The Myth of the Buddha’s Silence

What is often referred to as “the silence of the Buddha” has become almost proverbial and has been widely commented on by both academic and popular writers. Some have claimed that the Buddha remained silent when asked questions about ultimate reality because he wanted to avoid idle speculation, or because he was agnostic, or even because he did not know how to answer. Others have said that he was silent about God, because “the Divine is beyond words”. One writer says: “Buddhists misunderstood Buddha by taking His silence for negation. The silence of Buddha about God was misunderstood and Buddhists felt that Buddha indicated the absence of God through silence. When you have concluded that God does not exist at all, then what is the object of your meditation? If you say that the self is the object, there is no benefit in taking interest about yourself since you are always interested in yourself.”



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