What Do Mahayana Buddhists Believe?

Belief in Deity

Mahayana Buddhism (like Theravada Buddhism) posits no Creator or ruler God. However, deity belief is present in the Mahayana doctrine of The Three Bodies (forms) of Buddha:

(1) Body of Essence--the indescribable, impersonal Absolute Reality, or Ultimate Truth that is Nirvana (Infinite Bliss)

(2) Body of Bliss or Enjoyment--Buddha as divine, deity, formless, celestial spirit with saving power of grace, omnipotence, omniscience 

(3) Body of Transformation or Emanation--an illusion or emanation in human form provided by the divine Buddha to guide humans to Enlightenment.

Any person can potentially achieve Buddhahood, transcending personality and becoming one with the impersonal Ultimate Reality, which is Infinite Bliss (Nirvana). There are countless Buddhas presiding over countless universes. Bodhisattvas--humans and celestial spirits who sacrifice their imminent liberation (Buddhahood) to help all others to become liberated--are revered or worshipped as gods or saints by some.

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