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The Many Similarities Between Jesus and Buddha

Updated on August 1, 2016
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Catherine Giordano is a writer and public speaker who often writes and speaks on topics related to science, philosophy, and religion.

The Second Coming of Buddha?

Was Jesus the second coming of Buddha?
Was Jesus the second coming of Buddha? | Source

Was Jesus the Second Coming of Buddha?

Christians often say Jesus Christ was unique—the story of his life and his teachings were something totally new. This is not true. The story of Jesus, as told in The Holy Bible, appears to be strongly influenced by many different traditions--Jewish, pagan, and Eastern traditions--most notably Buddhism. There are many similarities between Buddha and Jesus Christ.

Before I go any further, I need to state that Jesus probably did not exist so when I speak of Jesus I am speaking of the stories about the fictional character of Jesus that are told in The Holy Bible.

See: Did Jesus Exist or Is it All a Myth?

I also need to state that while Gautama Buddha was probably an actual person (born about 600 years before the time of Jesus in the region of India now known as Nepal), there are many myths that have become attached to his story. However, Buddha, himself, did not proclaim himself a deity or make any claims of miracles.

See Understanding the Life and Teachings of Buddha

Although Buddha and Jesus are separated by 600 years and by about 3000 miles their stories and teachings have many similarities. So I ask: Were Jesus and Buddha brothers by another mother? Could Jesus be the reincarnation of Buddha? Could Jesus be the second coming of Buddha?

[Note: I don’t believe in miracles so I use the terms “second coming” and “reincarnation” as metaphors and not actual events.]

There are two possible explanations for the similarities.

  • One is the great-minds-think-alike theory which states that the same story arises independently at different times and in different cultures.
  • The other explanation is the there-is nothing-new-under-the-sun theory which states that early stories influence and/or become incorporated into newer stories. (This is known as syncretism.)

I subscribe to the latter theory.

Trans-Asia Trade Map--1st Century

This map shows the trade routes during the first century. The Mare Internum (top left) is the Mediterranean Sea, The map shows how ideas in India cold have made their way to Rome where the Bible was written.
This map shows the trade routes during the first century. The Mare Internum (top left) is the Mediterranean Sea, The map shows how ideas in India cold have made their way to Rome where the Bible was written. | Source

Were the writers of The Holy Bible aware of Buddhism?

Although the distance between the homelands of Jesus and Buddha was great, there was plenty of contact between the two areas and 600 years for ideas to spread. Both trade and the wars of the ever-expanding Roman Empire facilitated contact.

There is also the possibility that ideas “met halfway.” It did not require one person to traverse the 3000 miles. The ideas could have been passed along like the Olympic baton.

There is a lot of evidence of trade between the two regions. There are various overland routes stretching from China, Asia, Arabia, and Europe, some going back as far as 1500 BCE. These routes were known as The Silk Road (or Silk Route), the Incense Route, and the Spice Route. The transport of goods along these routes relied mainly upon pack animals (camels) and river boats. Goods were also transported by boats across the Indian Ocean.

There are cuneiform tablets dating to 2400 BCE describing shipments of cotton cloth, spices, oil, grains, (and even peacocks) which arrest to this trade. Even the Holy Bible attests to this trade with the story of The Three Wise Men from the East traveling by camel with gifts of frankincense and myrrh.

You can be sure more than goods were being exchanged. Ideas also traveled these routes. The Buddhist ideas were undoubtedly among the ideas being spread, especially since Buddhist monks had a tradition of missionary zeal.

Buddhism does not reject other creeds and religions. Thus, Buddhist ideas could be easily blended with whatever local religious beliefs the monks encountered. Buddhist settled into many areas of the Roman Empire, including Judea. The historian/philosopher Philo, who lived during the time of Jesus, recorded the presence of Buddhists in Egypt.

It is quite likely that the authors of The Holy Bible were aware of both Buddha and Buddhist ideas.

