As some people, like Tiger Woods for instance, go through the process of dealing with addiction, many are encouraged to look to a “higher power” or a “god as we understand him” in order to help them overcome.
People in 12 step programs are encouraged to connect to that “higher power” for help to be free from addiction.
So, what about Buddhism?
Is the Buddha a “higher power” ?
Can people chose “Buddha” from a list of “higher powers”, if he better suits one’s own “taste”?
In my humble opinion, no.
There are some who erroneously pray to the Buddha as a god, but he never claimed to be one or desired worship.
This idea of praying to “my god Buddha” is an aberration of true Buddhism.
It parallels the idea of Christians praying to “the saints.” Nice thought, but no power to really help us. Buddha called people to follow the principles he discovered and laid out in the “Dharma”, or teachings. He taught that humans should only rely on their selves for the help they need.
Some may feel that the Buddha is a good “role model”, but he is certainly no higher power. People who actually study Buddhism will agree with me that in Buddhism there is no “god” to pray to and ask for help. There is no one to cast your burdens and cares upon like the God of the Bible. There is nothing available like the word of Jesus Christ that says,
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened down and I will give you rest.” (See Matt 11:28)
Buddhists believe that the wisdom they need is already within them. Humans are ends to themselves.
Nice thought, but deep down inside, I believe each of us knows that humanity is fundamentally flawed on the inside. As I said in my previous post, we know what is right but many times feel powerless to do it.
The Bible gives the reason for this dilemma, as well as its origin, cure, and the power to overcome.
In the Bible; God the Creator of Heaven and Earth of all that is seen in unseen, tells us to seek out wisdom above anything else in life. (see Proverbs 4:1-13) God also says that the beginning of wisdom starts with an acknowledgement of and true reverence for (Godly fear of) Him as the one and only true God…the only real “higher power” if you will. (see Proverbs 9:10 among many other passages)
As you may contemplate taking the Buddha as your higher power; I hope that you will understand that although Buddha has some good worthwhile things to say about the power of craving and suffering, he is definitely not an available savior or living god.
Consider these key verses from the Word of God:
“I alone am God … I am the Lord and there is no other Savior.” (Isaiah 43:10,11)
“…she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21-23
*The world may have many “powers” but only one true Savior.*