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Buddha and Christ - Two Gods on the Path to Humanity

Article of the Month - November 2003
Viewed 100622 times since 2nd Oct, 2008

An enduring episode in the annals of Christian art is the 'Last Supper' of Jesus Christ. This was the final meal he had prior to his crucifixion. However, before partaking of the food, Jesus rose from the table, took off his outer garments and tied a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of his twelve disciples sitting around him. Intrigued and bashful at the same time, one of them exclaimed: 'You, Lord, washing my feet?' The Great One answered: ' At present you do not understand what I am doing, but one day you will.'

After washing their feet, he put on his garment and sat down again. Addressing them he said: 'Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me master and lord, and rightly so, because that is what I am. If I then, your lord and master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. I have set you an example: you are to do as I have done for you.'

Yes, the Great Christ himself knelt on the hard floor, and with his graceful hands, cleansed the feet of each and every of his disciple. This inspiring parable gives us a significant insight into Christ's humility and the essentiality of his message:

"He who wants to be great must become the smallest of all." (Mark 9.35).

Buddha was born into a royal family amongst rich and extravagant circumstances. Yet he gave it up all and became a monk, subsisting on the charity of others. Thus from the highest material station he graduated himself to the humblest and lowliest worldly state possible. Hence says Christ at another place in the Bible: "Whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14).

As a relevant aside it should be observed that the symbolic washing of the disciple's feet also signifies that by sacrificing himself at the cross, Jesus has in a sense washed away the sins of all humanity.

Jesus Christ and Buddha, born in two different traditions separated by large geographical distances, nevertheless share common characteristics, which is not surprising since they are but both manifested expressions of the universal human yearning for mystical harmony with the rhythms of nature. According to Robert Elinor, 'Buddha and Christ are but local inflections of a universal archetype: the Cosmic Person imaging wholeness.' Beneath the perceived differences underlying these two visionaries, there are subtle unifying attributes which are amply exemplified in the life they led and the message they spread.

An important idea in this context is the belief shared by both in the natural cosmic law of cause and effect, popularly known as 'karma.' Christ says for example:

'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.' And of course the popular quote:

"You shall love your neighbor as yourselves." (Mark 12: 31)

The Buddha reiterates whatever Christ puts forward and elaborates:

'Hard it is to understand: By giving away our food, we get more strength; by bestowing clothing on others, we gain more beauty; by founding abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures. The charitable man has found the path of liberation. He is like the man who plants a sapling securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruit in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so is the joy of him who helps those that are in need of assistance; even so is the great nirvana.'

Since they both embodied universal human aspirations and their ultimate realization, it was but natural that the art they inspired too would develop motifs which would elaborate similar principles, though the metaphors deployed would vary, being dependent upon local contexts.

Rather bewilderingly for the interested reader, the first verses of the New Testament are merely a long list of names. Now the New Testament is the sacred scripture from which much of our information about the life and deeds of Christ are derived. Thus this lengthy array of names is bound to have some spiritual import too. It does. These names enumerate the ancestors of Joseph, Christ's earthly father. Significantly, one of the names mentioned is that of David, the second and greatest king of Israel (famous for his victory over the giant Goliath). Thus is Jesus proved to belong to a line of kings. We have already noted Buddha's royal antecedents.

This typical characteristic presented both a challenge and opening to artists. Here was an abstract attribute (divinity) reduced to an earthly metaphor (kingliness), and thus was presented a solution to the difficult task of representing simultaneously their twin nature: fully human and fully divine. The question only remained of developing visual formulae that would convey eloquently the dual personalities of these exalted beings. Both traditions went about it differently:

Gossaert. The Adoration of the Kings, c. 1510
Gossaert. The Adoration of the Kings, c. 1510




According to Christian legend, towards the end of one hard December in Palestine, a Jewish carpenter and his pregnant wife traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be taxed by the bureaucrats of Imperial Rome. There was no room for them at the inn, so they lodged in a stable, where the young woman, weary after the long journey, gave birth to a son. Alerted by angels. Shepherds hurried down from the hills to see the baby. Three kings guided by a star, came from the east to offer him gifts. The shepherds signify the Jewish people while the three kings are differently colored: black, brown and white, representing Africa, Asia, and Europe respectively.



The essence being that not only the people of Israel rather rulers from all over the world came to venerate the infant Christ. That he was glorified thus by kings representing the majority of humanity reconfirmed his own status as the king of kings, or ruler of the world. Of related interest here are the individual offerings made by the three kings. These were namely:

a). Gold: Symbolic of Christ's earthy kingship.
b). Frankincense: This incense is used in worship and hence is a metaphor for his divine status.
c). Myrrh: A resin used in the embalming of the dead, thus predicting Christ's imminent and unnatural death.

Here it needs to be observed that the identification of the three visitors as kings is a later modification in Christian art as the Bible itself does not specify their royalty, rather only mentions them as 'wise men from the east.' But more importantly when they came, they asked for the 'newborn King of the Jews.' (Matthew 1:2)

Crowned Buddha




The Buddhist aesthetic too was faced with a similar dilemma, namely the simultaneous depiction of humanity and divinity. But rather than take the Christian route of narrative theology transformed into verbal metaphors, the art of Buddhism presents a hard-hitting picture of the Buddha himself bejeweled and crowned as a king would be.





