Let us discuss some interesting aspects from the life of Jesus Christ. These are the aspects of his life that still remain to be a mystery and many attempts have been made to solve them yet no concrete result has been achieved. Many people believe that there is a very strong connection between the teachings of Buddha and Jesus Christ.
The Hidden Connection
In some places the connection between the teachings is so strong that you are forced to believe that Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ were the same people. We will try to discuss these connections that were often noticed and we will explain these connections to the readers. They both belonged to a totally different era and location how was it possible that they both could teach things that were similar in nature. We know solid examples need to be highlighted in order to prove these theories that are impossible to believe.
Non-violence & Peace
We will start with the references to the teachings of both these religious reformers. In (Luke 6:31) Jesus clearly says that you must treat others in the same way as you want them to treat you. There is a striking resemblance of these words in (Dhammapada 10:1) in this Buddha is found teaching you must consider others as yourself here is asimilarity which cannot be denied under any circumstances.
In (Luke6:290) Jesus says that If someone slaps you on your right cheek take the left cheek forward. Similarly Buddha teaches that if someone hits you with a stick or even with a knife you should not think evil or talk evil about that person. In (Luke 6:27 – 28) Jesus clearly mentions that you must love even your enemies and no matter what bad they do you should always pray for even your enemies.
Similar teachings can be found in Dharmapada 1.5 and 17.3 where Gautama Buddha says that haters will always be there you cannot control that. If someone hates you love them back. Try to win anger with peace, evil with love and lie with truth. If someone is a miser give them instead of doing what they are doing to you. Both are teaching about the importance of nonviolence and peace.
In (Matthew 25:45) Jesus says that when you love those who hate you remember that you are doing it for me and not for anybody else. Buddha said the same thing in (VisayaMahavagga 8:26:3) he says if you do not tend to anyone who will tend to you and if no one tends to you how will you tend to me. These are some examples to start with. There are many such similarities that can be found when you closely study the teachings of both these god like men who have ever walked on earth. Jesus in (Matthew 26:52) said do not draw the sword keep it back to where it belonged if you draw a sword even you will die with a sword. In (DighaNikaya 1:1:6)Buddha is found saying that we should not take life from anyone. Both Buddha and Jesus basically tried to spread love and peace in times of trouble.
(John 15:12:13) in this Jesus clearly states that we must love each other like Jesus loved us all. There is no such joy as giving up your life for the people you loved and your friends. It is unbelievable how Buddha also mentioned the same point in (SuttaNipata 149-150) he says look at a mother how fiercely she will protect her child. In the similar manner do try to look for the boundless love within you and use the love to reach the whole world. The body of Buddha was made of love, truth, gentleness and patience as mentioned in VimalakritiNirdesa Sutra 2. The body of Jesus was composed of truth and grace as mentioned in (John 1:17). Love is what humans stand for and that is the only religion we must practice was told by both these great leaders.
Do Good to Everyone
After we are done with discussing the similarities in the teachings of Buddha and Jesus we will also discuss the other aspects of their lives that seem to connect them. There is a possibility that there is a similarity between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha because Jesus was exposed to Buddhism for some time in his life. However, there is no proof to support that an exposure of this type ever happened. In Dhamapada (9:7) Buddha teaches never think that good will not unnoticed.
Suppose you have a pitcher and you want to fill it with water then even a drop of water is important. With many such drops you will realise one day that the pitcher is full. In Matthew (13:31:32) Jesus tells his followers that even a mustard seed can be of huge significance. If you plant a mustard seed it will one day become a big plant and small birds will come to perch in its branches. So you can see again how both are emphasising on the fact that good must be done by us even to those who hate us.
About Finding Fault in Self not Others
In the next comparison we will discuss about how both Buddha and Jesus spoke about finding faults in others. Buddha said in (Udanavarga 27:1) that it is always easy to find faults in others. A person who is finding faults with others all the time is like a cheat who tries to show the dice of the others and hides his own dice. It is a bad habit and we should not talk about the shortcomings of the others. Jesus in (Luke 6:41:42) made a similar mention he says when you have a plank in your eye there is no point looking for a sawdust in the eye of your brother.
First remove the plank from your eye only then you will be able to see the sawdust in the eye of your brother better in order to remove it. Never try to find faults with others first work on your own shortcomings. To continue with the same point we would like to mention another teaching of theirs. In (John 8:4-7) Jesus was once told about a woman who was caught committing adultery the people who caught her wanted to stone her to death.
Jesus promptly replied you can stone her but the first person to throw a stone at her should be the one who has never committed a sin in his or her life. Buddha in (Dhamapada 4:7) mentions a similar thought he says instead of talking about what others have done or not done look at yourself and decide if you have done the right thing or not. You will realise that even you have been wrong at many occasions so you are no one to judge another person.
