Does Buddhism teaches or believe in angels?

One of my friends asked above question.
My answer was “yes” but we called them Devas.
What is your answer?

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I avoid saying “I believe in…” as I don’t think the Buddha encouraged “believing”. That said, I haven’t had any experience with devas (that I know of) and don’t feel compelled to focus any attention on the issue.

have faith in the truth or existence of.

There’s a very in depth Wikipedia article on formless beings.

It doesn’t seem quite like the Christian angels yet when I chant mangala sutta I think of the radiant deva as almost an angel. Funnily I’d always imagined the deva in mangala sutta to be female but recently realised that’d be Devi. But whether devas have gender is a whole other topic.

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There is no clear description of who angels are in Abrahamic religions.
They appear to be the messenger of the God and the human.
Angel Gabriel gave Koran to Mohamed.

Yea to me they sound like some of the gandhabbhas, celestial musicians, or the devas that would work in the service of sakkha or one of the four great kings.

Look up “Angelomorphic Christology” & “Angelomorphic Pneumatology” if you are further interested.

When I think of “faith” in the context of the dhamma, I think of “confidence” rather than “belief.” I think of the simile where a person in fear sees another cross over a dangerous current and so gains confidence or faith that he/she can do it also.

I would guess that most people who believe in or have confidence in the existence of angels do so because they have been told that they exist or their holy scriptures say so, not from any firsthand experience.

If angels and devas do exist, it wouldn’t surprise me. I sincerely don’t have a fixed view on the matter. For me, the issue doesn’t really compel me to practice more or lead me away from dukkha.


There are lots of new-age type books about angels in my local bookshop. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I doubt there is much correlation between Christian angels and Buddhist angels- to start with in Buddhism ending in a heavenly plane (as or with the angels) is not the desired outcome.

Of course there are parallels to be had- they are both not normally found in the human plane, have less suffering than us mere mortals etc. An interesting distinction is that the human plane and not the plane of devas is said to have the optimal conditions for enlightenment, as heavenly planes have too much pleasure and enjoyment for dhamma to be of much interest.

This issue is like rebrith. It divides Buddhists. Some reject it- some believe it. Some have experienced phenomena they believe is caused by devas- but have no proof to back it up. I remember once a Sri Lankan forest monk told me that they would see devas in the night, much like how it is mentioned in the sutta, but suffusing the area with a light which could only be seen by those who had the ‘Divine eye’ (dibba cakkhu) faculty. Many meditating monks in Sri Lanka have said they have encountered devas.

with metta

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