purposes, Kama, Artha and Dharma. Which are Desire, to attain your desire need of Wealth, and to manage Wealth in an ethical manner, need of Dharma. This is why Yagnas and poojas are performed for the fulfillment of one's desires. Infact, another name for Yagna is ISHTI, which literally means desire fulfillment. Hinduism is a way of life prescribed for GRIHASTA or a Householder. Infact various Dharmashastras are all written for Householders only. Buddhism on the other hand , negates desire and is path prescribed for a SANYASI. It therefore shuns all acts and rituals to fulfill one's desires. Infact, there were no scriptures in Buddhism for householders till the 10th century.

ADVAITA, talks about NIRGUNA BRAHMA and Nishkama Karma, which means all acts should be carried out without expecting any reward or desires. This is the reason ADVAITA is many times identified with Buddhism. We should also have in mind the history. ADVAITA came 1200 years after starting of Buddhism.and it cannot be denied that it was influenced by the preachings of Buddha. Adi Shankara never fought against Buddhism, because by the time he arrive, there were hardly any Buddhists around. Huyen Tsang, the chinese Monk who visited India much much before Shankara, writes, before he visited India he was of the impression that the entire country was Buddhist. He was surprised to find out that there were very few Buddhists around and the dominant religion was Hindu. There were a lot of Buddha viharas in which the monks lived, but the general laity were all Hindus.

Thus Shankara's challenge were orthodox Yajurvedis, who all believed in rituals. Mandana Mishra and Kumarila Bhatta both belonged to this orthodox Hindu sects and were not Buddhists in any manner.

This is the reason, while interpreting Bhagavadgita Advaitis interpret it as NISHKAMA KARMA. " Karmanye Vaadhikaraste, Maa phaleshu kadachana" perform your duty without the expectation of any reward.

Adi Shankara, went a step ahead of Buddha. He stated " It is true Desire is the root cause of Sorrow, But what is the root cause of Desire ? It is AGNAANA or IGNORANCE" We always desire something apart from us. ADVAITA preaches that there is no Second thing. AHAM BRAHMASMI, TATVAM ASI, which are not Shankara's preaching but old Upanishad Saying.
What we shlould recognise, is Upanishat content is in many ways contrary to the sayings in Vedas. In the old days, Upanishats ( caleed ARANYAKAS) were not part of the three vedas. Hinduism is an ever evolving path and with each generation contributing

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There is no definitive answer to this question. Buddhists claim that Buddha's teaching is different from the teaching of Advaita Vedanta. There are, however, passages in Buddhist scripture which seem to suggest that Buddha's teaching agrees with Impersonalistc Vedanta. Buddha clearly acknowledges the existence of an Ultimate Reality, characterizes It as Consciousness and even talks of unity with Brahman. I have given below some of those passages:

QUOTES FROM BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES ABOUT AN ULTIMATE REALITY

Buddha himself said,"There is an unborn, an unoriginated, an unmade, an ncompounded; were there not, O mendicants, there would be no escape from the world of the born, the unoriginated, the made and the compounded"

(Udana 8.3).

Kevaddha Sutta: About Kevaddha

Buddha: 'So that monk, as swiftly as a strong man might flex or unflex his arm, vanished from the Brahma world and appeared in my presence. He prostrated himself before me, then sat down to one side, and said:"Lord, where do the four great elements - the earth element, the water element, the fire element and the air element - cease without reminder?"

Buddha replied:"....Monk, you should not ask this question this way .... Instead, this is how the question should have been put: 'Where do earth, water, fire and air not find footing? Where are long and short, small and great, fair and foul - where are "name and form" wholly destroyed?'

And the answer is: 'Where consciousness is signless, boundless, all-luminous, that's where earth, water, fire and air find no footing, here both long and short, small and great, fair and foul - here "name-and-form" are wholly destroyed.""

