In the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist (SB 1.3.24)

From Vaniquotes
Jump to: navigation, search

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

In the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.
SB 1.3.24, Translation and Purport:

Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.

Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gayā (Bihar) as the son of Añjanā, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal-killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.

Killing of animals before the advent of Lord Buddha was the most prominent feature of the society. People claimed that these were Vedic sacrifices. When the Vedas are not accepted through the authoritative disciplic succession, the casual readers of the Vedas are misled by the flowery language of that system of knowledge. In the Bhagavad-gītā a comment has been made on such foolish scholars (avipaścitaḥ). The foolish scholars of Vedic literature who do not care to receive the transcendental message through the transcendental realized sources of disciplic succession are sure to be bewildered. To them, the ritualistic ceremonies are considered to be all in all. They have no depth of knowledge. According to the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ: the whole system of the Vedas is to lead one gradually to the path of the Supreme Lord. The whole theme of Vedic literature is to know the Supreme Lord, the individual soul, the cosmic situation and the relation between all these items. When the relation is known, the relative function begins, and as a result of such a function the ultimate goal of life or going back to Godhead takes place in the easiest manner. Unfortunately, unauthorized scholars of the Vedas become captivated by the purificatory ceremonies only, and natural progress is thereby checked.

To such bewildered persons of atheistic propensity, Lord Buddha is the emblem of theism. He therefore first of all wanted to check the habit of animal-killing. The animal-killers are dangerous elements on the path going back to Godhead. There are two types of animal-killers. The soul is also sometimes called the "animal" or the living being. Therefore, both the slaughterer of animals and those who have lost their identity of soul are animal-killers.

Because the asuras or the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal-killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity.
SB 1.3.24, Purport:

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said that only the animal-killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated to the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal-killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal-killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. By this dangerous theory many so-called sannyāsīs have sprung up by the grace of Kali-yuga who preach animal-killing under the garb of the Vedas. The subject matter has already been discussed in the conversation between Lord Caitanya and Maulana Chand Kazi Shaheb. The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal-killing in the slaughterhouse. Because the asuras or the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal-killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save the poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamor for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equity. There is no justice when there is animal-killing. Lord Buddha wanted to stop it completely, and therefore his cult of ahiṁsā was propagated not only in India but also outside the country.

Technically Lord Buddha's philosophy is called atheistic because there is no acceptance of the Supreme Lord and because that system of philosophy denied the authority of the Vedas. But that is an act of camouflage by the Lord. Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead. As such, he is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy. But he rejected it outwardly because the sura-dviṣa, or the demons who are always envious of the devotees of Godhead, try to support cow-killing or animal-killing from the pages of the Vedas, and this is now being done by the modernized sannyāsīs. Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of the Vedas altogether. This is simply technical, and had it not been so he would not have been so accepted as the incarnation of Godhead. Nor would he have been worshiped in the transcendental songs of the poet Jayadeva, who is a Vaiṣṇava ācārya. Lord Buddha preached the preliminary principles of the Vedas in a manner suitable for the time being (and so also did Śaṅkarācārya) to establish the authority of the Vedas. Therefore both Lord Buddha and Ācārya Śaṅkara paved the path of theism, and Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, specifically Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, led the people on the path towards a realization of going back to Godhead.

We are glad that people are taking interest in the nonviolent movement of Lord Buddha. But will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahiṁsā cult.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was composed just prior to the beginning of the age of Kali (about five thousand years ago), and Lord Buddha appeared about twenty-six hundred years ago. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lord Buddha is foretold. Such is the authority of this clear scripture.
SB 1.3.24, Purport:

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was composed just prior to the beginning of the age of Kali (about five thousand years ago), and Lord Buddha appeared about twenty-six hundred years ago. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lord Buddha is foretold. Such is the authority of this clear scripture. There are many such prophecies, and they are being fulfilled one after another. They will indicate the positive standing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is without trace of mistake, illusion, cheating and imperfection, which are the four flaws of all conditioned souls. The liberated souls are above these flaws; therefore they can see and foretell things which are to take place on distant future dates.

