- At the time Buddha was born, India was in need of a great spiritual leader, a prophet.
At the time Buddha was born,
India was in need
of a great spiritual leader, a prophet.
—Swami VivekanandaImage source: Wikimedia Commons
- All my life I have been very fond of Buddha. I have more veneration for that character than any other— that boldness, that fearlessness, and that tremendous love! He was born for the good of men. Others may seek God, others may seek truth for themselves; he did not even care to know truth for himself. He sought truth because people were in misery. How to help them, that was his only concern. Throughout his life he never had a thought for himself.
- Buddha died at a ripe old age. I remember a friend of mine, a great American scientist, who was fond of reading his life. He did not like the death of Buddha, because he was not crucified. What a false idea! For a man to be great he must be murdered! Such ideas never prevailed in India. This great Buddha travelled all over India, denouncing her gods and even the God of the universe, and yet he lived to a good old age. For eighty years he lived, and had converted half the country.[Source]
- Buddha is expressly agnostic about God; but God is everywhere preached in our religion. The Vedas teach God -- both personal and impersonal. God is everywhere preached in the Gita. Hinduism is nothing without God. The Vedas are nothing without Him. That is the only way to salvation. Sannyasins have to repeat the following, several times: I, wishing for Mukti, take refuge in God, who created the world, who breathed out the Vedas.[Source]
- Buddha is said to have denied the Vedas because there is so much Himsa (killing) and other things. Every page of Buddhism is a fight with the Vedas (the ritualistic aspect). But he had no authority to do so.[Source]
- Buddha said: 'These ceremonials were all wrong. There is but one ideal in the world. Destroy all delusions; what is true will remain. As soon as the clouds are gone, the sun will shine.' How to kill the self? Become perfectly unselfish, ready to give up your life even for an ant. work not for any superstition, not to please any God, not to get any reward, but because you are seeking your own release by killing your self. Worship and prayer and all that, these are all nonsense. You all say, 'I thank God'— but where does He live? You do not know, and yet you are all going crazy about God.
- Buddha came to whip us into practice. Be good, destroy the passions. Then you will know for yourself whether Dvaita or Advaita philosophy is true -- whether there is one or there are more than one.[Source]
- Buddha was a reformer of Hinduism.[Source]
- Buddha was the great preacher of equality. Every man and woman has the same right to attain spirituality— that was his teaching.
- Buddhism was entirely within Hinduism! Even caste was not attacked it was not yet crystallized, of course! And Buddha merely tried to restore the ideal. [Source]
- I have come to deal with principles. I have only to preach that God comes again and again, and that He came in India as Krishna, Rama, and Buddha, and that He will come again. It can almost be demonstrated that after each 500 years the world sinks, and a tremendous spiritual wave comes, and on the top of the wave is a Christ.[Source]
- In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door. In Shankaracharya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sun of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. This union will give us the highest philosophy. Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends.What! Those giants of old, the ancient Rishis, who never walked but strode, of whom if you were to think but for a moment you would shrivel up into a moth, they sir, had time--and you have no time!
- In the Buddha Incarnation the Lord says that the root of the Adhibhautika misery or, misery arising from other terrestrial beings, is the formation of classes (Jati); in other words, every form of class-distinction, whether based on birth, or acquirements, or wealth is at the bottom of this misery. In the Atman there is no distinction of sex, or Varna or Ashrama, or anything of the kind, and as mud cannot be washed away by mud, it is likewise impossible to bring about oneness by means of separative ideas.[Source]
- The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.[Source]
Buddha was a reformer of Hinduism.
—Swami VivekanandaImage source: Wikimedia Commons
Are Christ and Buddha identical?
It is my particular fancy that the same Buddha became Christ.
—Swami VivekanandaImage source: Wikimedia Commons (Jesus's image, Buddha's image)
- Addresses at The Parliament of Religions — Buddhism, the Fulfilment of Hinduism (26 September 1893) from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume I
- Buddhistic India from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume III
- On Lord Buddha from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume IV