But if only things were so simple. This leaves the issue of divinity wide open and also a logical basis needs to be given to the representation. Both are resolved in a single and graceful stroke of artistic ingenuity. The answer lies in the gesture Buddha makes with his hands (mudra), the thumb and index finger of both hands touching at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents a wheel, and herein lies the key to the whole symbolism. In Sanskrit, the word for wheel is 'chakra,' and in ancient times the title of Chakravartin or 'wheel turner' was conferred upon a powerful and mighty ruler. The idea being that as the chariot of majestic and warrior king rolls along, all impediments on his path get crushed and no obstacle can stand in his way, expanding his empire endlessly. Similarly is Buddha glorified as a Chakravartin, the circle which his fingers make signifying the wheel, visualized as the wheel of dharma. The wheel's swift motion serves as an apt metaphor for the rapid spiritual conquest wrought by the teachings of the Buddha.

Not to be interpreted in a literal sense, Buddha and Christ are of course not sovereigns over material kingdoms, but rather cosmic emperors, ruling the spirit rather than the body. Verily does say Christ: 'My kingdom is not of this world.' (John 18:36)

Humanity - Their Common Religion:

Jean Beraud. Christ in the House of the Pharisee, 1891
Jean Beraud. Christ in the House of the Pharisee, 1891

One of the prominent Jews of the city once invited Jesus for dinner. Jesus arrived and took his place at the table. Just then, a woman with a bad reputation in town entered. In her hands was an alabaster jar containing an ointment.

And she stood at his feet behind him weeping, and she began to wash his feet with her tears, and wipe them with her hair, and she kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Now when the host saw this he said to himself, if this man was a prophet he would have known who and what sort of woman this is that is touching him: for she is a sinner.

Jesus (as if reading his thoughts) said to him, Simon I have something to say to you.

There was a creditor who had two debtors: one owed five hundred pounds and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he freely forgave them both. Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most?

The host answered, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most.

And he said, You have judged rightly.

And he turned to the woman, and said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house, and you gave me no water for my feet. But she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

You gave me no kiss: but since the time I came in this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet.

You did not anoint my head with oil: but this woman has anointed my feet with ointment.

Wherefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven. For she loved much. But he to whom little is forgiven, loves little.

This tale from the Bible illustrates Jesus' all embracing forgiveness. In Christ's kingdom of heaven there is mercy for all. Thus said Buddha: 'No sin is so great that a person cannot be purified of it. Imagine that you had murdered several Buddhas; you could still be purified.' (Dhammapada 295)

Father, forgive them, for they not what they do.
"Father, forgive them, for they not what they do."
Francisco De Zurbaran c. 1632-4

Yes. A person can be great enough to forgive even his own murderers, as Christ said when he was hung on the cross:

'Father, forgive them, for they not what they do.' (Luke 23: 34)

It is well established that both these luminaries evolved out of the latent reaction against centuries of blind ritualism that plagued the local communities. The original meaning and symbolic structure of the rituals had been lost and what remained was exploitation and subjugation of the masses by the priestly class. Not surprisingly thus, Buddha and Christ offer refreshing insights into religious behavior. Christ says for example:

When you pray, don't pray like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by others.

Enter your closet, shut the door, and pray to your father in secret; and your father who sees you in secret shall reward you openly.

And when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the hypocrites do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Therefore do not be like them. (Matthew 6:5-8)

Dull repetition of sacred verses does nothing to remove rust on the soul. (Buddha in the Dhammapada 240).

In a beautiful simplification Christ also elaborates upon the sup eriority of brotherhood of man over mere ritualism:

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5: 23-24)

Views on Charity:

Many people appear to be generous, but in fact are trying to gain advantage for themselves. (Dhammapada 249).

Take heed that you do not give alms making it a show. When you give alms, do not sound a trumpet. But rather when you give alms, let your left hand not know what your right hand does. Your alms be in secret and your Father who sees it in secret shall reward you openly. (Matthew 6: 1-4)

On Being Non Judgmental:

It is easy to see the fault of others, but much harder to see your own faults. You can point out other people's faults as easily as pointing out chaff blowing in the wind. But you are liable to conceal your own faults as cunning gambler conceals his dice. (Dhammapada 252)

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you give, it shall be measured to you. And why behold the speck that is in your brother's eye but do not consider the log that is in your own eye? How will you say to your brother, Let me pull the speck out of your eye, when you are blind to the log in your own eye. First pull the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matthew 7: 1-5)

And also:

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say to you , Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, Do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, And sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Right he is. Who are we to make judgment on what is right or wrong? They are both twin aspects of the same reality manifested on the earth by the divine powers above.

The World NavelThe Cross and the Tree:

It is well known that Buddha attained enlightenment under a tree. In popular parlance it is known as the bodhi tree or 'tree of knowledge.' It is not without significance that Buddha found grace under a tree. The tree, with its annual renewal of foliage, reminds us of life's continuity and suggests that Buddha was that day reborn (spiritually), as each of us will be on our own day of resurrection (Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3: 3)).

