[KS] Name used for "god" in Korean language

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Tue Jul 29 20:26:57 EDT 2008

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This is probably far too esoteric for the original question, but it is perhaps worth pointing out the way in which, within Mahayana Buddhism (and Vajrayana, too) there developed (10th century) a notion of 'transcendent buddhas' who look very much like gods, and from there arose the notion of an absolute adi-buddha (might be termed 'Ur-Buddha') as the ultimate personification of dharmakaya ('the unity of the Buddha with everything that is'). This absolute Buddha is usually in turn identified with Vairochana who was originally the first of the 5 transcendent buddhas (in Japan he was seen as the 'sun' around whom the other 4 turn) so that within Buddhism, which denies the existence of any absolute being (because of the fragmented and unreal nature of all being), you have an absolute Buddha whose attributes come close to some of those of an unconditioned theistic god. Just a thought . . .
Brother Anthony
Sogang University, Seoul

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