SB Canto 8

Mohinī-mūrti resembles Lord Buddha, who appeared sammohāya sura-dviṣām—to cheat the asuras. The word sura-dviṣām refers to those who are envious of the demigods or devotees. Sometimes an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cheats the atheists.
SB 8.9.11, Purport:

The Personality of Godhead in His form of Mohinī was certainly not joking but talking seriously, with gravity. The demons, however, being captivated by Mohinī-mūrti's bodily features, took Her words as a joke and confidently delivered the container of nectar into Her hands. Thus Mohinī-mūrti resembles Lord Buddha, who appeared sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24)—to cheat the asuras. The word sura-dviṣām refers to those who are envious of the demigods or devotees. Sometimes an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cheats the atheists.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Five thousand years ago, either the Gayā city was there or it was predicted that there will be city of the name Gayā. In that province, Lord Buddha, as the son of Añjanā—his mother's name, Añjanā—he will appear to cheat the atheists.
Lecture on SB 1.1.2 -- London, August 16, 1971:

Five thousand years ago this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was written, and he is describing Lord Buddha's incarnation. Kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Sura-dviṣām. Sammohāya sura-dviṣām, buddho nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati (SB 1.3.24). He's writing bhaviṣyati, means in future tense. Lord Buddha appeared on this planet 2,600 years ago, and this book was written 5,000 years ago and indicating that Lord Buddha incarnation of Keśava will appear in the Bihar province, Kīkaṭeṣu, Gayā Pradesh, near Gayā. This Gayā city is still there. And five thousand years ago, either the Gayā city was there or it was predicted that there will be city of the name Gayā. In that province, Lord Buddha, as the son of Añjanā—his mother's name, Añjanā—he will appear to cheat the atheists. Lord Buddha appeared to cheat the atheists. "Oh, God comes to cheat?" Yes. Sometimes required. Just like one little child has taken away from the pocket of his father one hundred dollar bill, and he's going to tear it. And the father says, "Oh, my son, what you will do with this paper? You take these lozenges." And the lozenges is worth one cent. So he's cheated, giving him one-cent-worth thing and he's taking hundred dollars, "Give me." But that is not cheating. That is required. Sometimes a child requires to be cheated to save him from making mischievous activities.

We cannot accept anyone who claims that "I am also incarnation." No. In the śāstras there are symptoms foretold of the incarnation. Just like about Lord Buddha there is mention, "In such and such place, in such and such form, in such and such activity, Lord Buddha will appear."
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Montreal, August 3, 1968:

So we have to accept according to the authentic scripture who is incarnation. We cannot accept anyone who claims that "I am also incarnation." No. In the śāstras there are symptoms foretold of the incarnation. Just like about Lord Buddha there is mention, "In such and such place, in such and such form, in such and such activity, Lord Buddha will appear." Similarly, about Lord Caitanya is there. Similarly, there is a description about Kalki. So far Lord Buddha is concerned, in the Bhāgavatam the name of the mother of Lord Buddha is mentioned. And the activities is also mentioned. What are his activities? The activities are not very pleasant. Sammohāya sura-dviṣām: (SB 1.3.24) "The Lord will appear as Buddha in order to sammohāya, bewilder, the atheist class of men." Atheist class of... His activities were to cover the atheist class of men, those who do not believe in God. Yes. Lord Buddha said, "Yes, there is no God. There is no God. There is void only. But you believe me, what I say." Just see. He is incarnation of God, and the people amongst whom he is preaching, to them he is saying, "There is no God," but he is God.

This Bhāgavata-grantha, śāstra, was written five thousand years ago. Now five thousand years ago there was no Buddha. But in future He will come, and that is mentioned here: bhaviṣyati. Not only Buddha's name only, but His mother's name and the place where He would appear.
Lecture on SB 1.3.24 -- Los Angeles, September 29, 1972:

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte
sammohāya sura-dviṣām
buddho nāmnāñjana-sutaḥ
kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati
(SB 1.3.24)

Translation: "Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist."