According to legend, the denuded tree on which Christ hung was made from the wood of Eden's Tree of Knowledge. It is through ascending this tree of knowledge that an ordinary human can transcend all that is material and mundane in life, gaining the heights of heaven. Thus by ending his life at the cross, the great Christ in a sense infused us with the promise of a new, spiritually enlightened life. Thus was the tree of knowledge transformed into the 'tree of life.'



Tree of Life

The tree of life is a common feature of salvation mythology and is said to be standing at the axis of the cosmos. It is the place where divine energies pour into the world, where humanity encounters the absolute, and becomes more fully itself. Buddha and Christ, as incarnations of god, are themselves the navel or axis of the world, the umbilical point through which the energies of eternity break into time. More than a physical point, it is a psychological state which enables us to see the world and ourselves in perfect balance. Without this psychological stability and this correct orientation, enlightenment is not possible. The tree of life grows throughout the world as the principal symbol of cosmic centering and regeneration. Continually reborn through its seed at the world axis, its root thrust down through the earth to the underworld, its trunk rises through the world, where it grasps everything in its immeasurable arms, and its crown glances heaven.


Tree of Life

Indeed, the cross is a cosmic symbol, its vertical and horizontal lines spanning the universe. According to Rutherford: 'The cross of Christ on which he was extended, points, in the length of it, to heaven and earth, reconciling them together; and in the breadth of it, to former and following ages, as being equally salvation to both.' It is the heavenly ladder, the only ladder high enough to touch heaven's threshold.

A beautiful thing about the cross is that its center of gravity is not at its exact center, but upwards where the stake and the crossbeam meet. In simple terms it symbolizes the tendency to remove the center of man and his faith from the earth and to "elevate" it into the spiritual sphere.

In a mystical dissertation on the notion of cosmic wholeness, Jesus describes himself as a tree:


Christ Crucified on the Vine, about 1435.German,
Christ Crucified on the Vine, about 1435.German,
Middle Rhineland Plaster, Painted, diameter: 21.6 cm.


I am the true vine and my father is the gardener. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, to make it clean and bear even more fruit. You have already been made clean by the teaching I have given you. Dwell in me, as I dwell in you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but can only bear fruit if it is united with the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you are united with me. (John 15: 1-4)

Heaven is god's throne and earth his footstool (Isaiah 66:1), and Christ, suspended on the cross, is the connecting link.

Indeed, just as Buddha gained enlightenment by conquering the five senses, Christ, pinned in five places (the two hands, the two feet, and the head crowned with thorns), nails down the five senses.



Christ and Buddha, two manifestations of divinity, showed us that true salvation lies only on the path of humanity and compassion towards all. Indeed, through their humanity they are both related to us, and through their divinity, to god.

References and Further Reading

  • Campbell, Joseph. Myths of Light (Eastern Metaphors of the Eternal): Novato, 2003.
  • De Weyer, Robert Van. 366 Readings from Buddhism: Mumbai, 2003.
  • De Weyer, Robert Van. 366 Readings from Christianity: Mumbai, 2003.
  • Elinor, Robert. Buddha and Christ (Images of Wholeness): Trumbull, 2000.
  • Finaldi, Gabriele. The Image of Christ: London, 2000.
  • Gideons International. The Holy Bible: Tennessee, 1978.
  • Jung, Carl. Man and his Symbols: New York, 1968.
  • Kumar, Nitin. Buddha - A Hero's Journey to Nirvana (Exotic India article of the month): April 2003.
  • Macgregor, Neil. Seeing Salvation (Images of Christ in Art): London, 2000.
  • Manser, Martin. Bible Stories: Bath, 2000.
  • Menzies, Jackie. Buddha Radiant Awakening: Sydney, 2001.
  • Parrinder, Geoffrey (compiler). The Wisdom of Jesus: Oxford, 2000.
  • Ramakrishna Mission. Thus Spake The Christ: Chennai, 2000.
  • Ramakrishna Mission. Thus Spake The Buddha: Chennai 2000.
  • Taylor, Richard. How to Read a Church: London, 2003.
Post a Comment
  • Buddhism was not a religion and ought not to be a religion. It originates in simple sharing of (enlightenment)levels of awareness. Religions do not en-light, they enslave the mind, distort the inherent senses ( which are more than the meager five a corrupt priesthood puts nails through). "Christ" historically was never born, all is fiction to enslave the masses where the few thrive on ignorance, poverty and misery, glorifying horror. It is criminal. Christianity, historically, is a distortion of Buddhism. The priesthood has a lot to answer for, how it continues to inflict misery upon an entire planet as a result of dishonesty and falsehoods. To distort simile, metaphors and personifications of ancient stories into literally reality religions is wrong and corrupts the mind. Buddhism ought not to be a religion. Biography of the Buddha states this clearly. Religions are unhealthy thinking and a mental disease of delusion and retardation.
    by Observer on 20th Aug 2013
  • Buddha is the best in the world!
    by Mr. right on 27th Jan 2012
  • The Great Lord Buddha is the best in the world! Nobody can contest with Him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know, before I am Christian. But I dislike Christian so I convert (turned)to Buddhist! I love Buddha whatever.I love Buddha He help me he is right always anytime everywhere. Example, Christian is so bad about reincarnation, and one of the man name called Charles Darwin he is so famous he created one important thing this is "Chimpanzee is from human". it is very right.his daughter died at age of very small young. So he thought if his daughter is a child of God, she must not should not die at age of young . Missionary can not answer me about reincarnation and chimpanzee is from human not from God when I ask them. So later, I covert to Buddhist.
    by Jelly Jane on 27th Jan 2012
  • Buddhism is a real true religion. Buddhism is not ordinary religion. It is very different from other religions because Buddhism has not consist creator (God). Buddhism is the real true Scientific religion because It is consist causal relation, true systematically, universal truth, verification and logical arrangement. Especially True Buddhists is not blind Faith! One must have love and respect for one's own country,religion,literature,family,culture,nationality for all in the same way.They love and respect to their country,their religion,their literature,their family,their culture and their nationality.

