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Jesus a Buddha?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Rainbow Mage, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    What do you guys think? Was Jesus a Buddha, that is to say, was he an enlightened one who tried to guide others to the way? I don't rule out that Jesus could have been. The way he taught can easily be explained by his difference in culture and local religion to that of Gautama Buddha. I wonder if he could be called a Buddha?
     
  2. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    More of a Bhakta than a Buddha. The Buddha attained enlightenment through meditation, but Jesus did it with Devotion. While the end result is the same, the paths are fairly different.
     
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  3. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    You really think Jesus attained enlightenment by devotion, you mean devotion to Judaism? Judaism's teachings?
     
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Jesus' teachings have a quite a lot in common with what Buddha says.

    I think Jesus was Buddhist. Or Hindu. Or both. :D
     
  5. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I see Jesus as more of a bodhisattva than a Buddha who has reached paranibbana.
     
  6. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings!

    In the Baha'i view, ALL the Divine Messengers since Gautama also qualify as Buddhas: Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah, thus making Baha'u'llah the Fifth Buddha!

    Best, :)

    Bruce
     
  7. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    We should keep in mind that the term Buddha is an epithet, a method for glorification, and in our religious discourse it has received mythological proportions.
    reality is much interesting and relevant. Jesus when considered in an historical frame lived during the time in which ancient Israel or Judea, was a Roman province, he also lived in a time where religious teachers gathered followers and made their case, for example the New Testament tells us of Simon Magus. beyond the glorification and the mythological proportions we find a character who was part of the landscape of Judea during the first century, a person who made an impression on both the religious structure and the political administration, these details, the social ones, with all their implications and future legacy are the ones who are relevant, more than attributing this spiritual baggage or the other.
     
  8. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    “Every one of us forms an idea of Christ that is limited and incomplete. It is cut according to our own measure. We tend to make ourselves a Christ in our own image, a projection of our own aspiration and desires and ideals. We find in Him what we want to find. We make Him not only the incarnation of God but also the incarnation of the things we and oursociety and our part of society happen to live for.”





    –Thomas Merton(seeds of contemplation)






    Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not appear as he was, but in the manner in which they would be able to see him. He appeared to them all. He appeared to the great as great. He appeared to the small as small. He appeared to the angels as an angel, and to men as a man. Because of this, his word hid itself from everyone. Some indeed saw him, thinking that they were seeing themselves, but when he appeared to his disciples in glory on the mount, he was not small. He became great, but he made the disciples great, that they might be able to see him in his greatness.



    --Gospel of Philip

    The story of Buddha can be seen as the story of Christ... from heaven to wandering to return to heaven...


    Mar Mani, the founder of Manichaeaism had a mysterious life. According to the Taoists themselves Mani was the reincarnation of Lao Tzu. The HISTORY of Mani’s life was unimportant to his followers (bearing in mind Manichaeaism lasted for around a 1000 years, so it was not a small group); what was important was the spiritual prowess and leadership of Mani. Any history of Mani was first and foremost to show his spiritual significance, and his factual life a distant second. We could perhaps take this into consideration when it comes to “official” lines on the historical Jesus..

    Note Mani was proclaimed a Buddha by some, reincarnation of Lao Tzu by others, the paraclete by yet others and a follower of Christ by himself...

    “Then four hundred and fifty or so years after my last manifestation, I, Lao-Tzu, shall ride on a vapour of the Tao of natural light. I shall leave the domain of Truth and Calmness and fly into the precious territory of Hsi-na (Rome). In the kingdom of Su-lin (Assuristan) I shall descend into the royal palace and be born as crown-prince. I shall leave my family and enter the Way and be called Mo-mo-ni (Mar Mani), I shall turn the wheel of the great law (dharma) and I shall explain the canonical commandments and regulations and the practice of meditation and knowledge, as well as the doctrines of the Three Epochs and Two Principles. I shall instruct both gods and men and make them realize that the Present Moment reaches up to the Realm of Light and down to the paths of Darkness. All the beings will thereby be saved.


    Five times ninety years (450 years) after Mani, the metallic vapour (or vital force) will rise and my teaching will prosper. As a sign, holy images of Mani will come spontaneously from the Western Regions to the Middle Continent (China).This will be a sign of realization. The two vapours, yellow and white, will coalesce and the Three Schools (Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism) will be united together and return to me. The temples of benevolence and the places of cultivation (will be so numerous) that they will join their beams and link their rafters. The bright and venerable law of the Later Sage will be translated and interpreted. The Taoist masters of the Middle Continent will extensively explain the doctrine of cause and effect (hetupratyaya). They will be the ships of the world and enlarge the scope of service of the law. All that moves, grows. or has life will be saved. This is known as the total absorption of all schools.”