How are the life stories of Buddha and Jesus similar?

There are many similarities between the mythical elements of Jesus and Buddha. Here are just a few of the most striking similarities.

  • Conceived in a miraculous manner
  • Similar names of mother (Maya for Buddha, Mary for Jesus)
  • Was a bit of a child prodigy
  • Underwent a long period of fasting while traveling alone
  • Tempted by, but overcame, the devil
  • Began an itinerant ministry around the age of 30
  • Had disciples who traveled with him.
  • Performed miracles, such as curing blindness and walking on water
  • Renounced worldly riches and required his disciples to do so also
  • Rebelled against the religious elite (Brahmans for Buddha and Pharisees for Jesus)
  • Dispatched disciples, shortly before his death, to spread his message

Of course, there are many differences as well.

The Bible and The Dharma Wheel

The teachings of Jesus are in the Bible. The dharma wheel symbolizes the eightfold path of Buddha.
The teachings of Jesus are in the Bible. The dharma wheel symbolizes the eightfold path of Buddha. | Source

How are the teachings of Buddha and Jesus similar?

The overall themes of the teachings of Buddha and Jesus are similar. Buddha organized his teachings into the Eightfold Path, while the teachings of Jesus are given sporadically in different books of The Holy Bible.

To learn more about the Eightfold Path, see: The Buddhist Eightfold Path for Modern Times

They both advocate what has come to be called “The Golden Rule”—treat others as you would wish to be treated. They both urge followers to live a life of peace and love, returning love for hate and anger. They both promote what Buddha called “right action”—do not kill, steal, slander, etc. they both stress the importance of helping others.

Here are a few examples

The Golden Rule

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

Love others

Buddha
Jesus
Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world." (Sutta Nipata 149-150)
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Love your enemies

Buddha
Jesus
Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good. Overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth. (Dhammapada 1.5 &17.3)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6.27-30)

Turn the other cheek

Buddha
Jesus
"If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words." (Majjhima Nikaya 21:6)
"If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also." (Luke 6:29

Help others

Buddha
Jesus
"If you do not tend to one another, then who is there to tend you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick." (Vinaya, Mahavagga 8:26.3)
"Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." (Matthew 25:45)

Do not judge others

Buddha
Jesus
"The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff, but his own fault he hides." (Dhammapada 252.)
"Judge not, that you be not judged… And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:1–5)

Disdain wealth

Buddha
Jesus
"Let us live most happily, possessing nothing." (Dhammapada 15:4)
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." (Luke 6:20)

Do not kill

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

Spread the word

Buddha
Jesus
"Teach the dharma which is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely at the end. Explain with the spirit and the letter in the fashion of Brahma. In this way you will be completely fulfilled and wholly pure." (Vinaya Mahavagga 1:11.1)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20)

More Parallel Sayings

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings

The quotes above contain just a few of the parallel sayings between Jesus and Buddha. There are many others and also parallels with other Eastern teachers. You'll come away with a better understanding of religious syncretism.

 

Are there any other theories about the similarities in the teachings of Buddha and Jesus?

Some say that the teachings of Jesus are similar to those of Buddha because Jesus traveled to India before beginning his ministry. This is very unlikely. First, it presumes that Jesus actually existed which I doubt. Also it would have been quite a long journey, round trip, for a poor carpenter. But even if Jesus had traveled to India where he learned about Buddhism, he still would have been only repeating the wisdom of Buddha, not saying anything new.

Another theory is that both Buddha and Jesus drew upon a more ancient source and their sayings are based upon the sayings of the Jewish king and sage, Solomon, who lived from 970 to 931 BCE, a few hundred years before Buddha. The Jewish sect, The Essences, would have been the source for both of them. There were Jewish settlements in India during the time of Buddha and Jesus could also have been in contact with the Essences in Judea during his time. However, again, this requires Jesus to have actually existed.