Eyes are Lamp of Body
The next unique similarity in the teachings of Buddha and Jesus is something that will really make you think. Buddha says in (Udanavarga 22:4) that the eyes of a man are like a lamp it helps them to see what is good and what is not. Even if you know the moral law your eyes can still teach you much more. In (Luke 11:34-36) Jesus is found saying eyes in the lamp of the body. What you see with your eyes will affect your body. If you see well your body will be healthy if you see bad your body will suffer. It is for you to decide if you want the body of yours to be filled with light of goodness or darkness of the bad. It is interesting how they both use the example of eyes in the similar manner to teach values to the followers.
Both Jesus and Buddha did use the various elements of nature to teach the followers about God and virtues. Buddha mentions in SaddaharmaPudarika Sutra 5 that clouds do not differentiate between the good and the bad or the evil and the virtuous it is same for all. Anyone no matter how their nature is can be drenched by the rains. The sunlight is for all and even the soothing moonlight falls on all in the same manner.
This proves that God does not consider his children as bad or good to god all are the same no matter how they are. If God himself is not differentiating people then why should we as humans do so? Jesus too uses the same point in his teachings. In Matthew 5:45 Jesus clearly mentions that god made the sun, the moon and the clouds for all he did not differentiate saying that evil people should not get rain and only the good hearted will get rain. If god is not treating the people as good or bad then does humans have the right to judge people as evil or good.
About Material Possessions
When we are talking about the similarities in the teachings of these two great souls we will now discuss how they both had to say the same thing even about materialistic possessions. Jesus in Matthew 19:21 say that blessed are those who are poor because they are happiest and closest to god. He tells his followers to give all they have to the poor and when they do that they will become dear to god and they will ensure that they secure a good place in heaven.
Buddha in Dhammapada 15:4 clearly mentions that god is closest to the poor. A poor person has nothing to lose so they live the happiest lives. He also mentions that if you are a fool you will not involve in charity. It is always good to give away things as it will not only give you happiness in this life but also after it. In Luke 21:1-4 Jesus tells a story here there are some rich people who contribute a part of their wealth for a cause and there is a poor widow who is contributing a few coins.
Jesus says that the contribution of the widow might be small in amount but the contribution is much greater than what the rich are giving. The simple reason being, that the widow basically gave off all that she had and the rich were only giving a part of the treasure that they had saved. Again there is a similarity here with what Buddha says in Jatakamala 3:23. He says no gift is small. Even a dust that is given in childish innocence is the best gift anyone can give. The gift must be given in good faith and it must be given to a worthy recipient.
We will now discuss what Buddha and Jesus taught about having faith in the supreme power. You will notice here again that both have more or less taught the same things. Buddha in MajjhimaNikaya clearly says that anyone who has a strong faith in Buddha will head for the heavens. Similarly in John 11:26 Jesus says that anyone who believes in Jesus can never die.
In Mark 8:35 Jesus says that people who want to escape death will actually die but those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for Jesus and for the cause Jesus supports will never die. Similarly in MajjhimaNikaya Buddha says that people who are clinging to things will not be liberated but those who believe in me and in my teachings will escape from the cycle of life and death. In Matthew 9:20 Jesus says that man has nowhere to put his head down unlike the foxes who have the holes and the birds who have the nests.
In MajjhimaNikaya Buddha says that a man actually belongs nowhere. They are like a swan that went out of the lake and that is basically their home and nothing else. Basically saying that all that we see around us all our lives and cling to thinking that is ours is nothing but an illusion.
Both Jesus and Buddha had the same thing to say about why and how people get involved in evil. Jesus in Luke 4:13 says that the devil enters the body of a person does what he wants to do and then leaves to again come back when another opportunity comes up. Buddha in Lalitavistara Sutra 18 mentions that when he was meditating he felt that the devil was following him all the time and was looking for an opportunity to harm him.
However, Buddha ensured that he does not give an opportunity to the devil to harm him and when the devil saw that he is not able to do anything to Buddha he automatically left. So what both are trying to say is that it is we who give the devil the opportunity to harm us if we do not then it can never do anything wrong to us.
Both Jesus and Buddha had the same opinion about seeing God. Jesus says in Matthew 5:8 that one can see god only when they have a pure heart. In DighaNikaya 19:43 Buddha clearly mentions that anyone can see god or Brahma if they are meditating with a pure heart and soul. They can even talk to Brahma and consult him regarding their problems. So you can see again how they both are giving importance to have a pure heart and mind to reach God.
Now that we have explained the 11 areas where it was found that there was a strong similarity between what Jesus Christ and Buddha taught we will move on to the other aspects of their lives which will really make you feel that they both were indeed similar to each other.
Post Death Experience of Followers of Buddha and Jesus
We will now discuss the experiences that the close disciples and followers had after the death of Christ and Buddha. You will see that there is again a similarity here. These are what the followers had to say about them after the death of Buddha and Jesus. In John 20:26 it is said that although the doors were closed Jesus could come and stand among the followers.