    There are different kinds of countries,races,thoughts,religions,such as Chinese/China,Indian/India,Burmese/Burma,English/England,Japanese/ Japan,American/U.S.A and Hindu,Buddhist,Christian,Muslim.But the essential factor is not races,religions,positions,etc.

    Mental attitude,honesty,diligence,character,unity,patience,justice,optimi sm,forgiveness,love,mercy,sacrifice,humility,moral ethics,etc are more important above all. One must be able to one self analyze.Each and every one of us should follow and
    live according to the teachings of one's own religion.The one who does not respect another's culture and religion does not respect his own.The one who respects another's culture and religion respects his own.

    All the teachings concerning culture,thoughts,beliefs and practices are valuable in their own ways.The important factor is that the follower of the concerned religion must follow the teachings sincerely.Although I,my self a Buddhist,I obey the teachings and doctrine of Lord Buddha,I appreciate the teachings of other religions and the appreciation of other nationalities and their culture are all noble and valuable in their own way.

    There can not be 100% similarities among religions,nationalities,any opinions,cultures,
    philosophies,skin hues,mental attitudes,sex,language,polical,social origin,property,visions,of people in the World.There would be more beneficence from performance of seeing with love and sympathetic mind(with optimistic view) for a particular thing rather than bliming or extreme criticize(with a pessimistic view) in contrast to others.

    The English culture is best for the English,while the Burmese culture is good for the Burmese.The Indian culture is also best for the Indian people,while the Chinese culture is good for the Chinese people.Likewise,Christians must obey the teachings of the Bible,Buddhists must obey the teaching of Buddhism,Hindus must obey the teachings of the Hinduism and Muslims must obey the teachings of Quran.

    Buddhism is the Best religion! The Lord Buddha is the Greatest teacher of human and Gods!
    by True Buddhist person on 27th Jan 2012
  • Buddha was not a God nor does Buddhism purport him to be. That said many scholars also feel that miracles were attributed to Christ after his death in order to make their version of his teachings fit a mold of messiah that was already out tehre so he would be teh fulfillment of prophecy. I think he is greater than that and the ultimate reality of what both Buddha and Christ were pointing us towards but had to fit into a context of history, is something we can only barely glimpse
    by trainwreck on 19th Jan 2011
  • I dont want to compare jesus with others as people do. jesus says my words are spirit & truth that means he says that his words are spiritual or spiritual weapons, just like everything came from the spiritual to the natural. jesus says whoever keeps my words are my mother, my brothers & sisters. What is jesus telling you in this? if you want to really know christ than u should have the knowledge of his words to really know christ listen to The Living Word of
    God/Biblical Confessions by Bro. Johnson Sequeira site or listen to his cd the sower & the seed which speaks about Life and death is in the power of your tongue & i shall eat of its fruits
    by Jude on 30th Nov 2010
  • After doing my own research I came to an astonishing conclusion, though perhaps less astonishing in hindsight, and that is the Buddha and the Christ are in fact The Spiritual Father and Son.

    Download the free eBook and enjoy!
    by Son of man on 12th Jun 2010
  • Buddhism is a way of life...Christianity is a god-centered religion. My mother is Catholic and my father is Buddhist. Say whatever you like, but I honestly don't care if god exists or not. That's why I am a Buddhist, because Buddhism makes more sense. It is linked with the real world. In my opinion, you should change the heading of your article, because Buddha was NOT a God. For those who haven't noticed, many people are now turning to Buddhism. Although I follow Buddhism, I do attend church on certain occasions-just to support my mother. I do, however, believe in and respect Jesus- but I personally don't consider Him the 'Son of God'-he did after all take a lot of his ideas from Buddhism and I respect that.
    by Daneea on 18th Mar 2010
  • I think that its easy to become clouded when u try and mach these two together. Christ is lord and saviour and Buddha is teacher see them as what they are and the path is clear. Prey to Christ and he will guid u spiritually (holy ghost) to the almighty. Learn from Buddha and he will hone your body and brain (Flesh) to better connect with God (higher power, highest power), and his son Christ.

