Why did Lord Buddha reject the Vedas?

Did Lord Buddha really not believe in God and the Vedas? If yes why?

Did Lord Buddha really not believe in God?

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

When it comes to Buddha, what matters is what you mean by God. If you refer to God as Eternal, Almighty, Eternal Witness Unity, then Buddhism certainly does not speculate on these things. If you refer to God as a higher being, live in heaven, have supernatural powers, etc., then Gautama Buddha certainly spoke of these types of gods.

For example. In the Brahmajala Sutra of the Pali Canon (note that Pali canons are considered the most authentic part of Buddhist scriptures; in fact, the Theravada schools only hold the Pali canon as authentic) Buddha says:

There comes a time, bhikkhus, when this world contracts (falls apart) after a long time. As the world contracts, beings are largely reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma world. There they dwell, spiritually made, feed on rapture, self-luminous, move through the air and abide in glory. And so it goes on for a long time.

40. "But sooner or later, bhikkhus, there comes a time after a long time when this world begins to expand again. As the world expands, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being is due. To exhaustion of his life span or to exhaustion of his merit, he leaves the Ābhassara plane and reappears in the empty palace of Brahmā. He lives there mentally made, feeds on rapture, self-luminous, moves through the air that remains in glory. And so it goes on for a long time.

Then the Buddha continues:

Then the being that reappeared there thinks first to itself: 'I am Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the conqueror, the undefeated, the universal seer, the ruler, the lord, the creator and creator, the supreme being, the ordainer, the almighty, the father of all that is and should be. And these beings were created by me. What is the reason? Because I first made the wish: “Oh, that other beings could come to this place!” And after I made that decision, now these beings have come. '

" And the beings who reappeared there after him also think: 'This must be Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the conqueror, the undefeated, the Universal Seer, the Ruler, the Lord, the Creator and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that is and should be. And we were created by him. What is the reason? Because we see that he was here first and we appeared here after him. '

43. "In this, bhikkhus, the being who rose there has first of a longer life, greater beauty and greater authority than the beings who reappeared there after him.

It can be seen from the above passage that the Buddha spoke of powerful deities like Brahma. But he is not an eternal god. He is just like devata of Hinduism (i.e. devas with lifespan).

What does Buddha speak of all Eternal and Almighty God?

Speculating these kinds of questions is not considered useful in Buddhism. And the Buddhist text says that one who is ultimately responsible for his nirvana is himself (and no other gods). For example, if someone asked the Buddha this question, he would have answered as follows:

Person: Does Eternal Almighty God Exist?
Buddha: Is it useful to know whether the Eternal God exists or not in order to end suffering?

A similar question was asked of the Buddha by Malyunkaputta in the Malunkaputta Sutta, whether the cosmos is finite or infinite, whether body and soul are the same or body and soul are different, etc. and Buddha answers as follows:

"It is not the case that if there is the view, 'After death there is a Tathagata', there is the life of sacred life. And it is not the case if there is the view, 'After death there does not exist Tathagata, '"There is the life of sacred life. And it is not the case that if there is the view, "After death a Tathagata both exists and does not exist," then there is the life of sacred life. And it is not the case that if there is the view, "After death, a Tathagata neither exists nor does it not exist," then there is the life of sacred life. If there is the view: "After death a Tathagata exists" ... "After death a Tathagata does not exist." exist '...' After death a Tathagata both exists and does not exist '...' After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does it not exist, ' there is still birth, there is aging, there is death, there is suffering, lamentation, pain, despair and need, the destruction of which I am making known in the here and now. "

So, whether you know these things or not, there is still aging, still death, still suffering, etc. So the Buddha focuses on eliminating suffering and declaring such things as undeclared:

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember you of what I have declared as not and what is declared by me as declared. And what is not declared by me? 'The cosmos is eternal' is not declared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal'. is not declared by me. 'The cosmos is finite' ... 'The cosmos is infinite' ... 'The soul and the body are the same are not declared by me' ... 'The soul is one thing and the body is another, I do not declare it' ... 'After death a Tathagata exists' ... 'After death there is no Tathagata' ... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist and does not exist' ... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist', becomes not declared by me.

The Buddha also makes it clear why he did not declare such things:

"And why are they from me Not declared? Because they are not connected to the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, termination, reassurance, direct knowledge, self-awakening, non-commitment. Therefore you are not declared by me.

"And what am I explaining? 'This is stress' is being explained by me.' This is the source of stress' is being explained by me. 'This is the cessation of stress' is being explained by me.' This is the way the practice that leads to the cessation of stress is explained by me. And why am I explaining them? Because they are related to the goal, they are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, termination and Calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, non-binding - that's why I explain them.

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

“It is as if a man were wounded with an arrow that is heavily smeared with poison. His friends and companions, relatives and relatives would provide him with a surgeon and the man would say, 'I will not have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a Brahman, a merchant, or a laborer. ' He would say, "I will not have this arrow removed until I know the first name and clan name of the man who wounded me ... until I know if he was tall, medium, or small ... until I know whether he was dark, red-brown or gold-colored ... until I know his hometown, his hometown or town ... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow ... .. ... ..... ...... ...... ....... ....... ........ ...... .. ...... He would say, 'I will not have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of an ordinary arrow, a curved arrow, a spike, a calf tooth, or an oleander arrow. 'The man would die and these things would still remain unknown to him.