(Digha Nikaya 11.85/i.223)

Buddha says,"Consciousness non-manifesting, boundless, luminous all-round"

Mahjima Nikaya Brahmanimantanika Sutta 49.25/i.330

The translator (Bodhi) acknowledges that these lines in Digha Nikaya and Mahjima Nikaya (where Buddha talks of Ultimate Reality as Consciousness which is identical to the teaching of Advaita Vedanta) have been a perennial challenge to Buddhist scholarship and even Acharya Buddhaghosha seems to founder over them.

Tevijja Sutta

On Knowledge Of The Vedas[4]

  1. When he had thus spoken, VaseÂÂha, the young Brahmana, said to the Blessed One:

'Just so has it been told me, Gotama, even that the Gotama knows the way to a STATE OF UNION WITH BRAHMAN. It is well! Let the venerable Gotama be pleased to show us the way to a STATE OF UNION WITH BRAHMAN, let the venerable Gotama save the Brahmana race'[26]!

'Listen then, VaseÂÂha, and give ear attentively, and I will speak!' 'So be it, Lord!' said the young Brahmana VaseÂÂha, in assent, to the Blessed One.

  1. Then the Blessed One spake, and said:

Know, VaseÂÂha, that (from time to time) a Tathagata is born into the world, an Arahat, a fully awakened one, abounding, in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher of gods and men, a Blessed One, a Buddha. He, by himself, thoroughly understands, and sees, as it were, face to face this universe --

including the worlds above with the gods, the Maras, and the Brahmas; and the world below with its Samatas and Brahmanas, its princes and peoples; -- and he then makes his knowledge known to others. The truth doth he proclaim both in the letter and in the spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation: the higher life doth he make known, in all its purity and in all its perfectness.

76.[28]'And he lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Love, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with heart of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.

  1. 'Just, VaseÂÂha, as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard-and that without difficulty-in all the four directions; even so of all things that have shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt love.

'Verily this, VaseÂÂha, is the way to a STATE OF UNION WITH BRAHMAN.

  1. 'And he lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of pity[29], ... sympathy[30], equanimity[31 ], and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with heart of pity. . . . sympathy , . . . equanimity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.

  2. 'Just, VaseÂÂha, as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard -- and that without difficulty -- in all the four directions ; even so of all things that have shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt pity, ... sympathy, ... equanimity.

'Verily this, V¤seÂÂha, is the way to a STATE OF UNION WITH BRAHMAN.'

  1. 'Now what think you, VaseÂÂha, will the Bhikkhu who lives thus be in possession of women and of wealth, or will he not?'

'He will not, Gotama!'

'Will he be full of anger, or free from anger?'

'He will be free from anger, Gotama!'

'Will his mind be full of malice, or free from malice?'

'Free from malice, Gotama!'

'Will his mind be tarnished, or pure?'

'It will be pure, Gotama!'

'Will he have self-mastery, or will he not?'

'Surely he will, Gotama!'

81 'Then you say, VaseÂÂha, that the Bhikkhu is free from household and worldly cares, and that Brahman is free from household and worldly cares. Is there then agreement and likeness between the Bhikkhu and Brahman?'

'There is, Gotama!

Very good, VaseÂÂha. Then in sooth, VaseÂÂha, that the Bhikkhu who is free from household cares should after death, when the body is dissolved, become UNITED WITH BRAHMAN, who is the same -- such a condition of things is every way possible!

'And so you say, VaseÂÂha, that the Bhikkhu is free from anger, and free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself; and that Brahman is free from anger, and free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself. Then in sooth, VaseÂÂha, that the Bhikkhu who is free from anger, free from malice, pure in mind, and master of himself should after death, when the body is dissolved, become UNITED WITH BRAHMAN, who is the same-such a condition of things is every way possible!'

Digha Nikaya Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids

I am adding another oddity. Buddha did not quite care about gods and the Vedas. However, Buddha deeply appreciated the Gayatri mantra.

Thereupon the Blessed One gave him his blessing with these stanzas:

Burnt offerings are the glory of fires,

Savitri the glory of Vedic hymns,

Glory of a human beings, a king,

Glory of flowing rivers, the sea;

The moon is the glory of the stars,

The sun is the glory of all that shine;

Merit is the glory of all who aspire;

The Sangha, glory of those who give.