I’m going to stick with syncretism: Everything builds on what came before. Buddha himself recognized this eternal truth, saying that there were many Buddhas (the title means Enlightened One) before him and there will be many after him.

What do you think...

How would you explain the similarities between Buddha and Jesus?

See results

© 2016 Catherine Giordano

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 5 days ago from Orlando Florida

      Wassa: When you speak of religious memes as if they are metaphors I agree. But there is no "living spirit." Also you say "we share HIS nature"--why would this spirit have a gender? Gender exists for purposes of reproduction. Shouldn't you have said "its nature."

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      Wasswa 5 days ago

      Thank you for the analysis,i really appreciate it .Actually I believe there is the living spirit who is the universal creater of all living and non living things .

      Being living things we share his nature and level of intergrity as all and I believe that both storise are assign of sysmbolism of all humanality in nature,our abilities to do things by using the nature of our Father the living spirit who is in every one.

      Mary represents the earth where we are born and after death we return our bodies.I happen to be one of the persons in my tribe baganda found in Uganda doing the rituals of the living spirit as the little grand mother does those of Mother Earth. In my Tribe Baganda spirits come back to make judgement according to the pending issues that rises over time in our blood lineage maybe because of our big Clans we have.Me I belong to the Clan of the buffalo and the white monkeys for my father and my mother respectively,am not allowed to marry or even have any sexually relationship in any of the two clans and each clan has more than 200,000 members.

      So that level of intergrity has enabled our anciental spirits to influence our lifes by always warning us about future and our past.

      Actually I believe that we are the great I am that the bible is reffering to you and me ,no Jesus no survivor but the spirit living that all humans share that why in matthew it says judgement will be based on what you did for another fellow human being"when I was agreed you gave me what to eat,when thirty you gave me a drink,in hospitality you visited me, astranger you allowed in your house"says the lord.

      You and me are the great I am that the great books of wisdom are pointing to,and those who know that wisdom are making man be believe that he is weak and making his to devalue instead of envalueing to a greater creature of its real self

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      SaiyanRace: I did not say that the article was metaphorical; only that the picture was metaphorical. (Apparently, you don't get the joke.)

      The article is factual. It also give my opinions, based on the facts. I don't expect that everyone will be persuaded by my arguments. You apparently are not.

      Much of what you have said in this comment is just a repeat of what you said in your first comment. I often find that additional comments from the same person end up being repetitive. Consequently, I have a rule of not allowing more than two comments per article by the same person I don't feel that comments are a suitable place for a long debate, especially when it devolves into something like: "Tis too. Tis not. Tis too," ad infinitum. You know my opinion and I know your opinion. There's really nothing more to say.

    • SaiyanRace profile image

      SaiyanRace 4 weeks ago

      @Catherine,

      You say not to take the caption literally and it's a metaphor, yet this article does appear metaphorical. This is not Situational vs Real. I think what would be more accurate and what you are trying to imply is Legend vs Myth vs Folklore/Folktale, to which there is no singular word to describe that.

      In this article, you are drawing similarities between these two figures pertaining to their life and ministry. If Buddha or Jesus were real or mythical is irrelevant. Similarities can or can not still be drawn. If their message has validity and is applicable, then that's what matters.

      You wrote a side by side comparison of these two men from their birth to their teachings. My response is that what similarities they share are superficial, coincidental and when examined, very much different.

      Yes, I used the Bible and scripture to back up my statements as that is the historical document with the most amount of depth pertaining to Jesus's life and ministry. Why would I not use it?

      You doubt the validity of the Bible... Okay, that is your prerogative, but many archaeological discoveries have been made that substantiate what has been written in the Bible. But, I concede that these discoveries pertain to the physical and not the supernatural.

      Also, I never said that you said that both men's lives were the same, only debating things that you said were similar.

      Because you believe just about everything in the Bible is myth does not mean me or nor other people conclude that it is myth. And, if you believe it to be myth, then why use the Bible and scripture to demonstrate your point as to their similarities? That seems contradictory.