    Bless Evoryone and may we be saved from ourselves.
    by Nicholas L. on 17th Aug 2009
  • Buddhism and Christianity seem to teach that what is visible and palpable is temporary, and what is unseen, or trancedental is permanent. The desires of the flesh (the material) can never be fully satisfied, the more we want and accomplish, the less satisfaction we gain. The more we live for the moment or for the comforts of the flesh, the more we are left wanting for something more. There truly is a universal problem - our suffering, which is lessened by a spiritual life. Both Buddha and Jesus warned against placing one's faith in the "here and now" and in the material world. Both attached eternal suffering (in one form or another) with seeking material fullfillment at the expense of anything else.
    by Rick on 23rd Jul 2009
  • Both Buddha and Jesus were concerned with the problem of suffering. Though their remedies for this universal human condition were distinctly different, their understanding of suffering had many parallels. Jesus, and subsequently Paul and the other authors of the New Testament books, defined sin as a turning away from God. In original sin, they observed, we live a life turned from God, centered on our own desires. This is living a life in Original sin. Buddha preached that living according to the desires of the flesh, and living an ego-driven life, is to be in Samsara, literally, a "living hell". The life driven by the ego is similiar to the life lived in sin. To turn to God, as Jesus and his apostles taught, is to displace one's selfish desires as the center in one's life. To follow the Eight Fold Path, as Buddha taught, is to subdue the ego, and leave behind the ego-driven life for a life based on loving kindness and compassion; a selfless life.

    In this way, the way the two dealt with suffering is similiar.
    by Rick on 23rd Jul 2009
  • The portal to heaven is found in this very second of our realization that we are.... "I am". We miss it if we think past or future. Past is prologue to Now, Future never comes. So laugh and live lovingly at this truth and enjoy the fact that we are instantly heaven and we are the center of the universe.
    by Zen Christian on 14th Apr 2009
  • Did Buddha walk on water, tell the weather what to do, healed people and commanded demons to go back from where they came from to give people peace? How can he be compared to Jesus? There was not and will not ever be a perfect man on this earth like Jesus!
    I am sorry folks, although I appreciate your kindness to humanity, I must mention it to you so that you can make an CHOICE to whether you want to believe that there IS just one way to eternal life and that is through Jesus!
    by Hawk on 10th Nov 2008
  • Thank you for your insightful article. I would like to add that all thought is the progression of the creation and ofcourse we humans are the creators and the interpeters of reality. The ever evolving creation is moving in the direction that the human souls wish it to go either to good or to evil. It is my feeling that we are inching towards enlightenment. I certainly hope so. Lets all do our part by living a life of virtue.
    by Samada on 27th Dec 2007
  • I totally agreed with Pongsorn. Let's put it all in this way... all religions are the same, go the right path. Well, if you did wrong but realised it later, who on this universe can tell you... you must do good before you know death comes and knock on your door... then you can go to heaven??? Huh! I'm an asian and noticed that most ex-buddhist becomes christian (mostly all old folks) when you're near to death... why? so that they can go to heaven! ...??? What I don't understand is that... why are we destroying ourselves and why are we afraid that we could not find a place in heaven (heaven is white clouds and hell is full of fire)??!! ALL RELIGION teaches us good, its just like the teacher telling the students.. be good to your parents... they're the one who brought you to this universe, work hard for your future and pain if you do bad... (ring the bell?? ... sound similar??) Its only a matter of fact that, how comfortable you are, in which religion? i was a christian (cried so terribly when i poured my misery) but now a buddhist (calm) but also love to explore knowledge on hindusim, muslim and many... I love to read the histories of previous lives, religions and how and why and when... in this website, teaches us alot (be knowledgable). i really appreciate the hardwork and effort in the research. Let's treasure this history of various cultures and religions etc... they're the same but just different styles, do good but don't expect rewarded (from whom), that's all.
    by Prapasirik on 2nd Nov 2007
  • To Yong Kok Kong. I believe you have a misunderstanding regarding what it means to follow Christ. The Bible strongly advised against false christians who take advantage of the grace of God and continue to live in sin. These people will not inherit the kingdom of God. The word repentance means to come to a point of remorse for past actions, but it also means a commitment to turn away from the sinful things, to place my faith in Christ and to pursue a relationship with Him. I hope this will clear some misunderstanding.
    by Hugo Yeh on 5th Jul 2007
  • One key difference I see is in Jesus' ability to forgive sins simply by placing a sincere faith in him. According to Jewish Scriptures, this in itself is a claim to Deity . The one incident that came to my mind is that of the criminal who was crucified next to Jesus. If you know the story, this criminal had no time to be baptized, to do good works, to make up for his bad deeds. Yet in repenting and beliving in Jesus, he was rewarded eternity in paradise.

