Excerpts

Santideva Bodhisattva Explains Why There Is No God

As a perfect creator will never create the imperfect,
and since the imperfect pervades this world,
there is surely no perfect creator of this world.

– Stonepeace | Books

[118] [Nyaya-Vaiseka] God [as a creator] is the cause of the world. [Madhyamika] Then explain what God is. If he is ‘the elements’, so be it, but then why fuss over a mere name? [119] Moreover, the earth and other elements are not one, nor permanent. They are inert and not divine. One can walk on them. They are impure. They are not God. [120] Space cannot be God, because it is inert. Nor is the Self, because its existence was disproved above [due to the truth that all mind and matter actively changes from moment to moment with no enduring substance]. If creativity belongs to what is beyond conception, what can be said of the inconceivable?

[121] What does he want to create? If a Self, surely that is something eternal [instead of changing]? God, consciousness resulting from a cognizable object, and the nature of earth and other elements, are without beginning. [122] Suffering and happiness are the result of action. So say what he created. If you argue that the cause has no beginning, how could there be a beginning to its effect? [123] How come he does not create continuously, if he is not dependent on anything else? There is nothing else whatsoever which was not made by him, so on what might he depend?

[124] If you argue that God is dependent on a combination of conditions, then again he is not the cause. He would have the power neither to refrain from creating if the conditions were present, nor to create if they were absent. [125] If you argue that God creates without desiring to create, it follows that he is subject to something other than himself. Even if he creates out of the desire to create, he is subject to desire. In what way does this creator have omnipotence?

The Bodhicaryavatara [By Santideva]
Translated By Kate Crosby And Andrew Skilton

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