      I went and read your other article "Understanding the Life and Teachings of Buddha". It was a nice in depth examination of his work. It would seem that you have a great appreciation for him and what he taught. It also appears from your responses in the comments that you have bias towards him and that is okay as well.

      I do not deny that he was a great man that had a lot of good things to say, as well as developing a way to help people in general live a better life.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      SaiyanRace: First of all--do not take the picture caption literally. It was meant as a metaphor. Secondly, I did not say the mythical life stories of Buddha and Jesus were exactly the same, only that the stories have some similarities and both follow the hero-archetype. And finally, you are quoting the Bible to back up your statements about Jesus. It is my conclusion that just about everything in the Bible is myth. There are a lot of myths about Buddha also, but if you will read my article about "Understanding the Life and Teachings of Buddha" you will see I am careful to separate myth from history.

    • SaiyanRace profile image

      SaiyanRace 4 weeks ago

      Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for writing this article. I found it to be a nice read and quite interesting.

      While I can see how you could draw parallels or similarities, I do not agree that Jesus derived any part of his message from Buddha nor was Jesus the 2nd coming of him.

      As to both having a miraculous birth, I would say that only Jesus fits that definition. Buddha was born to an earthly father and mother who were royalty. There is mention of a dream that Maya had regarding a white elephant with 6 tusks entering her side and Buddha was born 10 months later. I wouldn't regard that as miraculous.

      Jesus according to the Bible was born of no earthly father, but an earthly mother who was a virgin and miraculously made with child via God.

      Let's look at the meaning of their names. Buddha was born Gautama which means - Gau "Bright Light" and Tama "Darkness". Buddha means "Enlightened". Jesus was born Jesus and didn't change his name. Jesus or Yeshua's name is derived from these Hebrew words "Yeho - God" and "Yasha - Savior" = God Saves. That is the message of the New Testament in a nutshell, Jesus Saves and Jesus is God. The New Testament or New Covenant is predicated on a promise, John 3:16-17 = Jesus Saves. I would say that is a drastic difference in the meaning of their names and what they were put upon this earth to do.

      Jesus existed before the foundation of the universe was laid. 1 Peter 1:20 - He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. There are other verses for cross reference i.e. Matthew 25:34, Acts 2:23, Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:4, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:2 etc.

      John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

      John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

      Jesus was God's word incarnate.

      Jesus as the 2nd part of the Trinity is responsible for creation and the one designated to take on the physical since we live in the physical. Jesus dying for our sins was a fail safe put in place before He created the universe in case Mankind failed. Jesus also said, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life, nobody comes unto the Father but by Me". He is the bridge that gives us access to the creator so that we may be with Him after this physical existence.

      Regarding your lack of belief in prophecies, I agree with you with the exception of prophecies in the Bible. There are roughly 365 Messianic prophecies foretelling of Jesus's coming. King David foretold of his resurrection and roughly 241 instances of Jesus appearing in the Old Testament in some physical form.

      Beyond the treat everyone like you want to be treated and love your enemy. Jesus's ministry was vastly different from Buddhas. Buddha's message is a philosophy that teaches one to awaken himself to live a better life here on earth and only earth. Jesus's message, while it teaches one to live a better, more moral life, it's about a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father how to gain access to him beyond the physical.

      What is the physical, even 13.8B years vs Eternity?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Allie. I found your comment interesting. I am always confused by people who say God did certain thing just to confuse humans. (For instance, some people explain fossils as something created by God to make it look like evolution is true.) Why does God want to confuse us so much?Shall we add prankster to his list of titles?

      Of course, I believe in the "miracle" of life. Notice I put the word in quotes to indicate that I do not mean literal miracles. I noticed that you to put the word in quotes also. So I'm confused about why you did that. I'm also confused about your claim that Jesus existed before Buddha. Why did Jesus wait so long to be born and why did he choose that particular time and place to be born. And why did he want Buddha to deliver his message before he delivered it himself. (BTW, the message did not originate with Buddha. He was repeating the idea of even earlier traditions.)