    My grandmother used to be a devout Buddhist until an encounter that left her asking, is this the right way? She attended the temples, and gave up all her money to seek help from the monks at the temples for healing of my dad, who was birthed with a life-threatening disease. None of that helped, so she began to search for other gods. Just when she thought she had ran out of relgions or gods to follow, she remembered there is a christian god that is yet to be tried. In Taiwan, christianity is not very popular, but yet in her persistence, she found a local church. When invited to receive Jesus, she said.. "sure, why not, i've tried them all, why not one more..?" Since then, my grandmother's began attending the christian church and found a new peace. Even despite protest and mockery from her friends and neighbors, she did not return to Buddhism. Even at the point that
    my dad was near death, being placed in a banana life in the streets waiting for death, she still persisted in believing in Jesus. But it was then that God showed her a miracle, as my dad's health began to turn around. Soon after he was fully restored. My grandmother never looked back. Somehow, God has orchestrated a necessary change of belief for her, in order to find true light.
    by Hugo Yeh on 5th Jul 2007
  • Little shocking news to everybeing..Crist is a hindu saint who originally learnt the enlightment from india. The only way to reach the Supreme Soul, The Paratma Krishna is serve him. Simple knowledge which u can find the ans in urself. Through meditation and Yoga. And of course with the right Master. 5000 thousand years god Krishna has come down to earth to speck the truth to realise god. The Bagavad Gita the holy book by Supreme godhead. He one who knows the truth knows God(Krishna)
    Hare Krishna Hare Rama
    by Yamuna on 5th Mar 2007
  • I appreciate writing an article of this nature. But, never can Buddhism be compared to a God-centered religion. Buddhism is a way of life, it directs man kind for the purification of mind .Final goal is to be reached in this life itself. God did not create world or man, but man created world and God. In this fathom long body, one will find one’s God or evil spirit. It totally depends on the degree of the purification of mind and one’s attitude towards the world of phenomena.
    by Nanda on 3rd Mar 2007
  • it doesn't sound like you will be.
    by to - Yong Kok Kong on 13th Jul 2006
  • Yes both are very much their own. Christian believe in one God while Buddhist does not believe in any god. I believe that there is no mention of Buddha the Bible at all. Kindly be reminded that the image of Buddha is not an idol that you can pray to go to heaven but an image that we gave respect to for his teaching and guidance.. Its just like the photo of the King or President that we hung for respect.

    Let me also remind you that nobody including our Buddha or your Christ can can save you from hell if you keep on doing bad things in this life. The only way to heaven or that matter is to do good and thats what Buddha teaches and guide us. Do you think that muderers, rapists , terrorists or those doing such evil can go to heaven by just believing in Jesus who can just wipe off your sin. Surely I would not like to be in this heaven with murderers, rapist, terrosrist and evil doers.
    by Yong Kok Kong on 19th Mar 2006
    by LYNA on 4th Mar 2006
  • to Aga--
    It is believed by hindu's that Buddha was reincarnation of Lord Vishnu to lead the world to the truth. so, yes Buddha was a man, but so was jesus (like man an dlike god, because jesus is not the god, but son of god) anyway, in both cases the divine came to earth to lead us to god.
    by shivani on 12th Feb 2006
  • In response to Jason...
    Many hindu believes that Buddha was reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Also, Islam excepts the teaching of the O.T and N.T. but believes that Mohamad(sp) was the last prophet, and complited God's message. Perhap Buddha's teacing prepared the world for Jesus' teaching and perhap Jesus' teaching prepared the world for Mohamud's.
    by shivani on 12th Feb 2006
  • I agree very much with Dave and Jennie. Its not truth to compare two of the most uncomparable by a few phrases or pull each aprt to justify the other. People may have their own opinions of both but ...don't pull apart the very sanctiy that has been the grounds for their very existence. Belive what you want. But...truth is truth ...wether you choose to acccept each as their own or not. But in my own mind there is no doubt that Jesus was God's son and the only way to God is through him. What you choose to belive is your choice which isthe beautiful thing about life is all the freedom for choices. Just how God intended it to be......yet he gave his son to make sure you made the right ones.
    by Lynn on 22nd Nov 2005
  • A controversial composition.....yet you really opened a spiritual gate never looked at before. In a very strange way you could say Christians and Buddhists have a very similar spiritual journey but me its a risky comparison. Both are very much their own. Christians will strongly believe in one God and look at Budhha as an it say in the bible..."I am The Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:2-3 RSV)...and also....Moses was gone a long time and the people said to Aaron,

    "as for this Moses, we don't know what has become of him. Make us a god so we can say, 'here are your gods (plural) who brought you up from Egypt.' "
    (Exodus Chapter 32 verse 1)

    Aaron made a (single) golden calf, and presented it to the people saying,

    '"here are your GODS (plural), who brought you up from Egypt,'" (Exodus Chapter 32 verse 4)
    I greatly enjoyed your composition it gives a real insight and open ways of thinking of God and other religions. It is always good to know what other religions beleive commonly understand and respect your own.

