Swami Vivekananda On Gautama Buddha

buddha
183 Shares
    • At the time Buddha was born, India was in need of a great spiritual leader, a prophet.
      At the time Buddha was born,
      India was in need
      of a great spiritual leader, a prophet.

      —Swami Vivekananda

      Image source: Wikimedia Commons

    • All my life I have been very fond of Buddha. I have more veneration for that character than any other— that boldness, that fearlessness, and that tremendous love! He was born for the good of men. Others may seek God, others may seek truth for themselves; he did not even care to know truth for himself. He sought truth because people were in misery. How to help them, that was his only concern. Throughout his life he never had a thought for himself.
    • Buddha died at a ripe old age. I remember a friend of mine, a great American scientist, who was fond of reading his life. He did not like the death of Buddha, because he was not crucified. What a false idea! For a man to be great he must be murdered! Such ideas never prevailed in India. This great Buddha travelled all over India, denouncing her gods and even the God of the universe, and yet he lived to a good old age. For eighty years he lived, and had converted half the country.[Source]
    • Buddha is expressly agnostic about God; but God is everywhere preached in our religion. The Vedas teach God — both personal and impersonal. God is everywhere preached in the Gita. Hinduism is nothing without God. The Vedas are nothing without Him. That is the only way to salvation. Sannyasins have to repeat the following, several times: I, wishing for Mukti, take refuge in God, who created the world, who breathed out the Vedas.[Source]
    • Buddha is said to have denied the Vedas because there is so much Himsa (killing) and other things. Every page of Buddhism is a fight with the Vedas (the ritualistic aspect). But he had no authority to do so.[Source]
    • Buddha made the fatal mistake of thinking that the whole world could be lifted to the height of the Upanishads. And self – interest spoilt all. Krishna was wiser, because He was more politic. But Buddha would have no compromise. The world before now has seen even the Avatara ruined by compromise, tortured to death for want of recognition, and lost. But Buddha would have been worshipped as God in his own lifetime, all over Asia, for a moment’s compromise. And his reply was only: ‘Buddhahood is an achievement, not a person!’ Verily was He the only man is the world who was ever quite sane, the only sane man ever born![Source]
    • Buddha never bowed down to anything, neither Veda, nor caste, nor priest, nor custom. He fearlessly reasoned so far as reason could take him. Such a fearless search for truth and such love for every living thing the world has never seen.
    • Buddha said: ‘These ceremonials were all wrong. There is but one ideal in the world. Destroy all delusions; what is true will remain. As soon as the clouds are gone, the sun will shine.’ How to kill the self? Become perfectly unselfish, ready to give up your life even for an ant. work not for any superstition, not to please any God, not to get any reward, but because you are seeking your own release by killing your self. Worship and prayer and all that, these are all nonsense. You all say, ‘I thank God’— but where does He live? You do not know, and yet you are all going crazy about God.
Buddha was a reformer of Hinduism.

—Swami Vivekananda

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  • Buddha came to whip us into practice. Be good, destroy the passions. Then you will know for yourself whether Dvaita or Advaita philosophy is true — whether there is one or there are more than one.[Source]
  • Buddha was a great Vedantist (for Buddhism was really only an offshoot of Vedanta), and Shankara is often called a “hidden Buddhist”. Buddha made the analysis, Shankara made the synthesis out of it. Buddha never bowed down to anything — neither Veda, nor caste, nor priest, nor custom. He fearlessly reasoned so far as reason could take him. Such a fearless search for truth and such love for every living thing the world has never seen. Buddha was the Washington of the religious world; he conquered a throne only to give it to the world, as Washington did to the American people. He sought nothing for himself.[Source]
  • Buddha was a reformer of Hinduism.[Source]
  • Buddha was more brave and sincere than any teacher. H said: “Believe no book; the Vedas are all humbug. If they agree with me, so much the better for the books. I am the greatest book; sacrifice and prayer are useless.” Buddha was the first human being to give to this world a complete system of morality. He was good for good’s sake, he loved for love’s sake.
  • Buddha was one of the Sannyasins of the Vedanta. He started a new sect, just as others are started even today. The ideas which are now called Buddhism were not his. They were much more ancient. He was a great man who gave the ideas power.
  • Buddha was the only great Indian philosopher who would not recognise caste, and not one of his followers remains in India. All the other philosophers pandered more or less to social prejudices; no matter how high they soared, still a bit of the vulture remained in them.[Source]
  • Buddha was the great preacher of equality. Every man and woman has the same right to attain spirituality— that was his teaching.
  • Buddhism was entirely within Hinduism! Even caste was not attacked it was not yet crystallized, of course! And Buddha merely tried to restore the ideal. [Source]
  • I have come to deal with principles. I have only to preach that God comes again and again, and that He came in India as Krishna, Rama, and Buddha, and that He will come again. It can almost be demonstrated that after each 500 years the world sinks, and a tremendous spiritual wave comes, and on the top of the wave is a Christ.[Source]
  • I would like to see moral men like Gautama Buddha, who did not believe in a Personal God or a personal soul, never asked about them, but was a perfect agnostic, and yet was ready to lay down his life for anyone, and worked all his life for the good of all, and thought only for the good of all. Well has it been said by his biographer, in describing his birth, that he was born for the good of many, as a blessing to the many. He did not go to the forest to meditate for his own salvation; he felt that the world was burning, and that he must find a way out. “Why is there so much misery in the world?” —was the one question that dominated his whole life.
  • In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door. In Shankaracharya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sun of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. This union will give us the highest philosophy. Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends.What! Those giants of old, the ancient Rishis, who never walked but strode, of whom if you were to think but for a moment you would shrivel up into a moth, they sir, had time–and you have no time!
  • In the Buddha Incarnation the Lord says that the root of the Adhibhautika misery or, misery arising from other terrestrial beings, is the formation of classes (Jati); in other words, every form of class-distinction, whether based on birth, or acquirements, or wealth is at the bottom of this misery. In the Atman there is no distinction of sex, or Varna or Ashrama, or anything of the kind, and as mud cannot be washed away by mud, it is likewise impossible to bring about oneness by means of separative ideas.[Source]
  • It was the Great Buddha, who never cared for the dualist gods, and who has been called an atheist and materialist, who yet was ready to give up his body for a poor goat. That Man set in motion the highest moral ideas any nation can have. Wherever there is a moral code, it is a ray of light from that Man.
  • Shakya Muni came not to destroy, but he was the fulfilment, the logical conclusion, the logical development of the religion of the Hindus.
  • The Lord Buddha is my Ishta—my God. He preached no theory about Godhead—he was himself God, I fully believe it.[Source]

Facebook Comments
183 Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *