Do Buddhists really believe that the Buddha actually existed too?






Do you really believe that Buddha’s mother Maya was impregnated by an elephant in her sleep?


  1. It makes absolutely no difference to me if Buddha existed.
    The teachings are what’s of value.
    I feel the same way about Jesus. It’s completely irrelevant to me if he was god or the son of god or never existed at all.
    He was correct about fearless love.
    It’s not “Is he real?” I don’t care. Was he right? That’s what matters.

  2. That’s incorrect. It’s believed she had a dream of her giving birth to an elephant, as a good omen, not being impregnated by one.
    And there’s ample historical evidence Buddha existed.

  3. Maybe, then again people debate the idea of christ. However there is an erect stone “Totem” or whatever that says “This is the birthplace of the enlightened one” that was discovered in the early 20th century. I suppose what really matters is that the idea is nice and solid and the intent is pure and uncorrupted by modern idea’s of a personal god.

  4. You should read about Milarepa, he’s way more fun!
    As to Buddha’s existence; ultimately, it is really unimportant if he *really* existed. The teachings we have are more than enough to follow. We don’t need Buddha to be Buddhists.
    edit: @ Paul, We don’t need to deify Buddha in any way. Buddhism was birthed in areas highly saturated with Hinduism, folk religions, etc. Places that culturally felt a strong connection with the supernatural. There are some schools of Buddhism that do continue deity worship and these are prevalent especially in areas that are heavily populated with those who also follow Chinese folk religions. The Buddha himself said that he was not a deity.
    To me what is most striking is that the *founder* of a religion states they are not a god and not to be worshiped. It seems to me that this is very rare as far as religions go.

  5. Without question we believe he existed. yeah, I can see your point. How silly… an elephant impregnated queen Maya.
    Maybe it should have been an angel knocking up a virgin for an immaculate conception. And then later, a zombie arises from a grave to ascend to heaven. Yeah, that definitely makes more sense.
    And by the way, She wasnt “impregnated by the elephant or the divas that visited her in her dream. It was simply a dream. King Suddohana was prince Siddhartha’s father.
    The Buddha was a normal human. Born into this world without some form of black magic. He simply found the life of suffering that mortals endured to be without merit and went out to find a way to ease that suffering. He found the path after enduring incredible hardships. he then stayed and taught those who would follow him.
    He is a supernatural being. Not a god, nor a deity. Just a man, just a human being.

  6. Wouldn’t that have killed her stone dead? Or at least woken her up?
    Siddhārtha Gautama was definitely real. And he seems like a pretty cool guy.
    But this is why I don’t like religion. Siddhārtha Gautama was just a guy, who had some pretty awesome things to say about the world. Because he’s a guy, we can argue with him, find potential fault in what he said, we can debate just like we can with a person. Once religion gets involved, and starts to deify him with stuff like the elephant, he’s no longer a mere man, and much more difficult to discuss. “Of course he’s right, he’s a god” is pretty much the end of it; where do you go from there? Its why I think Jesus should be treated as just some guy, too. Its more interesting that way.
    Religion seems to just muddy the waters and get in the way of what these people were actually saying. Their points become inarguable, dogmatic, and I’m sure Buddha would be pretty horrified if he saw the religion built up around him today.

  7. “Buddha” refers to anyone who achieves enlightment. Siddhārtha Gautama is the specific person in the story you’re referring to who achieves Buddhahood.
    Also, the elephant was just a dream, and in the story of Maya it is recognized as a symbol, not a literal elephant.
    Maya and King Suddhodhana have been trying to have children for years, so obviously she is no virgin so any claims that it was a birth without sexual activity to cause it is a clear misconception. Back then, of course, they had no where near as much understanding of pregnancy and birth.
    And yes, Siddhartha Guatama was definitely real. He was not born the Buddha. It is something to achieve–and anyone can achieve it.

  8. Is it true that Buddha was an old time movie actor who was in vaudeville? Seems like I saw something about it on the net.

  9. Who was in more pain? Maya, or The Virgin Mary? Is God more of a man than an elephant? 😀
    Questions for another day, I suppose 🙂

  10. I can only speak for myself: yes I believe the Buddha existed. No I don’t believe Maya was impregnated by an elephant (incidentally, a story not found in the pali canon).

  11. Buddhists don’t “believe in” anything, we let go of preconceptions.
    However, there is physical evidence of Shakyamuni Buddha in parts Northern India. Ancient engravings and statues mark places of the Buddha’s life.

  12. Did Buddha exist?. Buddhahood means cease to exist. No heaven or hell, no more rebirth etc.
    Some Buddhists believe that his relics or the ash after his cremation was divided and some of these such as his teeth, color bone , his bowl , his locks of hair etc still exist.
    About the elephants- The Buddha expects any one reading this type of story-There were many accusation such as this during his lifetime. According to his teaching- to smile. Not laugh or get angry about this type of stories..

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