Such metaphysical speculations are not seen as useful in Buddhism, only seen through direct experience. So these kinds of subjects are like silent subjects in Buddhism.

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

Buddha gives a long discussion and justification to explain that knowing only 3 Vedas is not enough. It comes in Tevigga Sutta.

" With the brahmins? "

Buddha says that ancient Brahmins followed a good religion. In the "Brahmana Dhammika Sutta" (II, 7) of the Suttanipata, Buddha speaks:

The older Brahmins asked him: "Do the present Brahmins obey the same rules, do they practice the same rites as in earlier times?"
The Buddha replied, "No."
The older Brahmins asked the Buddha that if he was not uncomfortable, he would tell them about the Brahmana Dharma of the previous generation.
The Buddha replied, "There used to be rishis, men who had suppressed all passion by observing the sila precepts and leading a pure life ... Their wealth and possessions consisted of studying the Veda and their treasure was a life devoid of all evil ... The Brahmins did right for a while and received alms of rice, seats, clothes and oil, although they did not ask about them.The animals that were given did not kill them, but they did provide useful medicines for the cows and viewed them as friends and relatives whose products give strength, beauty and health. "

" Vedic rituals, cultures? "

Buddha undoubtedly opposed Vedic rituals such as animal sacrifices and focused only on karma kandas, etc. However, Buddha respected the Vedas. As I am discussing in my question here:

In the Buddhist section Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245) the Buddha calls these rishis. The names of the Vedic rishis were "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo and Bhagu" but they were changed by some brahmins who introduced animal sacrifices. The Section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata by Vinaya Pitaka says, that in changing the true Veda, the Buddha refused to show respect for the Vedas of his time.

So the Buddha refused to pay respect to the Vedas of his time because he thought they were being changed. Also in Sutta Nipata 192 the Buddha says:

Vidwa Cha Vedehi Samechcha Dhammam Na Uchchavacham Gachhati Bhooripanjo.

Humans let sense organs dominate and constantly switch between high and low positions. But the scholar who understands Vedas understands Dharma and does not hesitate.

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

Na Vedagu Diththia Na Mutiya Sa Manameti Nahi Tanmayoso….

Whoever knows Vedas does not acquire a false ego. He is not affected by hearsay and delusions.

As a side note, I would like to add two things here:

Aside 1:
While there are procedures for animal sacrifice in Vedas, the ancient Rishis were also confused / speculated as to whether or not Vedas actually mean animal sacrifices. For example, in this chapter of Shanti Parva of Mahabharata in the Narayaniya section, Rishis say:

The Rishis said: The Vedic Sruti explains that the offerings for victims should consist of (vegetable) seeds.Seeds are called ajas.It's up to you not to kill any goats.Your God, that cannot be the religion of good and just people, in which the slaughter of animals is laid down.Again, this is the Krita Age.How can animals be slaughtered in this era of justice? '

"Bhishma went on, while this discourse was taking place between the rishis and the deities, it was seen that the most important of the kings, Vasu, came this way. With great prosperity the king came, accompanied by his troops, by the welkin and vehicles and animals. When the brahmins saw King Vasu come to this place through heaven, they addressed the deities and said, "This one will remove our doubts. He makes sacrifices. He is liberal in giving gifts. He seeks." always the good of All Creatures. How will the great Vasu indeed speak differently? After the deities and the Rishis had so spoken to each other, they quickly approached King Vasu and questioned him, saying, O King, with what should one offer sacrifice? "Should one sacrifice with the goat or with herbs and plants? Dispel this doubt from us. We make you our judge on this matter. - So addressed by them, Vasu humbly joined his hands and said to them: Really tell me, your foremost Brahmin, what is Ion's opinion of you on this matter? "'The Rishis said: The opinion we hold, O King, is that sacrifices should be made with grain. However, the deities claim that sacrifices should be made with animals. Judge between us and tell us which of these Opinion is correct. ' "Bhishma continued, 'As Vasu learned what the opinion was that was held by the deities he said that sacrifices should be made with animals. At this answer, all the rishis endowed with the splendor of the sun became very angry. They approached Vasu, who was sitting on his car and (wrongly) took up the side of the deities, and said to him: Since you (wrongly) took the side of the deities, you fall down from the sky. From that day on, O monarch, you will lose the power to travel through heaven. Through our course you should sink deep below the surface of the earth.

Side note 2:
Buddha, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is not present in any Vedas, neither in Valmiki Ramayana nor in the Vyasas Mahabharata. It is only present in a few Puranas. Actually Harivamsha Purana; In this appendix to Mahabharata, Buddha is not listed as an incarnation, while all major incarnations are listed in Vishnu Parva. What (Gautama) Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu can also only be a latter addition in some Puranas.

Pardeep Kumar

@ Tezz Just one thing. You mentioned that the Buddha said that knowing three Vedas is not enough. Does this exactly mean that the knowledge in these three Vedas is insufficient or is actually wrong? And can you please tell me which Vedas these are? I read a little of the Tevigga Sutta you linked, but I can't find it.

Tejaswee

@Pardeep Kumar does not mean that Vedas are wrong. Buddha believed that Vedas were adulterated in his day and certain wrong practices such as animal sacrifice were added ...

Pardeep Kumar

@ Tezz Right. I understand. Thank you for your help Tezz! You really helped me a lot by removing the doubts and wrong information from my mind! :) :)