Buddhism and Christianity

Understanding what Christ's role is to mankind and how He has enlightened ALL people  through the ages is vital for us to become ONE fold. 

As we have poured over websites that talk about Buddha and Christianity, it is evident that people don't understand the nature of God, His purpose and why or how there could be so much confusion in the world. It's important to note that the fact that Buddha lived prior to Christ doesn't negate the fact that he most certainly could have known him, much like all early prophets of the Bible testified of  Christ, so could have Buddha. We will look at the similar teachings in a moment. Let's take a look at Buddha first.  Buddha explained that "truth is true in all places and times and applies to all people".  It isn't surprising then, that wise people in different times and places made the same observations about life. It is also distinctly possible that Christ meant what He said when He stated that other sheep I have that are not of this fold. 

Gautama Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni) is believed to have lived and taught mostly in northeastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries before Christ. The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one". Gautama is a primary figure in Buddhism.The accounts of his life, teachings, and monastic rules were summarized after his death by people claiming to be his followers who committed those teachings to writing about 400 years after his death.

A period of 400 years is a long time. In scriptures we see that there has never been a group of people who have not fallen into apostasy in a much shorter time span than that! The way or pattern always emerges. A people repent, become more enlightened (usually because an enlightened person/ prophet calls a people to repentance).  Then in a short time, they fall into apostasy or become corrupted. The cycle continues. This cycle is often called the pride cycle.  When we look at something that can be documented more easily than the teachings of Buddha or Christ because it is closer to us in years (such as the constitution), we see how even in a non-religious arena, understanding changes and corrupt men change the meanings (often on purpose). The Constitution was written and signed at the time when righteous men were striving for a better way to live.  We have thousands of letters and commentaries by the signers, judicial decisions and even a legal dictionary to help us understand its purpose and meaning, yet people only 200 years afterwards are confused about what it says and was suppose to mean. People in the United States are completely divided as to meaning and application of the document. 

The same is true of Jesus Christ and the Bible. While there is a great deal of debate about who wrote what and when and more of a debate about what the different texts meant and how they should be translated. It is clear that the Modern Christians and the churches they attend are not doing what the early Church did. Christians often were in error based on Paul's letters alone including text about Nicolaitans. What eventually called itself Christian took a huge detour less than three hundred years after Jesus with the introduction of Constantine Christianity. Most Christians today are ignorant to the fact that the Bible has been tampered with. They are ignorant or complacent about what Christ taught and what is expected of his true followers. 


The Buddha went against the stream, against the religious authority of his day (temple brahmins and other ascetic schools, such as Jainism). Buddha was a rich individual who cared about the poor and wanted to help them. He gave up his wealth to pursue the truth. He was a social reformer. He did not want to be considered a god nor have people follow leaders. Buddha opposed the interpretation of the Vedas as they were being taught in his day. He was part of a movement that actually opposed the brahmin priests at that time.

 

The situation is mirrored later in history when Jesus opposed the temple priests who followed the Pharisees. Like the protestant reformation Buddha revitalized and utterly transformed ancient Hinduism like Christ did with certain sects of "Judaism". "Hinduism" did not really exist till later. It was systematized and founded by Sri Shankara (788 CE-820 CE). Shankara organized the commonalities and developed sets of beliefs we would now recognize as "Hindu." But he was very antagonistic towards Buddhism. While these religions may have a common origin in the teachings of someone called Brahman or Abraham they like most religions are twisted generation after generation. They often bear little resemblance to what their founder or what the enlightened one taught or  intended.

Is it possible that Brahman (or Abraham) and his teachings actually influenced the people of the far east? Could it be that just like so often happens, a very wise and influential man is called of God and those teachings influence a great deal of people and over time, the teachings are somewhat distorted? Can some of the records be buried away somewhere because a group of men didn't agree with all of them and they picked and chose what they wanted to be in their "scriptures"? Is this so far fetched? Don't we see this throughout all of our history (religious and otherwise)?

Here are some of the teachings of Buddha and Christ. See the similarities. Truth can be circumscribed into one great whole. Truth is truth, no matter the source. Truth is always from God. He does have other sheep.

We can summarize the above by listing the following areas of close agreement between Buddha and Christ:

  • Altruism

  • The Golden Rule

  • Don't judge others

  •  Love your enemies

  • Overcome hate with love

  • More blessed to give than to receive

  • Avoid being religious for show

Gautama Buddha/Quotes

As you read these, ask yourself if these same teachings were taught by Christ:

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Gautama Buddha

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." Gautama Buddha

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Gautama Buddha

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Gautama Buddha

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." Gautama Buddha

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Gautama Buddha

"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." Gautama Buddha

"However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?" Gautama Buddha

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Gautama Buddha

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Gautama Buddha

"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship." Gautama Buddha

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." Gautama Buddha

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." Gautama Buddha

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Gautama Buddha

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." Gautama Buddha

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." Gautama Buddha

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Gautama Buddha

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." Gautama Buddha

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