      I will match my awe of life and the entire universe against yours any day. My awe i greater because I don't believe that the universe just sprang into existence at the whim of a "god." An understanding of the true origins of the universe and life is more awe-inspiring than any fictions created by some sheep-herders in a desert a few thousand years ago.

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      Allie 2 months ago

      Yes I read your similarities. But they are meant to take away from the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Just as Santa Clause eventually over clouded the true celebration of the Lord coming into the world and has eventually worked its way into being about Christmas trees and presents, tinsel and elves. Easter, the resurrection of our Lord about Bunnies and baskets and chocolate eggs. The Lord, Jesus Christ existed , LONG before He was actually here. Long before Buddah was ever conceived, so if there is a coincidence in their teachings it was meant to be, with ulterior motives. To confuse those from the truth. As you are trying to do.

      The Word (Christ) was in the beginning. The Word was with God. The Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 He made all things. Nothing was made without Him making it. 4 Life began by Him. His Life was the Light for men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness. The darkness has never been able to put out the Light. Nothing was made without God....Nothing, including Buddha.

      Oh yes, our Savior exists, and yes He did die on that cross for all mankind, but is Alive and well as we type. He even gave you the free will to claim He doesn't and didn't exist. That His teachings came from some mystic philosopher's teachings. A typical tactic and deception of satan's.

      Furthermore, you say you do not believe in 'miracles'? That's sad. When a woman gives birth to a baby, to me that is a miracle in itself. Life created within a life. A soul, within a soul. Look around you, see all of creation and everything on that keeps life going...thats flippen awesom, amazing....a MIRACLE to me. But I have actually witnessed miracles, God's power. It's too bad your disbeliefs keep you from the awesomeness of our God. You're truly missing out, by choice. No other reason.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 3 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Noah Martin: Thanks for your comment. I don't put much stock in prophecies. Also the questions about the existence of Buddha and Jesus are independent of each other. One could exist, both could exist, and neither could exist. I can't say which of those options are true. However, I believe that the existence of Buddha is more likely than the existence of Jesus.

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      Noah Murrin 3 months ago

      You have a lot of good points, but the fact that you believe one existed and the other did not, doesn't make much sense. I believe both definitely existed. Needless to say, people prophesied of Jesus long before he came about. Long before Solomon or any other person before him. As early as the creation of man. There were prophecies thousands of years before he ever stepped foot on the earth. Just your inference that he did not exist with the inference that Buddha did exist is illogical. I think you should try to live like either one and you will know the truth. Pray about it. Work towards your answer. It will be showed unto you. I promise you that.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The life stories of Buddha and Christ, as told by their followers, are not that different. They both lived among the people. They both said that people should not care about earthly things, like riches or possessions. I'm glad that you enjoyed this article. You might want to check out some of my other articles on Buddha and see more of the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.

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      Eric Dierker 6 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting. I come from a different angle as I see Buddha as intellectual of love and I see Christ as the living love. Clearly both Gods of a higher plain than you and I are gods. Good stuff, I am glad I came for a visit.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Mei: Buddha and Jesus are not 100% similar. The point was that some of the ideas attributed to Jesus are not original with him. The question about Buddha being the reincarnation of Jesus was not meant to be taken literally. I don't believe in reincarnation and I don't believe that Jesus existed as a flesh and blood man. I was saying that Buddha's ideas were "reincarnated." Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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      Mei 7 months ago

      Nice article, idea, opinion, I like it. Thanks to writing this.

      I'm Buddhist practice, not Buddhist believe, from my opinion, I saw that you have writen about similar teaching or maybe similar story of their life, is not the most important point of their teaching.