Majjhima Nikaya, Sela Sutta, 92.26

  • The first reference that you have blackquoted in this answer, what scripture is it from? – Pardeep Kumar Jan 4 '17 at 15:16
  • I have given the reference. It is 'The Udana' or 'The solemn utterances of the Buddha'. It was translated from the Pali by G. M. Strong. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Jan 4 '17 at 15:32
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    Oh! Sorry for my mistake. It's good to know that the truth of this matter is not how I interpreted. It really confused me when I read incomplete and false articles. Thank you for taking your time and providing me with an answer. your help truly means a lot! – Pardeep Kumar Jan 4 '17 at 15:38
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First of all I must tell you that Im do not have vast knowledge about buddhism and hindusism. After attained the buddhahood lord buddha visit 5 brahmins at Isipathana - Migadaya where the first buddhist sermon was deliverd to them. In that sutta (Damma chakka) lord Buddha teach three primary factors to those who heared it. Those are Four Noble Truth, Patichcha Samuppada and Eight noble factors. I think these three factors are not the teachings of hindusism. Basically these factors drive a person to Nibbana while in hindusism basic goal is to join with the God. From these factors object of hindusism and buddhism defers. However, lord Buddha never refuse gods. He teach us to practice Devathanupassana. Here, followers have to think about Gods. But before that followers are advice to practice Silanupassana. Once lord Buddha instruct the fellowers to practice loving kindness and he advice that the result of this practice consist 11 factors. When you read the Metthanisansa Sutta you will find those facts. One of it is that the practitioner will be always protected by the God. As an ascetic lord Buddha visit Uddakaramaputta and Alara Kalama, both are renowned Brahmin at that time. He learned everything from them but understand that those teachings will not end the suffering permanently. Even the Brahmin at that time practice Samatha meditation. Ascetic Gauthama learned that meditation from them. Later he take further step and findout the method of Vipassana. By using this way he attained the Nirvana, supreme bliss. You cannot find vipassana from any teaching other than in lord Buddhas teachings. That makes buddhism totally different from hindusism. Lord buddha never insulted or rejected Trimurthi. But he teach us to follw the path of vipassana. Thereby he shows us another path for purification but totally different from all the other teachings.

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OP: Did Lord Buddha really not believe in God and the Vedas?

The Buddha accepted the presence of beings similar to the devas. They are called devas and brahmas in Buddhism. These beings are not immortal. The Brahmajala Sutta talks about a long lived Mahabrahma who thought he was immortal and almighty, but he is not. The Kevatta Sutta talks about the same Mahabrahma and shows that he is not omniscient.

However, the Buddha did not accept the presence of a Supreme God who is the Ultimate Reality, like Parabrahman. The Buddha taught the principle of Anatman or Anatta, that all phenomena is not-self. So, if there is no Atman in Buddhism, then there is no Jivatman and there is no Paramatman.

The Buddha's teaching of no-self or Anatman can be found in Vina Sutta and Sunna Sutta. The Vina Sutta teaches that the vina (stringed musical instrument) makes music, but if it is broken down to its constituent parts, music cannot be found. Similarly, the phenomena of the self emerges when form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness function together, but if you break them down to their constituent parts, a self cannot be found.

The Buddha definitely rejected the authority of the Vedas and hinted that even Vedic scholars cannot be sure that the Vedas are true, in the Canki Sutta.

OP: Did Lord Buddha have any oppositions with the Vedas, Brahman and Vedic rituals, cultures and deities?

In the Sangarava Sutta, the Buddha rejected purification rites using water.

In the Sundarika Sutta, the Buddha rejected caste by birth.

In the Paccha-bhumika Sutta, the Buddha rejected the use of prayers to help the deceased go to heavan.

In the Samannaphala Sutta, the Buddha forbade his monks from doing fire oblations or fire sacrifices, practising astrology, reading omens, calculating auspicious dates for marriages, consecrating sites for construction and worshipping the Sun. Some of these practices are religious, while others are cultural.

The Buddha's rejection of the Vedas is corroborated by the Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana in this answer.

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