Statue of the Buddha in NepalThere is no God in Buddhism rather by breaking the cycle of rebirth and achieving enlightenment Buddhists believe that they will reach the state of Nirvana, it is not a place like the concept of Heaven but rather a state of eternal being. It is the end of suffering, a state where there are no desires and the individual consciousness has come to an end. The Buddha never gave an exact definition of Nirvana but he did say the following:

‘There is disciples, a condition, where there is neither earth nor water, neither air nor light, neither limitless space, nor limitless time, neither any kind of being, neither this world nor that world. There is neither arising nor passing-away, nor dying, neither cause nor effect, neither change nor standstill.’

As has been stated Buddhism has no one all powerful creator god, though Mahayana Buddhists worship bodhisattvas. These are god like figures who have gained enlightenment and could enter Nirvana but chose to stay in the world to help others. There are thousands of them.

In Tibet there are also gods. Manjushri is seen as a representation of the Bodhisattva’s. Along with another figure, called Avalokiteshvra, he represents the spirit and strength (or wisdom and compassion) of Buddha. Other figures can represent the same thing, for example the goddess Tara, who is worshipped for her compassion, is said to represent Buddha’s own compassion.

Buddha is worshipped but not as a god simply as a human who gained enlightenment. Reference to Buddha usually means Siddhartha Guatama. He however is the 4th Buddha. Other Buddha’s are expected in the future. The next is called Maitreya