Prabhupāda: So these words are significant. Bhaviṣyati. Bhaviṣyati means "in future He will appear." Other avatāras, just like Lord Rāmacandra, Kṛṣṇa, They have been described that "He appeared for doing this work." Similarly, in future also, who will appear, that is also listed. So no pseudo incarnation can come in, because past, present, future, everything is described there. Bhaviṣyati. This Bhāgavata-grantha, śāstra, was written five thousand years ago. Now five thousand years ago there was no Buddha. But in future He will come, and that is mentioned here: bhaviṣyati. Not only Buddha's name only, but His mother's name and the place where He would appear. This is called śāstra. No speculation. Fact. Either past, present, or future, it doesn't matter. Tri-kāla-jña.

Buddha philosophy is that "Due to the combination of this matter, we are feeling pains and pleasure. So everyone is trying to eradicate all kinds of pains. That is the struggle for existence. So these pains will be automatically mitigated if you break this combination."
Lecture on SB 1.3.24 -- Los Angeles, September 29, 1972:

Therefore Lord Buddha appeared. These rascals... Sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Sura-dviṣām means rascals, atheists. "There is no God." In Buddha religion they don't believe in God. "Yes. There is no soul. There is no God." That is Buddhist theory. Śūnyavādi. "Everything void. Make void." Buddha philosophy is that "These bodily pains and pleasure are due to the combination of matter." This body, this gross body, or the subtle body, is made of physical matters: earth, water, air, fire, and ether, and mind, intelligence, ego. These are gross and subtle matters. So Buddha philosophy is that "Due to the combination of this matter, we are feeling pains and pleasure. So everyone is trying to eradicate all kinds of pains. That is the struggle for existence. So these pains will be automatically mitigated if you break this combination." That is Buddha... Nirvāṇa. That is called nirvāṇa. Break. Just like this house is combination of several material thing. Now, when it is broken... You have seen, so many houses have been dismantled. There is no more house. And as soon as there is no more house, there is no question of living or feeling pains or pleasure. That is Buddha philosophy.

God's business is, "This rascal may some way or other worship Me." Because they are rascals. So here Lord Buddha by policy induced them to worship Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha is incarnation of God.
Lecture on SB 1.3.25 -- Los Angeles, September 30, 1972:

So this Kali-yuga has already begun. So in the beginning sandhyā, junction, Lord Buddha's description is given already. Lord Buddha will cheat the atheist class of men. God is very kind. So sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Those who are atheists, just to bewilder them: "Yes, there is nothing after death, it is all zero, but you worship me," Lord Buddha said. "Yes, sir, we shall worship you." So the only business, God's business is, "This rascal may some way or other worship Me." Because they are rascals. So here Lord Buddha by policy induced them to worship Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha is incarnation of God. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra. His philosophy is "No, there is no God, but you worship me." But the policy is to worship God. But they do not know. They are thinking that "We are worshiping somebody, some great soul," but he does not know that he is God, incarnation of God.

Sri Isopanisad Lectures

Lord Buddha's appearance is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and many Vedic literatures. Sura-dviṣām. He came to cheat the demons. Lord Buddha propagated, "Yes, there is no God. But what I say, you follow." "Yes, sir." But he is God. This is cheating. Yes. They do not believe in God, but they believe in Buddha, and Buddha is God.
Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 1 -- Los Angeles, May 3, 1970:

Gargamuni: (reading:) "It is also wrong to consider that simply by becoming a vegetarian one can save himself from transgressing the laws of nature. Vegetables also have life. One life is meant to feed another living being, and that is the law of nature. One should not be proud of being a strict vegetarian. The point is to recognize the Supreme Lord. The animals have no developed consciousness to recognize the Lord, but a human being..."

