I'm so confused about the following passage.

How should I take this part 'have availed and wrought for humanity in other creeds'?

Is Divine Presences a subject of 'have availed and wrought'?

Please, explain this to me simply.

The passage:

In the beloved person of the Buddha were enshrined all that Divine Presences, wisdom stooping from on high, transcendent love and power mighty and willing to save, the secret of genius knowing and drawing the hearts of men, the ideal Superman, have availed and wrought for humanity in other creeds.

Source: Buddhism P. 50 :by Mrs. Rhys Davids

  • It's not trying hard to be clear. A translation? All the Divine Presences (the Gods fashioned by and to people of other religions) are built into the ideal of the Buddha. Aug 20 at 2:18
  • @Yosef Baskin, thanks. What does the phrase 'for humanity in other creeds' mean?
    – Sakya Kim
    Aug 20 at 2:31
  • 1
    I’ve deleted my answer in deference to Anton Sherwood’s. I do concur in Yosef Baskin’s verdict that it’s not trying hard to be clear. Aug 20 at 3:09
  • "Humanity in other creeds" means those who follow other religions (creeds). Aug 20 at 11:34
  • 1
    @YosefBaskin I think it's to be understood as "wrought, in other creeds, for humanity" that is, things wrought for humanity, as set forth in the teachings of other creeds. Aug 20 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Yes, Divine Presences is the subject of availed and wrought. Everything between the first comma and the last is illustrative examples of Divine Presences.

Guessing at the context, I think the sentence means to say: other religions may separate the symbols or personifications of wisdom, love, power and so on, but in Buddhism the Buddha himself is the symbol of all of these.

  • I would tend to agree with you on the subject, but a transitive verb avail would normally have as the subject those things that are beneficial, not as we find there, "all that Divine Presences have availed ...for humanity". Aug 20 at 20:01
  • The head start he was given availed him nothing. Aug 20 at 20:22

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