      In Buddhism, I found lokhutara's teaching when Buddha was teaching Dhamma to Bahiya (Bahiya Sutta), the point is anatha, this is the real Buddhism teaching to be realized by experience life. I haven't found in the holy bible about lokhutara's teaching, is all about lokiya's teaching (love, compassion, tolerance, helping people, etc.).

      If your idea about jesus was probably amonk maybe or reincarnation of Buddha or maybe christian teaching was influenced by the buddha's teaching, why the point of Buddha's teaching could not be found in the holy bible?

      The real point of Buddha's teaching is to destroy 10 shackles of life, to understand anica, dhukkha and anatha (Tilhakkana Nature Law), the way is noble eight path (this is what we do) so what do u think?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      christian: There is a process known as syncretism--it means new religions take parts of old religions while adding new ideas. Every new religion reflects its time and culture. Religions even change as they move into different cultures and they also change over time. However, humans are humans the world over so there are certain elements that reflect our humanity and are common to most religions.

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      christian 12 months ago

      I think anyone that makes the bold proclamation that "If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned" or, "that one cannot bear fruit" without Jesus or even "God", since we're not even taking into account the myriad of religions dotting our planet's landscape, is making a statement that is quite short sighted for a person who most likely didn't have a full understanding of world religion and anthropology. Anyone that says all religions teach the same thing hasn't studied religion enough. If a singular God speaks to ALL of humanity per the biblical author's assertions, then every geographically separate non-christian culture divided by oceans, mountains, and most importantly time periods, should have basically written almost identical versions of the bible pointing to monotheism and/or Jesus as the one true prophet or "god" without having to come into contact with one another culture. No where in advent of religions and recorded history has happened.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 13 months ago from Orlando Florida

      P.D. Poole: Thanks for your comment. I agree some of the similarities between Jesus and Buddha are superficial and could just be coincidental. But there are other parts of their life stories (the mythical parts, like walking on water) that are part of the "hero archetype."

      As for Jesus being the second coming of Buddha--it was a facetious question. Obviously I don't believe that anyone is the second coming of anyone else. I am surprised that so many people take that question literally. I was joking, playing on the idea that there would be a second coming of Jesus.

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      PD Poole 13 months ago

      As you had previously stated....Buddhism and Christianity do have a core of commonality based on the syncretic nature of oral traditions which later became written teachings. Some of the similarities exist only because we'd like them to exist. The example of Maya and Mary....one has to determine what they mean ...Maya means "Illusion" in sanskrit/pali...while Mary comes from Hebrew...possibly Egyptian....from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam), a name borne by the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved" or mr "love". So we see there is actually NO similarity between the two names.

      Jesus could NOT have been the next appearance of the Buddha...as the sutras clearly state that the next appearance of the Buddha will not occure until the bodhidharma has completely vanished from this world. The best source of information on this event would be the the Sanskrit text, the Maitreyavyākaraṇa (The Prophecy of Maitreya), stating that gods, men, and other beings will worship Maitreya; it implies that he is a teacher of trance sadhana:

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 13 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Sam: I agree that both Buddha and Jesusboth taught tolerance, love and inner peace. However, Jesus didn't stop there as Buddha did. The Biblical story of Jesus adde4d a bunch of stuff that makes him unacceptable to me.

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      Sam 13 months ago

      Birth taugh tolerance, love and inner peace. They are both great!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 13 months ago from Orlando Florida

      James Brady: You are a bit off topic because your comment is about neither the sayings of Jesus nor the sayings of Buddha; it is about the sayings of James Brady. Actually, it is about the sayings of Blaise Pascal. You are citing "Pascal's Wager. I suggest you read my essay: "Pascal's Wager: Is it a Good Bet?" You will find it in the "More by this Author" section just below the conclusion of this essay or on the owlcation cite.

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      James Brady 13 months ago

      I wrote these words some time ago.

      If you believe in God, & when you die and there Is no God or Heaven. Then you have lost nothing.