    by Jennie on 22nd Nov 2005
  • Hi Ian ummmmmmm Alhpa and Omega are greek words meaning beggining and the last not the lowest and highest lay preacher?
    by The Truth on 18th Aug 2005
  • Thank you for the insight into the different paths by which many and few follow. I myself have to agree with much of what you say, but as I have learned in my years of searching for personal enlightenment of many paths, all forks in the roads of life lead back to one. Who is to say which path we take is right or wrong? We do, individually we choose our path. In the differences of each person is also their own differences of enlightenment. If we were to take each lesson from each religion of higher enlightenment, not just the two spoke of here, we see them to the same path. Some are less rigid than others and some require you to follow a straight and direct path. It a choice each person has to make personally. No matter what path you take, if you do so in a manner not to hinder your brothers and sisters, but to help them, you help yourself. To finish not keep ranting on the same subject, the path to true enlightenment is held in each physical vessel that lives on this planet. No matter what form it takes, either as Buddha or Jesus it teaches that each person is responsible for his or her own choices and learning from those choices is what brings enlightenment, these are the lessons of many prophets, not just the two that have been spoken of. Thank you again and may you be blessed on your passage to enlightenment.
    by Jessie on 26th Jun 2005
  • A fine and thoughtful article. Yes, whilst respecting the integrity of the Christian and Buddhist civilizations it's true to say that both Christ and the Buddha represent the summit of spiritual attainment, the pathway to mystical perfection, bringing liberation from illusion and awakening to truth and supreme Reality. Many centuries the prophet Mani, founder of the Manichaean religion, taught that Christ and Buddha ( and Plato and Hermes Trismegistus) are Messengers of the Light.
    by Nigel Jackson on 18th Mar 2005
  • I have to agree with Dave. The article is very well writen, and research; however, the two figures can not be merged into one path. Truth is truth, where ever it is to be found, and reguardless of who speaks it - truth is truth. One claimed to be Enlightened - that's all; the other - declared himself equal to, (and by his followers called) Deity. I personally follow another Path where both of these figures are revered, yet we likewise may obtain their same status; however, most of us never will in this existance due to our mudan illusion, and materalism - me included.
    by IDHO Falconmyst on 17th Mar 2005
  • The problem with this particular attempt to harmonize a couple of world religions, is that in order to do so one must pick a few scattered similar statements and further must reduce the impact of the specific teachings.

    For example. Jesus taught a rather exclusive doctrine when he said "I am the way, the truth, the life." he didn't say, "a way, a truth, a life." He made if even more exclusive when he followed that line with "no one comes to the Father except by me."

    Truth is true for all. So it's not surprising that persons of wisdom from any and all cultures would stumble upon some of it. The created world cries it from the peaks.

    Yet to try to harmonize religions by gathering a few similarity and truth statements is weak, and certainly does not take into acount the vast differences that exist.

    by dave on 25th Feb 2005
  • Neither buddha nor jesus were gods they were humans.

    Buddha can not reiterate what jesus might or might not have said since he lived before the time jesus was supposed to have been around. A lot of christian iconography is based on buddism since buddist missions were active in the middle east even during Greek times as far as in Alexandria. Buddism was the first man made religion. Christianity is a reiteration of this fact.
    by ravi bakhshi on 16th Dec 2004
  • Namaste

    First, my appreciation is shown to the website for being the best I have seen so far for these particular goods.

    It's so funny that I have stumbled on this write-up. Only the last few weeks I have been thinking to myself how similar the teachings of Christ and Buddhism are.

    I think the differencies, and there are quite a few, are not so much differences, but rather the interpretations of the beings (Christ and Buddha) at the time of the meditations. The cultural differences would also add to the interpretations of the day.

    My own belief, for what it is worth, is that both Buddha and Jesus tried to convey spiritual messages as well as they could, interpreted in their own way but the end result is the same, and that is we are all part of this great universe.
    by Kim on 15th Nov 2004
  • The sages speak of many names, but the Truth is One.
    by kaosneverdied on 3rd Sep 2004
  • While all religions teach part of the truth, there is something that Chritianity teaches that very few others do, that it is the only complete and totally truthful religion. Buddhism may be one path, but only if God had not revealed Himself to man. This is a very key issue. If God has revealed Himself to man in Jesus, then man is bound to be Christian, and although Buddhism would have many similarities in teaching, all of the teaching would have been preparing the way for God's final revelation to man, Christ Jesus.
    by Jason on 16th Aug 2004
  • i would like to buy a poster
    by vinny ferraro on 22nd May 2004
  • Ummm...

    Firstly , I am Thai people who not good
    in english so sorry for the grammar
    mistake that I have done in this text.

    Secondly , I enjoy this article that you
    try to compare Buddhism and
    Christianity in good way but as buddhist
    ,I must say that although Buddhism and
    Christianity are similar by the husk but
    thay are extermely different by the core.

    By the husk, yes every religion teach
    human to be a good man but by the core
    they have different way to teach.
    Jesus taught that in you must believe in
    god and so you can go to live peacefuly
    in the heaven but Buddha taught that you
    must use your own wisdom to enlightment, you must do it yourself even god cannot help you.

    notice that the ultimate goal of two
    religion is also extremely different
    nirvana isn't place and isn't like heaven
    (but it must take another article
    of I explain it cleary so I will skip and
    let you search for it by yourself)

    In my opinion, if we identify the word
    'religion' that religions must have god
    to believe, have heaven to go or have
    Satan to destroy , so buddishsm isn't

    the important of Bhuddism isn't in
    Buddha himself but in what Bhudda
    taught, the teaching that is the way of
    enlightment that can be proven anytime,
    there are Sutra called Kalamasutra that
    Buddha taught man not to believe what
    he taught before they has prove it themsleves.
    by pongsorn on 6th Apr 2004
  • This is a beautiful article, making a point I have been considering; that the very basics of all religions are the same -- it is simply the details that diverge, confusing the issue of the truth. We are all connected and we are only as good as what we do to others.
    by LK Hunsaker of on 6th Dec 2003
  • Nice article. However, it may make more sense to begin with the utterances and history of Shakyamuni Buddha, as Jesus was on the earth some 500 years later and undoubtedly would have had the opportunity to benefit from the thoughts and example of those who went before him. You state: 'The Buddha reiterates whatever Christ puts forward'. It is the other way around as both Buddhism and Jainism predate Christ by half a millennium! It is also noteworthy, as another example of chronological misrepresentation, that some Hindus assume that Mahayana Buddhas such as Vajrayogini and Heruka were derived from Hindu gods/godesses. This is by no means always the case, as Kali makes no appearance in the Hindu pantheon until several hundred years after Vajrayogini enters Buddhist tantra. (Personally, I find both their tantric practices to be useful, especially as mandala/yantra practice). Strange that each religion seeks to 'top' the rest - as we all know, the Vedas and Zoroastranism are the root of many religions which are now too arrogant to acknowledge it.

