No. Buddhism doesn’t believe in God.
There’re several reasons for this. The Buddha, like modern sociologists and psychologists, believed that religious ideas and especially the god-idea have their origin in fear.
Gripped by fear men go to the sacred mountains, sacred groves, sacred trees, and shrines.
Primitive humans found themselves in a dangerous and hostile world, the fear of wild animals, of not being able to find enough food, of injury or disease, and of natural phenomena like thunder, lightning, and volcanoes were constantly with him. Finding no security, they created the idea of gods to give them comfort in good times, courage in times of danger and consolation when things went wrong.
To this day, you’ll notice that people become more religious at times of crisis, you’ll hear them say that the belief in a god or gods gives them the strength they need to deal with life. You’ll hear them explain that they believe in a particular god because they prayed in time of need and their prayer was answered. All this seems to support the Buddha’s teaching that the god-idea is a response to fear and frustration.
The Buddha taught us to try to understand our fears, to lessen our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we can’t change. He replaced fear, not with irrational belief but with rational understanding.
The second reason the Buddha didn’t believe in a god is that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support this idea. There’re numerous religions, all claiming that they alone have god’s words preserved in their holy book, that they alone understand god’s nature, that their god exists and that the gods of other religions don’t.
Some claim that God is masculine, some that she’s feminine and others that it’s neuter. They’re all satisfied that there’s ample evidence to prove the existence of their god but they laugh in disbelief at the evidence other religions use to prove the existence of another god.
It isn’t surprising that with so many different religions spending so many centuries trying to prove the existence of their gods that still no real, concrete, substantial or irrefutable evidence has been found. Buddhists suspend judgment until such evidence is forthcoming.
Not a necessity
The third reason the Buddha didn’t believe in a god is that the belief isn’t necessary. Some claim that the belief in a god is necessary to explain the origin of the universe. But this isn’t so. Science has very convincingly explained how the universe came into being without having to introduce the god-idea.
Some claim that belief in God is necessary to have a happy, meaningful life. Again, we can see that this isn’t so. There are millions of atheists and free-thinkers, not to mention many Buddhists, who live useful, happy and meaningful lives without belief in a god.
Some claim that belief in God’s power is necessary because humans, being weak, don’t have the strength to help themselves. Once again, the evidence indicates the opposite. One often hears of people who have overcome great disabilities and handicaps, enormous odds and difficulties, through their inner resources, through their efforts and without belief in a god.
Some claim that God is necessary to give human salvation. But this argument only holds good if you accept the theological concept of salvation and Buddhists don’t accept such a concept.
Based on his own experience, the Buddha saw that each human being could purify the mind, develop infinite love and compassion and perfect understanding. He shifted attention from the heavens to the heart and encouraged us to find solutions to our problems through self-understanding that’s also known as Vipassana Meditation.