Prabhupāda: That is the main point. Just like there are the Buddhists, they are also vegetarian. According to Buddhist principle... Nowadays everything has deteriorated, but Lord Buddha's propaganda was to make the rascals at least to stop animal-killing. Ahiṁsā paramo dharma. Lord Buddha's appearance is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and many Vedic literatures. Sura-dviṣām. He came to cheat the demons. The demons... He made such a policy that the demons were cheated. How he has cheated? The demons, they are against God. They don't believe in God. So Lord Buddha propagated, "Yes, there is no God. But what I say, you follow." "Yes, sir." But he is God. This is cheating. Yes. They do not believe in God, but they believe in Buddha, and Buddha is God. Keśava-dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. So that is the difference between a demon and a devotee. A devotee sees that how Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, is cheating these rascals. The devotee can understand. But the demons, they think, "Oh, we have got a nice leader. He does not believe in God." (laughter) You see? Sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). The exact Sanskrit word is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You have seen, those who have read: sammohāya, for bewildering sura-dviṣām. Sura-dviṣām means persons who are envious of the Vaiṣṇavas. The atheist class, demons, they are always envious of the devotees. That is the law of nature. You see this father. Father became an enemy of a five-years-old son. What was his fault? He was a devotee. That's all. Innocent boy. Simply he was, I mean to say, attracted with chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The father himself, he became a staunch enemy: "Kill this boy." So if a father can become enemy, what to speak of others. So you should always expect that as soon as you become a devotee, the whole world becomes your enemy. That's all. But you have to deal with them, because you are appointed servants of God. Your mission is to enlighten them.

Initiation Lectures

That atheistic philosophy, like Buddha philosophy, "There is no God..." But Buddha himself is God. Because so long one is accustomed to kill animals, he will never be able to understand what is God. That is Buddha philosophy.
Initiation of Lokanatha dasa -- New Vrindaban, May 21, 1969:

Prabhupāda: That atheistic philosophy, like Buddha philosophy, "There is no God..." But Buddha himself is God. That is... Another Bhāgavata interpretation is that he is cheating the atheist person. The atheists, they say, "There is no God," and Lord Buddha said, "Yes, there is no God, but you follow me." But He is God. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. So Bhāgavata therefore says, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). It is something like that. A naughty boy does not want to go to school. So somebody, some friend, says, "Yes, you don't go to school. All right, you sit down. Now, what is this?" "Oh, this is cow." "What is this?" "This is leg." "Can you count how many legs are there?" "Yes. One, two, three, four." So... (aside:) What is that?

Hayagrīva: Somebody's coming, some vehicle.

Prabhupāda: All right. You please sit down. So the boy is satisfied that "I am not going to a school. This gentleman is very nice. I didn't want to go to school, and he says, 'Yes, don't go to school.' But "You sit down here. What is this?" "This is cow." "And what is this?" "This is cow's leg." "What is this?" "One leg, two leg." That means he is being educated, but he does not know. He says that "Ah..."

So Lord Buddha's philosophy is like that. The atheistic people, they are against God. "Yes, there is no God. But you take this philosophy, ahiṁsā. Don't kill animals." That means if they stop animal-killing, then one day they will be able to understand what is God. Some day. Because so long one is accustomed to kill animals, he will never be able to understand what is God. That is Buddha philosophy. He situated the atheistic people on the line of understanding God. So this is, in one way, cheating. But this cheating is not cheating. Just like father or guardian sometimes cheats the young boy. That is not cheating; that is for his good.

General Lectures

Buddhists, although they accept Lord Buddha as incarnation, but at the same time we accept them as nāstika, atheist. How Kṛṣṇa becomes atheist? But that is Kṛṣṇa's concern, but we have to study what He is doing.
Lecture -- Delhi, December 13, 1971:

Atheist means one who does not believe in the verdict of the Vedas. That is called atheist, atheist. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, veda nā māniyā bauddha haya ta' nāstika. Bauddha, the Buddhists... Buddhists, although they accept Lord Buddha as incarnation, but at the same time we accept them as nāstika, atheist. How Kṛṣṇa becomes atheist? But that is Kṛṣṇa's concern, but we have to study what He is doing. One side He is acting as atheist, that is His policy. That is also explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24), just to teach other atheists, he has become atheist. Because he had to preach among other atheist class of men, He became an atheist, "Yes, there is no God. Now believe me what I say." "Yes, sir, I shall believe." But He is God.