      But if you die and you did not believe in God or Heaven & there Is a God & a Heaven. Then you have lost everything.

      From the Mind of James.

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      Daniel Hopkins 13 months ago

      Jesus's 'my father' is tge Tathagata. The author left a great deal out, such as the one Terebinthus whom early church fathers claimed was persecuted from Judea to Persia where, they say, went by the name BUDDAS. The "man of sorrows" was called "PENTHOS(pain)" and his tree was the TERE-PENTHOS, or, TERE-BINTH tree.For a more thorough review of the materials, see my book 'JESUS'S GODAMA SOURCES'

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 13 months ago from Orlando Florida

      kalinin1158: Thank you for your comment. The reason the similarities exist between many religions can be summed up in one word: syncretism. Each new religion borrows from the ones that came before. Buddha never claimed to be a messenger from a Supreme Being nor did the pagan gods you mentioned. Buddha was no more than a teacher and each of the pagan gods thought they were the Supreme Being themselves. I discussed Jesus' possible trip to India in the essay and concluded that it did not happen.

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      Lana ZK 13 months ago from California

      Very interesting article. I'm fascinated by the topic and believe that these similarities are not coincidental.

      From a comparative mythology perspective, it's not unusual for different religious traditions to have striking similarities. On the other hand, from a religious perspective, all these people, assuming they did exist, were messengers of the same Supreme Being, so their teachings and even their life stories will be similar to some degree.

      To your point, there's also been a number of similarities pointed out between Jesus and Osiris, Jesus and Horus, Jesus and Mithras etc. Which speaks to the probability that Jesus did not exist as a historical figure. But if he did, there is a theory suggesting that he traveled to India during his "lost years" where he studied Buddhism, so that could explain why his teaching was so similar to that of Buddha.

      Thanks for the great read and the food for thought!

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      Catherine Giordano 14 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jodah: Thanks for your comment. I did mention that Solomon might have been the source for both Buddha and Jesus. It is also possible that Solomon took his teachings from an even more ancient source.

      I wanted to make clear that just because I spoke of Jesus' teachings I was not implying that Jesus existed. (The links in the article show why I believe this way.) These are the sayings attributed to Jesus.

      Also if you take away the myth and miracles from the story of Buddha, you still have a life story--from birth to death. Not so with Jesus.

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      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is a great comparison of the similarities between Buddha and Jesus, Catherine. Jesus was either influenced by Buddha's teachings or they were both influenced by some, even more ancient wisdom (possibly Solomon). In fact much of their teaching was based on love, acceptance, and common sense.

      My only issue is your repeated inference that Jesus probably did not exist. I feel there is just as much evidence that he existed as many other historical figures of those times. Overall, a great article.

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      Catherine Giordano 14 months ago from Orlando Florida

      emge: I think that most Christians will not like the idea that the Christ story is based on the Buddha story.

      I have heard the theory that Jesus did not die on the cross, but survived and went to India. I don't give the theory much credit. If it happened, why is it not part of the Bible story? Also how did the Eastern stories become attached to the Biblical stories. Did Jesus return to Palestine and tell these stories? I think I have given a more credible explanation to explain the similarities between Jesus and Buddha.

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      Madan 14 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Very interesting hub. Devout Catholics may not like it. The fact is that recent research does point that Jesus may have spent time in India. He didn't die on the cross, survived and went to Kashmir. He was a Buddhist and that's the reason the similarity exists.

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      Catherine Giordano 14 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Larry Rankin: Now that you mention it, I can see that if they lived in modern times, they would be hippies. The message always seems to be the same: Love one another.

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      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      They're both kind of hippies, which is cool. Personally I prefer the Buddha character.

      Great read!

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      Catherine Giordano 14 months ago from Orlando Florida

      FlourishAnyway: Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is striking to see the sayings side by side.

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      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      What a careful and thoughtful analysis you have done here! I especially like the side-by-side comparisons on their tenets.