Buddha and Jesus

This Article originally appeared on a Geocities site from the 1990s. It is reprinted here with permissions from the Author Eric Gordon.


Parallel Teachings    Similar Lives    Parallels in Religions

Buddha is a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church

Similarities Buddhism and Christianity

No semantics involved here, no speculation-- it is pure and absolute fact that the Catholic Church has attested to. A Favorite story of Christian Writers and teachers in the Early Church relates to Saint Thomas, the twin of Jesus, who unlike many of the other apostles had gone to India to spread the word of Jesus, while most others had gone to the areas of the Roman Empire. He had been relatively successful in this endeavor and had organized a sizable congregation. The following text is extracted from the Roman Catholic Litany of Saints, nothing has been added, altered or deleted, that is not parenthesized.

'The principal characters of a legend of Christian antiquity, which was a favourite subject of writers in the Middle Ages. The story is substantially as follows: Many inhabitants of India had been converted by the Apostle St. Thomas and were leading Christian lives. In the third or fourth century King Abenner (Avenier) persecuted the Church. The astrologers had foretold that his son Josaphat would one day become a Christian. To prevent this the prince was kept in close confinement. But, in spite of all precautions, Barlaam, a hermit of Senaar , met him and brought him to the true Faith...'

Abenner tried his best to pervert Josaphat, but, not succeeding, he shared the government with him. Later Abenner himself became a Christian, and, abdicating the throne, became a hermit. Josaphat governed alone for a time, then resigned, went into the desert, found his former teacher Barlaam,{Buddha} and with him spent his remaining years in holiness. Years after their death, the bodies were brought to India and their grave became renowned by miracles. Barlaam and Josaphat found their way into the Roman Martyrology (27 November), and into the Greek calendar (26 August). Vincent of Beauvais, in the thirteenth century, had given the story in his "Speculum Historiale - {1}". It is also found in an abbreviated form in the "Golden Legend" of Jacobus de Voragine- {2} of the same century. The story is a Christianized version of one of the legends of Buddha, as even the name Josaphat would seem to show. This is said to be a corruption of the original Joasaph, which is again corrupted from the middle Persian Budasif ' http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02297a.htm

Barlaam, the hermit of Senaar was actually Buddha, the story in being retold numerous times as it traveled through India, the middle East and Europe changed some what, but the sum and substance of the story is that Barlaam brought Josaphat to the True Faith. True Faith-- It's a universal doctrine that most people in the world today, whom are not under the influences of Dark Forces adhere to / or believe in to some degree or another.

Parallel Teachings of Jesus & Buddha

Jesus: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31 Buddha: "Consider others as yourself." Dhammapada 10:1

Jesus: "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword." Matthew 26:52 Buddha: "Abandoning the taking of life, the ascetic Gautama dwells refraining from taking life, without stick or sword." Digha Nikaya 1:1.8

Jesus said. 'You have heard it said, love your neighbor. But I tell you, love your enemies, be good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who hurt you.' 'Love one another as I have loved you.' Buddha said, 'See yourself in others, who then can you hurt.' 'Hate never overcomes hate. Only love overcomes hate. Cultivate boundless love toward all beings.'

The issue of Karma is an important aspect of both religions The Judeo-Christian Religion never developed a word for it , but the concept is one of it's Pillars . The Hindu-Buddhist religion has labeled the concept as Karma

Jesus Christ describing the Doctrine of Karma 'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive earthly men their trespasses neither will your Father forget your trespasses. Therefore all things whatsoever you would like that men should do to you, do them; for this is the law and the prophets."


Jesus never said he was the ONLY way

'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me' - Jesus

In the Greek translation of this scripture, the word erchetai was translated to comes .... erchetai in the Greek language of the time has a present tense meaning, and it's usage does not have a one word English equivalent. This verse applied only to those people Jesus was talking to at that time. .

In the Aramaic, the language in use in Israel/Palestine at the time the word -I- also has multiple translations through Greek and English. The word ena-ena is more closely relative to a Plural form , than the singular form of -I-, it's not a meaning translatable to a definition of say Me, Myself and I, --- But is more closely translatable as We, or Us . Had the meaning of Me, Myself and I, been intended the word used would have ena {just one ena --- not two as in ena ena}

The word -me- used in this context could more closely translate to a plural meaning as well, but that is not certain.

Basically a more correct Translation-- in My understanding would read ...........

We are the way, nobody here {Here Now, present as I Speak } shall come to the father except through me. {or possibly ..through us}

In either case he is not Saying that He is the Only way. --'..whoever is not against you is for you. Luke 9:50 '



Similarities in the Lives of Jesus & Buddha

Both went to their temples at the age of twelve, where they are said to have astonished all with their wisdom. Jesus 30? /Buddha 29

Both were tempted by the 'devil' at the start of their ministry Satan said to Buddha ; 'Go not forth to adopt a religious life but return to your kingdom, and in seven days you shall become emperor of the world, riding over the four continents.' Moncure D. Conway, The Sacred Anthology

To Jesus he said ; "All these [kingdoms of the world] I will give you, if you fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9).

