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Stephen Knapp's '2 Buddhas' claim

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
edited March 2015 in Buddhism Today
This discussion was created from comments split from: Were there two buddhas? by Stephen Knapp.

Original thread too old.


  • BilllBilll New New

    Stephen Knapp is correct in his view of there being two Buddhas. If you are to read the Shrimad Bhagavatam the birth of Lord Buddha was predicted prior to when he was born. Stephen Knapp is in no way a crackpot but he posts serious evidence to come to his conclusions. Prior to Siddhartha being born there was a Buddha named Lord Buddha who was a manifestation of god and he also preached nonviolence and the concept of void.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    Same guy, different legend.

    Some Hindus believe Jesus was the next avatar of Vishnu after Buddha but they still mean the same Jesus you already heard about.
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran Veteran

    Some Hindus try to claim Buddha was an avatar of Vishnu, yes. Let's do a bit of historical pondering.

    There is no physical evidence for "Buddhism" as a widely observed religion before about 400 BC, give or take a few decades. The religion we call Buddhism today definitely traces its roots to that time, and they claimed to be followers of a single man named Gautama. It was a chaotic time for the fledgling religion and the simple message of insight liberation quickly became muddled and transformed, but we do know this much from archeology and literary tradition. So Knapp's assertion that he can identify an earlier figure whose teachings became woven into the later ones fails due to an entire lack of evidence. The insight liberation taught by the early Buddhists did not arrive out of nowhere, so of course it used language and ideas that had already become established in the culture.

    Buddhism arose from a long established "Shramanic" or wandering ascetic guru tradition in that culture with many of the ascetics acquiring their own group of disciples. Before, during, and after Gautama's ministry there would have been other Arahants or awakened ones, disciples who continued the practices and teachings of their own teachers. It still goes on today.

    The problem in making sense of it all is confusing the term "Buddha" as the trademarked name to the founder of our religion with the generic "Buddha" meaning someone who has awakened. It's like confusing the name "Aspirin" as the specific trademark of the Bayer company with a generic term for acetylsalicylic acid in pill form.

    So for those who can't divorce their minds from the mystical, supernatural, divine nature of religions, "Buddha" is a supernatural being destined to appear and teach a mystical Truth called the Dharma. Most of those followers of a divine Buddha believe this is a continuous process. For those, debating which historical figures are destined Buddhas and how many can be identified is an interesting pastime. Also ultimately futile, since this belief by definition describes something outside of logic and the mundane. It's true this side of Buddhism does not fit well with the emptiness and selfless teachings that developed. If an individual, eternal self does not exist, then what is being incarnated as a destined Buddha? But that is evidence of our ability to believe two conflicting things at once, not that there are two separate teachings by two Buddhas woven together.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited March 2015
    I could see Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu but then we all would be... Even as we know it not.

    The only problem with that is that Vishnu would cease to be Vishnu just as Sidhartha ceased to be Sidhartha.

    Krishna said only he could wake up and remember all his past lives then Buddha said, no I can too. And I am nothing special.

    Logically, if the Buddha woke up as an avatar of Vishnu, then even Vishnu would see the Buddha in Brahman.

    If Buddha wakes Vishnu to Buddhahood and we are all avatars of Vishnu will Vishnu eventually wake up to Maitreya Buddha?

    Fun stuff to play with for sure.

    There's time for games and there's time for being serious.
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