Home Discussion Forum Why do you think Lord Buddha refused to anser this question?

Why do you think Lord Buddha refused to anser this question?

Of the 14 questions Buddha refused to answer here is one:
Is the self identical with the body?
or is it different from the body?
However, what is your own opinion about (or answer to) this philosophical question?
Thanks and nice meeting the intelligent people here!
Rehman of Multan


  1. Each question presupposes that there is such a substance as “self” or “body.”
    From a pragmatist perspective, what would one gain from answering the question. If self and body are the same or are different, one still need to live in accordance with virtue. To seek the answer to such questions, one only perpetuates suffering, and, if buddhism is anything, is it an attempt to step out side of suffering.

  2. he may have been peeved at people asking questions where the answers he believed were already made abundantly clear in his teachings. maybe he didn’t answer them so as to try prompt people to stop asking to be lazily spoonfed lifes answers like a helpless child and start to apply his words of ‘hold no head above your own’ (including the buddhas head) so that they would find out for themselves – which is really the only way which the answers would appear clear enough and personal enough to be finally realized.

  3. Lord Buddha, was an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of God, Sri Krishna, and he denied the Vedas in order to save animals which were being sacrificed according to the injunctions of the Vedas. In the name of Vedic sacrifice, people were improperly killing animals, and the Lord, as Lord Buddha, appeared to preach nonviolence. In the Vedas is clearly explained what is the body, what is the soul and who is God, so Lord Buddha, since he denied the Vedas, he refused to deal with any question concerning God, the soul, life after salvation, and so on, because he will compromise his mission. When asked about such things, he would reply, “the Tathagata [the Buddha] is free from all theories.” Later, some of his followers spread the doctrines of sünya, voidism, and anatma, no soul, but these were mundane interpretations of the Buddha’s silence on transcendental topics.
    The simple fact is that Buddha had denied the Vedas, yet he remained faithful to them by refusing to make “theories,” that is, to discuss God or the soul independently of the Vedic teachings; so he said nothing.
    Their consciousness polluted by meat-eating, the people had become atheists. But Lord Buddha, who never said anything about God, won their devotion. Thus Lord Sri Krishna tricked the atheists into worshiping Him in His incarnation as the Buddha. Lord Buddha’s mission was successful. All of India eventually took up his teaching, and animal slaughter ceased. Lord Buddha exemplifies the transcendental cleverness of Lord Sri Krishna.

  4. First of all i would like to deny the fact of comparing Gods(such as God Krishna) to Load Buddha.Buddha is also a human being who accomplished higher status than others(who born like others,who lives like others,who dies like others).There will be a one Buddha for each Kalpa(this time period is said to be around 5000 years).Gautama Buddha is the recent load Buddha and next will be the Maithree Buddha.The difference between Gods and Buddhas are the getting rid of all likings.But Gods are willing to have every happiness which full fills their eyes,ears,nose,tongue and skin.
    So for your Q,As a buddhist i really didn’t heard about such 14 things.Might be i’m wrong.But if you can send me all 14,it will mean lot for me.I heard only 1 thing load Buddha refused to answer about the end of the Universe and start of the universe.
    As i know self is completely difference from body.After a death,the owner of that body leaves the body only with his merits with him.Then find for another life which correctly full fills his merits.(May be in a poor family,rich family,disable or even as a animal).This is exactly going way with the science which agree on life after the death.That’s why Buddha says it’s no need of treating your body through five ends.It’s?(body)just a halting station of your life till the Nirvana. So the last aim of the Buddha’s teaching is the reach to Nirvana,which there is no life after that.
    Hope it helped!Thank you!

  5. Buddha rejected to answer questions that are irrelevant to achieving Nirvana. If knowing the answer is not going to help you achieve Nirvana he didn’t answer it. He also advised his followers to not to think about such topics as it is only a waste of time and it will take you further away from Nirvana.
    If the person asking that question is not intelligent enough to understand the answer or if he is not in the right mind to understand it, he didn’t answer, because answering that question will cause him to understand a wrong thing and he will be mislead.
    Please watch the following video “Where Science and Buddhism Meet” it will help you see that Buddhas understanding is difficult to explain to a normal person.
    You can also visit this site it may also help you.

  6. Back in ancient India, most religions/philosophers believe that there is a ‘self’ entity which is permanent, self-master and independent. With this firm believe, 14 questions related to the ‘self’ are questions which are typically used to probe the difference(s) among the different teachings. The questioner asked with a firm believe of the existence of such a ‘self’.
    Now, suppose you don’t have a pet, and someone insists that you have a pet and keep asking you, “how is your pet?” What would you do?
    Not that Buddha had not answered, but silence is in fact the answer.

  7. Hello Rehman
    It was Vacchagotta the wanderer who asked this question from the Buddah. He asked twice and both times buddah was silent.
    Buddah was not a person or a programmed machine that answers every question asked by every person. He was not interested in answering age old metaphysical questions either. He was never interested in showing off his knowledge and intelligence. He was only a practical teacher with wisdom and compassion. He takes into consideration of the state of mind of the person and his capacity to understand.
    When the monk Ananda asked Buddah about this incident , Buddah has said ” if i had answered that there is a self, then that would be contrary with my knowledge that all dhammas are without self.
    if i answered there is no self , then it would be a greater confusion to the already confused man.
    The following section was taken from http://www.purifymind.comBuddBelieve.htm. Hope this may inform you more about this subject.
    The Buddha taught that what we conceive as something eternal within us, is merely a combination of physical and mental aggregates or forces (pancakkhandha), made up of body or matter (rupakkhandha), sensation (vedanakkhandha), perception (sannakkhandha), mental formations (samkharakkhandha) and consciousness (vinnanakkhandha). These forces are working together in a flux of momentary change; they are never the same for two consecutive moments. They are the component forces of the psycho-physical life. When the Buddha analyzed the psycho-physical life, He found only these five aggregates or forces. He did not find any eternal soul. However, many people still have the misconception that the soul is the consciousness. The Buddha declared in unequivocal terms that consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations and that is cannot exist independently of them.

  8. According to what Buddha taught, there is no self. He may have thought that he said enough about that and didn’t need to answer the question.


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