Philosophy Discussions

Lord Buddha was very, very much aggrieved to see the poor animals are being killed unnecessarily. So he preached the religion of nonviolence, and because the people became atheist, so Lord Buddha, just to take them under his control, he also collaborated and said, "Yes, there is no God, but you hear me." But he is incarnation of God, so it is a kind of transcendental cheating that in the beginning he said there is no God, but he is God himself, and people accepted his words or instruction.
Philosophy Discussion on William James:

Hayagrīva: James gave the following estimation of impersonalism and Buddhism. He wrote, "There are systems of thought which the world usually calls religious and yet which do not positively assume a God. Buddhism is in this case. Popularly, of course, the Buddha himself stands in place of a God, but in strictness, the Buddhistic system is atheistic."

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Lord Buddha appeared at a time when people became atheistic, and especially they began to kill animals in the sacrifice in large quantity. So God, Lord Buddha, appeared, being sympathetic to the poor animals. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. He was very, very much aggrieved to see the poor animals are being killed unnecessarily. So he preached the religion of nonviolence, and because the people became atheist, so Lord Buddha, just to take them under his control, he also collaborated and said, "Yes, there is no God, but you hear me." But he is incarnation of God, so it is a kind of transcendental cheating that in the beginning he said there is no God, but he is God himself, and people accepted his words or instruction. That is Buddhism. So this very word is used, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Sura-dviṣām, atheist class of men, are always against theist class of men. Therefore their name is that atheist means who are envious of devotees. So in order to cheat these persons who are envious of God or devotee, Lord Buddha appeared and established a system of religion on the platform of nonviolence—no more animal killing. Because those who are animal killers, they cannot understand God (indistinct). That is not possible. They may have some vague idea. So Lord Buddha wanted to stop these sinful activities, and he established the system of nonviolence.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Bhāgavata Purāṇa was written five thousand years ago, and Lord Buddha appeared about 2,600 years ago. So therefore it is stated, bhaviṣyati: "In future, just in the beginning of Kali-yuga, Lord will appear as Buddha. His mother's name will be Añjana, and his business will be to cheat the atheists."
Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 13, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Prabhupāda: So if anyone believes in the śāstras, they should take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is intelligence, to take advantage of authorized scriptures. You'll find in the Bhāgavata, There is a history of Candragupta, and "The Yavanas will become kings." That means English occupation, Mohammedan occupation. Everything is there. And Buddha's appearance, kikaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Kikaṭeṣu means in the Bihar province in India. Bhaviṣyati. Because Bhāgavata Purāṇa was written five thousand years ago, and Lord Buddha appeared about 2,600 years ago. So therefore it is stated, bhaviṣyati: "In future, just in the beginning of Kali-yuga, Lord will appear as Buddha. His mother's name will be Añjana, and his business will be to cheat the atheists."

Allen Ginsberg: To cheat the atheists.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Sammohāya sūra-dviṣam (SB 1.3.24). Sūra-dviṣam means atheists. Surat. Sura-dvisam means those who are envious of Lord's devotees. That means atheist. So to bewilder them. What is that bewildering? This atheist class, they became so much absorbed in this animal-killing, they forgot everything about God. So they said, "What is God? We don't mind." So Lord Buddha says, "Yes, there is no God." Lord's philosophy is: "There is no God. Void. There is no God. But what I say, you follow. Yes. That's all right." But he is God. Is it not cheating?

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, except that he claims to be neither God nor not God.

Prabhupāda: Huh? But he never said that "I am God." He said there is no God.

Allen Ginsberg: No. He doesn't say there's no God either. He says...

