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Why is Buddhism called a polytheistic religion?

by Lex:

I am learning all about the different religions in school and I know a polytheistic religion believes in more then one god. Now to my understanding, Buddhism doesn’t believe in any gods or godly figures. So why is this religion called polytheistic? Please answer this question if you have any idea, or let me know of a website that has the answer. Thank you!

Answer by Mustaches Are Cool
Buddha is not even suposed to be looked up as a god, but as a spiritual teacher.

But in another case, Buddhism has several buddhas, Siddartha, The Great Chinese Buddha ect.

Buddhist meaning “enlightened one”
I can see where people are getting there info wrong. Again, they are not gods.


  • I would not call Buddhism a polytheistic religion. Some Buddhists believe in one, or many, or no gods at all.

  • Buddhists perhaps don’t officially “believe” in gods – but probably a lot of Buddhists do anyway. I think they share a sort of “animistic” sort of religion where gods are in the wind, rain and sunshine. And maybe they sort of think this way – but if you asked them if they thought the Sun was God, they’d say No – not really.

    Buddhism is an interesting mix of beliefs.

  • Hmmm… Yeah, at the least we are pantheists… However, the west does strongly misunderstand a lot of Buddhist concepts and your teacher may be failing to correctly interpret the Buddhist bodhisattva as nothing more than a sentient being. I think bodhisattvas throw a lot of westerners off, unless their catholic I suppose =D. But basically a bodhisattva is a being who has dedicated their life and future lives to the enlightenment of all beings and for those Buddhists who believe in rebirth they believe that the bodhisattva is reborn again and again in order to do so. They are often compared to Catholic saints… very loosely however… So tell your teacher if Buddhism is polytheistic them so is Catholicism. 😉

  • Buddhism is an Atheistic religion.

    Buddha is not looked up to as a godly or deity-like figure; he is looked up as a man who provides spiritual teaching, peace, and the ultimate enlightenment.

  • It’s actually Philosophy.. I wouldn’t understand why your school would say it is Polytheistic. It is obviously not.

  • I suppose you can say that Buddhism promotes atheism, but early forms and branch religions have some form of god worship.

    As Buddhism moved through Asia, pre-existing religions adapted by fusing with Buddhism.

    Basically, gods in Buddhism are considered manifestations of distinct physical elements and mediums from which Buddhists can contribute their physical energies toward enlightenment.

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