When I say Lord Buddha cheated, we don't mean that Lord Buddha was a cheater like ordinary man. No. He had to accept some means to lead them to God worship

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"when I say Lord Buddha cheated, we don't mean that Lord Buddha was a cheater like ordinary man. No. He had to accept some means to lead them to God worship"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Lord Buddha, we accept him as the incarnation of God. And his name is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata. And his business is also mentioned: sammohitaṁ sura-dviṣām. His business is to cheat the atheist class of men. That cheating is not cheating. It is for the good. Just like the father sometimes cheats the small child. You see? So that does not mean father is cheater. "Well, he has got some business to do that. That's all." So when I say Lord Buddha cheated, we don't mean that Lord Buddha was a cheater like ordinary man. No. He had to accept some means to lead them to God worship.
Room Conversation with Maharishi Impersonalists -- April 7, 1972, Melbourne:

Impersonalist: What about Buddha? Would you say that he is good?

Śyāmasundara: Buddha, Lord Buddha.

Prabhupāda: Yes. About Lord Buddha is also mentioned in the śāstra that Lord Buddha will appear in Gayā Pradesh, in the province of Gayā, and his business will be to cheat the atheists. That is described. Now, how he is cheating? He is the incarnation of God, but he is preaching amongst people who don't believe in God. So he is cheating in this way, that "Yes, there is no God. You hear me." But he is God. The people amongst whom he is preaching, they don't believe in God, but they accept Lord Buddha. But he is God. So by cheating, he is making others to worship God. God is there. But superficially they think, "We don't believe in God. We believe in Lord Buddha." And Lord Buddha is God. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is said that his business will be cheat the atheist class of men. Sura-dviṣām. Sammohita-sura-dviṣām. Sammohita means bewilder. But his philosophy is that to make the people sinless. Ahiṁsā. "Don't kill." That is the greatest sin. So he is propagating that "Let these people be saved from the greatest sinful activities." Lord Buddha appeared... He also appeared in India. Why? He was also Hindu. He was kṣatriya, king. He promulgated this philosophy, ahiṁsā, when there was unnecessary killing of animals. According to Vedas, animal can be killed in sacrifice. That also to give a new life. But people misinterpreted and they began to kill animals like anything with the evidence of..., "In the Vedas animal killing is sanctioned." So Lord Buddha appeared, just being compassionate to the poor animals. Sadaya-hṛdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam. Sadaya. He became very compassionate, that "All these poor animals are being killed unnecessarily." So he promulgamated a new type of religion-ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. "Don't commit violence. If I pinch your body, you feel pain. You should not pinch others." That is his religion. So, but, he... Because others, they will argue, "Oh, in the Vedas..." As I told you, that Vedas is the evidence, so "Here is... Animal killing is ordered. How you are stopping it?" Therefore he said, "I don't care for your Vedas." And because he did not care for the Vedas, therefore in India, later on, nobody accepted Buddha philosophy. Therefore Buddha philosophy has gone outside India-China, Burma, Japan—because here in India they are very strong in the standing of Vedas. Śaṅkarācārya established that "This Buddha philosophy is non-Vedic. It cannot be accepted." That was Śaṅkarācārya's propaganda. So by the propaganda of Śaṅkarācārya the Buddhism were driven away. There are so many things that one has to study. So Lord Buddha, we accept him as the incarnation of God. And his name is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata. And his business is also mentioned: sammohitaṁ sura-dviṣām. His business is to cheat the atheist class of men. That cheating is not cheating. It is for the good. Just like the father sometimes cheats the small child. You see? So that does not mean father is cheater. "Well, he has got some business to do that. That's all." So when I say Lord Buddha cheated, we don't mean that Lord Buddha was a cheater like ordinary man. No. He had to accept some means to lead them to God worship. He is God. So all the Buddhists... I have seen in Japan. Their temple is as good as Hindu temple. They have got Lord Buddha's statue. They offer lamps, and they sit down. They read Buddha philosophy. It is exactly Hindu temple.