Prabhupāda: That's it. That's anyway.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

God is there—Buddha—but they are thinking that they don't believe in God. This is cheating. God is there. They are worshiping Lord Buddha exactly as we worship Kṛṣṇa. Then is it not the same? They are made to believe in God in a different way.
Room Conversation -- March 16, 1974, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: That, in the Bhāgavata it is said, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Lord Buddha appeared for cheating or bewildering the atheistic person. They do not believe in the (indistinct). They did not, did not believe in God, but God is there. Lord Buddha himself is God. Just like if I say I don't want (indistinct), but you come in a different place. So (indistinct) is there, but I am thinking it is not (indistinct). Similarly, God is there—Buddha—but they are thinking that they don't believe in God. This is cheating. God is there. They are worshiping Lord Buddha exactly as we worship Kṛṣṇa. Then is it not the same? Then how do they say they don't believe in God? They are made to believe in God in a different way. That is cheating, and it is good for them. That is written in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24).

Sammohāya, just to bewilder the atheist class of men. The atheist class of men, we're advocating "There is no God." So He appeared before them... And they were killing animals like anything. So Buddhadeva inaugurated the non-violence.
Room Conversation with Prof. Regamay, Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Lausanne -- June 4, 1974, Geneva:

Prof. Regamay: Yet I still think of this problem why Lord Kṛṣṇa had to have an incarnation like Buddha who was teaching atheist doctrine and no...

Prabhupāda: That is described. I have described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Find out, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, first part.

Prof. Regamay: I read it in your commentary to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that he was, he didn't need to preach the worship of God because He was Himself God.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Regamay: But He doesn't say it in the text.

Prabhupāda: That is described in the SB.., sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). Sammohāya, just to bewilder the atheist class of men. The atheist class of men, we're advocating "There is no God." So He appeared before them... And they were killing animals like anything. So Buddhadeva inaugurated the non-violence. So therefore He is God Himself, and He is teaching, "There is no God." This is rather cheating.

Prof. Regamay: Yes. Not teaching, but cheating.

Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughing) So sometimes... Just like a child does not want to go to school. So the teacher says, "No, no, you don't require to go to... There is no need. But what do you see in your front?" "That's a cow." "Now, what is this?" "A leg." "Then what is next?" "Second leg." "What is this?" "Third leg." So he is teaching mathematics, but practically, he says, "You don't require go to school. You just count the legs of the cow, that's all." It is like that.

Prof. Regamay: Now there are some schools of Buddhists who are worshiping Buddha like a God.

Prabhupāda: Yes, He is God. He is God. They don't accept Buddha as incarnation of God. But from Vedas we understand that He is incarnation of God.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

This Buddha incarnation is cheating the atheist class of men. He said that "Don't kill animals. If you are killed you feel pain. Why you should kill animals?" That was his mission, to stop animal killing, sinful activities.
Evening Darsana -- July 11, 1976, New York:

Indian man (4): Prabhupāda? Buddha was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, right? Then why he has preached the impersonal form of God?

Prabhupāda: That is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You have got Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam here? Find out that, when Lord Buddha appeared, that verse. Sammohāya sura-dviṣām (SB 1.3.24). His propaganda was to cheat the atheist class of men. Atheist class of men, they did not recognize existence of God, so He became one of them. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. This atheist class, they were killing animals in the name of yajña like anything. So yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7), so He came as Buddha to stop this animal killing. His real business was stop the animal killing, that these rascals are going to hell in the name of religion, so at least stop their activities of animal killing. So therefore he started the mission, ahiṁsā paramo dharma: "Don't kill animals." But in the Vedas there is recommendation, in the yajña, as you were saying, that there is..., animal killing is recommended. So people presented that "Here is animal killing recommended in the yajña." Therefore he denied the authority of Vedas. Nindasi yajña-vidher ahaha śruti-jātaṁ sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. So this Buddha incarnation is cheating the atheist class of men. He said that "Don't kill animals. If you are killed you feel pain. Why you should kill animals?" That was his mission, to stop animal killing, sinful activities. So what was your question?

Indian man (4): I just asked why he has preached impersonal form of God.

Prabhupāda: Yes, because they were all godless, so he said, "There is no God, but you stop this animal killing." That was his mission. And he said, "There is no God, but whatever I say, you accept." So they agreed. But he is God. That is cheating. Superficially he said there is no God, but he is God. Somehow or other, if people stop animal killing and accept Lord Buddha, then he becomes at least one step forward to God realization. So in a cheating process he made good to others.