After healing a man born blind, Buddha said: 'The disease of this man originates in his sinful actions in former times.' As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples said to him: `Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' " (John 9:1--2).

Both demanded that their disciples renounce all worldly possessions.

'In the year 217 B.C. Buddhist missionaries were imprisoned for preaching; but an angel, genie or spirit came and opened the prison door, and liberated them.' ...'They arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out' {Acts 5:18--19}.

Similarities between Judeo-Christianity and Hindu-Buddhist beliefs and Legends.

The birth of both Jesus of Nazareth and Krishna of Dwarka and their God-designed missions were foretold Evil forces pursued both Christ and Krishna in vain.

Christ is often depicted as a shepherd; Krishna was a cowherd

Both appeared at a critical time when their respective countries were in a torpid state

Both died of wounds caused by sharp weapons, Christ by nails and a spear and Krishna by an arrow.

The teachings of both are very similar, both emphasize love and peace.

As per legend Vishnu incarnates in 10 avatars, of which there have been 9, the last three have been 7. Rama

8. Khishna -- 3102 BC was the end of this period

9. Buddha ---Circa 600 BC

As per legend He will appear again , as Kalki 'the avenger', riding a white horse , destined to destroy the present world .

Revelation 19:11 'I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.'

As per Hindu/Buddhist scriptures "When the moon, the sun and Brhaspati {Jupiter} are together in the constellation Karkata,{Cancer, the Crab} and all three enter simulatenously into the lunar mansion Pusya--at that exact moment the age of Satya, or Krta, will begin." (translation from BBT Srimad Bhagavatam 1987)

Revelation 19:11  White Horse

Age of Mary / Age of Kali

We are presently in THE AGE OF KALI as per Buddhist/Hindu belief. Kali -the black one-is the Hindu mother goddess. She destroys ignorance, maintains the world order, and blesses and frees those who strive for the knowledge of God. Her association with War is largely symbolic of the War for Salvation or The War against Evil, and depictions of her are horrendously frightening at times if you do not bother to understand their symbolic-gnostic meanings.

"Is Kali, my Divine Mother, of a black complexion?

She appears black because She is viewed from a distance;

but when intimately known She is no longer so.

The sky appears blue at a distance, but look at it close by

and you will find that it has no colour.

The water of the ocean looks blue at a distance, but when you go near and take it in your hand, you find that it is colourless."

... Ramakrishna Paramhansa (1836-86)

We are presently in THE AGE OF MARY as per Many Christians.

There is a mystique surrounding 'The Black Madonna' in relationship to Mary, the fact is that Mary was not a Caucasian, there is what is believed to be a fairly accurate painting of her which can be traced directly to Saint Luke the purported Author of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary herself sat for, at one point in time it was altered , possibly Europeanizing some of the features - but that can not be proven. There is also a cult of The Black Madonna which arose out of France, and is not directly related to Mary, and is not relevant to the current topic.




Births of Buddha and Christ

An Immaculate conception

The legend of Buddha's birth states that the mother of the Buddha was a queen named Maya , who with her lawful husband had tried for years to have a child but was infertile. One night, she dreamed that a white elephant holding a white lotus flower in its trunk, circled around her three times, striking her on her right side. The elephant then vanished . Her husband asked the seers to interpret it, and they told him that the gods had chosen Maha-maya to be the mother of a great being. After that it was found that she had conceived, and later gave birth to Siddhartha Gotama, who would later be called "the Buddha", or "enlightened one". So although Buddha was depicted as an Immaculate conception, it differed in that his mother was not a virgin. Buddha was not born of a Virgin. And there is no proof that he himself ever claimed he was.

Upon their births, both were supposedly presented with gifts:

Matthew 2 ;11 "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh." { In actuality the Magi may have found the child Jesus, when he was already up to two years old }

Buddha received gold, frankincense, and myrrh. {John Russell Amberley An Analysis of Religious Belief}

Jesus rose from the Dead, At Buddha's Tomb is his Body while Christ's Tomb remains Empty

Marshall J. Gauvin, In 'Fundamentals of freethought' Writes 'If Christ was only a man, his death could be conceived to be only a human death, and therefore could not be an atonement for the sins of the world." and in a subsequent paragraph writes "Nothing could be more flagrantly absurd than the idea that a God was put to death by piercing the hands and feet of a Jewish peasant!" In actuality, nothing could be more absurd than the idea that a God was put to Death at the hands of Man - Period ! Acts 22-24 " Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.'