    Jainism and the original teachings of Buddhism vary little. Personally, as a lay person I would find Jainism very hard to live up to if all its tenets are followed literally. Mahayana Buddhism offers me a complete path to enlightenment through sutra and tantra which suits me perfectly - it is not an easier alternative, but I adopted it because of 'imprints' from former lives. I am also a member of the Theosophical Society (HQ in Chennai) which bases much of its teachings on (Tibetan) Mahayana Buddhism as the perfect synthesis of ritual and practice. For others, it may be the Jain or Hindu faith - I love aspects of both and respect all followers. Jainism presents many hardships: I was visited by several Jains from Jaipur a few years ago. Whilst they took infinite care to avoid harm to other living creatures in their actions and diet, in accordance with 'ahimsa', they had flown thousands of miles to the UK by Jumbo jet, killing millions of insects (a thought which occurred to me afterwards).

    Of course, we should all realise that it is our INTENT that really counts - and I am sure that no Jain ever intended harm through flying in a plane or driving in a car. If we live by our moral code and try to live pure and honourable lives, we should indeed achieve nirvana through our practices. Without pure motivation, our actions are empty and meaningless. The world has much to learn from India as the mother of religious tolerance - let us all pray that our message of world peace reaches out to those in positions of power.

    With blessings
    by David Green on 24th Nov 2003
  • Thanks again for your insightful article. Too often blind rutualism blinds us to the universal truths found in different faiths. Thank you for your continuous efforts to promote understanding and respect, and to seek the common threads that bind us all.

    by Denise on 19th Nov 2003
  • I want to take notice for two facts. Firstly, Buddha is not god! Hiistorical Buddha have realized enlightened attributes of mind. So, secondly, I don't know how it is possible to compare Buddha and God. There is too many differences.
    by Aga on 19th Nov 2003
  • Aum!


    Such a well thought, insightful article with excellent articulation of the immense oneness! Wow!

    Thank you for writing it to share!

    Aum Namah Sivaya!
    by Nandhi on 18th Nov 2003
  • I enjoyed reading your article very much. You have made an excellent parallel between Jesus Christ and Buddha, two great personalities of human history, who marked the destiny of generations and generations of humans till nowadays. Although the teachings of both Buddha and Jesus were preached thousands of years ago, they are more valid than never, and practice has proved that whoever disregards these teachings are subjected to suffering and disease.

    The article is beautifully illustrated with Buddhist and European pieces of art that I enjoyed very much. Thank you, once again, for your attention.

    Sincerely yours,
    by Cristina Vintila on 18th Nov 2003
  • And furthermore... you could even publish this collection as a book. Perhaps you should...
    by Graeme Wallace on 18th Nov 2003
  • The articles published at this website are quite marvellous and indeed although it is an adjunct to a commercial venture, the whole selection is something of an intellectual treasure in it's own right.

    by Graeme Wallace on 18th Nov 2003
  • What a wonderful title: "Two Gods on the Path to Humanity" for us humans on our path to Divinity. This is an extremely well balanced article to forward to our Christian friends who may still have some difficulty seeing Buddha in Christ and Christ in Buddha.
    Christ, Buddha as well as Krishna and Vishnu, all representing the same divine function: helping us humans to reclaim our freedom from illusion and suffering through unconditional compassion and love.
    Thank you Nitin.
    by Wim Borsboom on 18th Nov 2003
  • Recent Christian researchers have suggested that Jesus may have been raised in a Jewish sect that practiced a great deal of ritual purification. It could be argued that the foot-washing of his disciples was to purify them to receive the meal. Also, his claims to earthly kingship as a Davidic heir in challenge to the Herodian dynasty are similar to Brahmin vs Kshattriya dynastic claims in India. King David was said to have received a promise from God of an eternal dynasty and Jewish religion's inclusion of this promise meant that great efforts were taken to track the legitimate heirs and promote their interest in the throne. It is probable that the Cohanim (priestly caste) preserved the Davidic heirs in positions of power within the council of the Sanhedrin. Jesus' virgin birth is said to have posed serious problems in this inheritance, giving rise to his claim 'I am the Alpha and the Omega' - a reference to the Alef and Waw (lowest and highest - lay preacher and priest-king) grades of the priesthood under Essene purity laws. A recent book 'The Marian Conspiracy' by Philip Graham has suggested that Jesus was the rightful heir of Herod the Great, being the posthumus son of Herod Antipater whose entire family was ordered exterminated for rebellion.
    by Ian Ison on 17th Nov 2003
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