In AnguttaraNikaya 3:60 the followers say that he (Buddha) could go without any hindrance even through a wall. This is said because after 6 days passed since the death of Jesus he took Peter, John and James to the high mountains and here Jesus appeared to them in a brilliant form. He was shining and was as white as snow. There is a similar mention even about Gautama Buddha.
Ananda who was one of the closest diciples of Buddha mentions that he had placed a golden robe on the body of Buddha only to realise that the body of Buddha was shining so bright that the golden robe seemed dull. He says that it was wonderful to see that the body of the lord could shine brighter than gold. This has been mentioned in detailed in DighaNikaya. 16:4:37. The perspectives maybe a little different but in both the cases there is a strong mention that the body of Jesus as well as Buddha were shining very brightly as they approached death.
Near death experience of Mellen Thomas Benedict
We will now discuss another common factor that seems connecting the lives of Buddha and Jesus and that is near death experience. Near death experience is something that we often hear about and read about. Mellen Thomas Benedict was suffering from brain cancer and he had a near death experience in 1982. His experience was similar to what most people have had but there was a difference. He saw a tunnel and at the end of the tunnel there was a bright light.
Mellen Thomas Benedict says that he too saw a light and he found it very alluring. The light was very comforting and he felt that he was going into the arms of his father or mother. However, he decided that if he goes towards the light he will be dead for sure so he decided to stop himself and ask the light what it was all about. He asked the light what was going on. The light did reply back in the form of telepathy. He saw the images of Jesus, Buddha and even Krishna in this light.
He said that what he could make out from the light is that Jesus, Buddha and Krishna are the same. When you die you move to a higher shelve where these god like men are existing. You become one with them. They are nothing but the different versions of the same higher spirits and all the humanity is the same at this point. The near death experience of Mellen Thomas Benedict is considered to be one of the most important and prominent ones in history.
In his experience he clearly mentions that Buddha and Jesus are the same and there is no difference between them. Mellen Thomas Benedict did survive and the account he gave of his near death experience is really a wonderful one. Some say that this was just a publicity stunt and some say that Mellen Thomas Benedict did actually have an experience that gave him a deep knowledge about how the universe actually works and took him beyond the big bang. It helped him get a deep knowledge about reincarnation too. The doctors did declare him dead and he was dead for about one and a half hours before he again came back to life.
Other connections between Buddha and Jesus
Edgar Cayce had many near to death experiences like Mellen Thomas Benedict and in each such experience he would get to know about ancient religion and the origin of god. Most of the theories that Edgar Cayce made after the near to death experiences were later proved to be true. We will explain them now.
Edgar Cayce said that Gnosticism is the heist form of Christianity and is very similar to Buddhism. It is also the oldest form of Christianity. It is considered similar to Buddhism because its teachings are similar to Buddhism. For example like Buddhism Gnosticism teaches the following:
- A philosophy that suffering we have in this life can take us towards liberalisation
- All the things that we see around us are one
- The divine light
- There are many after life realms that we have to travel through in order to reach the heaven
- The goal of all life is to attain Christhood which is similar to the Buddhahood.
- Jesus Christ was a human being like us but he had a divine spirit and that spirit merges with the supreme power. Buddha again was a human being but he had the spirit that consisted of divinity. The divine aspect of Buddha is called Dharmakaya.
- Karma has been given importance in both and how good as well as bad karma come back to us.
These are some of the aspect that we have discussed in order to prove how the Gnosticism Christianity and Buddhism have a similarity that cannot be denied. There are more such areas of similarity that can be listed if you study both the religion closely. Edgar Cayce says that in the future there will be a time when China will become the cradle of civilization.
We cannot give much importance to this theory but yes it is possible that Buddhism again starts spreading from China as it did many years back. As Buddhism has a very close resemblance to Christianity this prophecy might come true as well. Edgar Cayce said that Jesus taught that god is one and the same philosophy is taught not only in Buddhism but in almost all the religion of the world including Hinduism and Islam.
Buddha taught his followers how to get enlighten and Jesus taught the followers to follow the way to the father. Both Jesus and Buddha said that charity is the best way to gain peace. We must give food and clothing to the needy. We must follow the path of truth so that we can get the ultimate happiness in our lives.
God and religion has been an integral part of our lives. The discussion is still on to understand if man created God or God created man? In all these mysteries and unclear theories we also come across incidents from history that again bewilders the mind. Science today has reached huge levels and it can do the impossible.
Still these are the questions that even science will perhaps never be able to answer. We have tried to point out some striking resemblances between the teachings of Buddha and Jesus. We hope that you will be able to decide for yourself is you think that these connections are true or they are again nothing but human imagination.