Serenity509 wrote:Buddha did not claim to be a divine figure and avoided speculation about God and the afterlife. This is why many Westerners consider Buddhism compatible with their Christian or Jewish faith. I consider Buddhism more of a philosophy of life than a religion.
Buddha very clearly rejected the existence of God as monotheists would understand it. See the following quotes.
'As far as the suns and moons extend their courses and the regions of the sky shine in splendour, there is a thousandfold world system. In each single one of these there are a thousand suns, moons, Meru Mountains, four times a thousand continents and oceans, a thousand heavens of all stages of the realm of sense pleasure, a thousand Brahma worlds. As far as a thousandfold world system reaches in other words, the universe], the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.' -- Anguttara-Nikaya X 29
"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'" MN 83
"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."
Anguttara Nikaya 3.61: "Again, monks, I [the Buddha] approached those ascetic and brahmins and said to them: 'Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences...all that is caused by God's creation?' When they affirmed it, I said to them: 'If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God's creation that people kill, steal ...[and otherwise act badly]. But those who have recourse to God's creation as the decisive factor, will lack the impulse and the effort doing this or not doing that. Since for them, really and truly, no (motive) obtains that this or that ought to be done or not be done...."'
"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God." MajjhimaNikaya II 222.
"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God." MN II 68.
"He who eyes can see the sickening sight, why does not God set his creatures right? If his wide power no limits can restrain, why is his hand so rarely spread to bless? Why are his creatures all condemned to pain? Why does he not to all give happiness? Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail? Why triumphs falsehood, -truth and justice fail? I count your God unjust in making a world in which to shelter wrong." J VI.208
"If God designs the life of the entire world -- the glory and the misery, the good and the evil acts, man is but an instrument of his will and God alone is responsible." J V.238.
Furthermore regarding the 'afterlife' he spoke of rebirth countless times and posited that unless one is free from the causes of rebirth one will take rebirth in one of the six realms.
For a review of Buddhist cosmology see the following link:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html