    –The Prophecy of Lao Tzu
    (taken from Mani, The Angel and the Column of Glory, Andrew Welburn)
     
  9. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    good stuff...

    simon magus was probably a pupil of Dositheus....

    as such Simon reportedly made a prostitute his wife, proclaimed her to be Sophia incarnate and that he and her were christ and sophia......
     
  10. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    There is a theory that Jesus, during the so called lost years (the years preceding his ministry), he traveled to India and learned from the teachers there. So it would be theoretically possible that he did become a Buddha.

    However, even though the idea the Jesus traveled to India in his early years can not be fully refuted, it is probably unlikely.
     
  11. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    Devotion to God.
     
  12. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    There isn't really any evidence for that theory to stand on, save for the similarities in teachings.
     
  13. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    I agree. I see no reason to accept the theory, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

    In India though, there are those who hold that theory to be the truth, but it is more for Jesus going there after the crucifixion (which according to that theory, he survived). I think it is interesting in theory, but highly doubt it.
     
  14. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    I kind of agree that perhaps Jesus could be called more of a Bodhisattva then a Buddha as well. I see some things in the gospels, not to say they're a 100% accurate account of his life, but some things in the gospels don't portray a fully enlightened individual if they be true. This isn't a bad thing, btw. As pointed out, Jesus could have still been a Boddhisattva, a person who puts himself last and lives his life for the benefit of all living things. In Mahayana anyway one does not have to be fully enlightened to be a good Bodhisattva.
     
  15. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    citation please....

    as far as I know, actual Indians proclaim the Disciple Thomas came to India...
    as such Indian Christianity is Thomasine as opposed to Peterian (Is that a word???) or Markian or Paulian..... Indian Christians use the acts of thomas as a part of their bible....
     
  16. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    I'm not talking about Indian Christians. I'm not sure how spread this idea is among Indians; however, there are a few books and documentaries about the subject. The Documentaries, the ones I recall are:
    Hidden Story of Jesus (Channel 4) (Talks about the theory to a point).
    Did Jesus Die? (BBC) (Talks more about Jesus going there after his supposed death).
    Jesus in India (Paul Davids)
    And the Lost Years of Jesus.

    They all talk about the theory, and some are much more credible then others. But they do show some support for the idea. I'm not saying their is wide support, but there are groups who do support it in India. For instance, there was support for the idea that Jesus was buried in Kashmir, where they actually, as some believe, have the tomb of Jesus.

    So there is some support for it. The level of support, I'm not wholly sure of. As for whether or not the theory is true, I think Elaine Pagels said it best when she stated that we can not prove that Jesus never went to India, but most likely he never did.
     
  17. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese Well-Known Member

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    yeah largely new age wishful thinking

    could be true, may not be...

    there are stories of Jesus going lots of places...
    I think he had frequent flyer miles
     
  18. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    Jesus may have truly went to India and Persia and studied the Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian scriptures. I'm not saying Notovich's claims are true or anything, but I find Jesus' teachings highly remeniscent of Zoroastrianism as well.
     
  19. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Zoroastrianism definitely influenced Judaism during the time of Jesus (at least different sects). The Persians, having come into control of the Jewish homeland after conquering the Babylonians, would have influenced Jewish thought to a point. So the Jews were in contact with Zoroastrianism before the time of Jesus. And it is logical that some of it did rub off onto the Jewish belief (one main idea would end up with the evolution of Satan to what he is now considered to be).
     
  20. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Lib Democrat/Agnostic/Epicurean-ish/Buddhist-ish

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    I mean, Jesus taught ideas that doesn't sync with traditional Judaism, that do sync with Zoroastrianism. For example, Jews believe Satan is an angel who obeys God, Jesus taught that Satan was a devil who fell from heaven like Ahriman in the Zoroastrian scriptures. He also put a heavy emphasis on light/darkness duality, something else Zoroastrianism does, and Judaism not so much. He also taught that God was entirely good and there was no evil in him, something that Zoroaster taught about Ahura Mazda, but Judaism does teach that God is both good and evil.
     
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