Reading this article, you will find the main differences between the two great masters of religion. Buddha and Jesus from Nazareth. Everyone has free will and can choose whom they serve; now we refer to Buddha vs. Jesus, but let us not forget what the Bible says: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and another deity.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)
The West’s interest in Buddhism is generally dismissed as a “fashionable religious trend.” On which nostalgia and dissatisfaction would be projected. The truth is that in the interest in Buddhism, there is an unease with the Christian tradition. And also a feeling of greater authenticity found in the Buddhist religion.
What is the difference between Jesus and Buddha?
And the lives of both are accompanied by numerous miracles that begin at birth: Maria and Maya, the mothers, give birth to their sons as virgins. With Jesus, a star shines brightly in the sky and shows the three kings the way to the manger, where they can bring presents to the Infant. In the case of the Buddha, too, the sky shines with the brilliance of numerous lights. And wise men predict a great future for him. Despite all the similarities, there are also differences between the men.
Jesus spoke primarily to poor people. Among his listeners were sick people and whores, and criminals shunned by their fellow citizens. Later, in Rome, his teaching first spread among the enslaved people. Buddha, on the other hand, a prince’s son, mainly taught among the rich. So it is not surprising that the most important promoter of Buddhism was Ashoka – a king who conquered almost all of India around 250 years before Christ. Thousands of sacred sites were established under him, and his messengers carried the teachings to the other lands of Asia.
Are these two masters?
Christianity claims that it can refer to Jesus, but in reality, it refers only to Jesus as a literary product. The essential, the historical “Jesus” and his teaching, are hidden, like a portrait, under many layers of paint placed by two thousand years of Church history. However, if we remove them with the prudence of the restorer, without destroying the precious original, the original colours appear little by little. They shine very differently from what the Christian churches have taught us to see.
For those curious about the differences between Buddha and Jesus, you may probably know that in Buddhism, the words that belong to Buddha are the words of Jesus Christ. The parallel between Buddhist thought and certain New Testament narratives, the parables of Jesus and his teachings, are not a discovery of today but had already been noticed at the beginning of the last century by attentive scholars. Therefore, these two different masters are not one person but two separate individuals.
Representation of Buddha VS Jesus
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The significant difference between Buddha vs. Jesus lies in the conception of a creator God, which is fundamental in Christianity. The whole horizon of this religion is based on the concept of a God who created man in his image and likeness. The idea of God, and man’s obedience to God, permeates the entire spiritual structure of Christianity.
Buddha vs. Jesus, on the other hand, emphasises the suffering inherent in the human condition and the means to alleviate it first. And finally, overcome it definitively through inner enlightenment. We could say that the concept of Enlightenment is the basis of the Buddhist conception and that of God. And is the basis of the main Christianity war: Buddha vs. Jesus. It would therefore seem that two more distant spiritual paths could not be imagined. Yet, if we go beyond this general observation, we see that there are also many profound similarities.
The Christian idea of universal love is similar to Buddhist compassion. In a certain sense, the figure of Jesus who descends to Earth assumes the body of a man and sacrifices himself for humanity by facing everything. As a human being, all the pains and sufferings peculiar to this condition cannot fail to be considered as a representation of the ideal of the bodhisattva—the one who renounces enlightenment to live in the world for the benefit of humanity. The bodhisattvas reincarnate as men, and as such, they are subjected to all the limitations of the human condition.
1. What do Buddhists believe in?
Buddhism is a religion but a philosophical thought and doctrine of life. The Buddhists believe in selflessness, non-attachment to material goods, compassion, and inner peace, to walk the Path of Enlightenment according to the Buddha’s teachings.
Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world and originated 2500 years ago in India. Buddhists believe that human life is a life of suffering and that meditation, spiritual and physical work and good behaviour are the ways to achieve enlightenment or nirvana.
2. To which religion does Buddhism belong?
Buddhism belongs to the atheistic religion. Spiritual discipline was founded by Buddha, who lived in northeastern India between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. In later centuries b. took on the characteristics of a philosophical doctrine and atheistic religion, spreading throughout much of the subcontinent and large parts of East Asia.
3. Can you believe in God and be a Buddhist?
You can not be a Buddhist and believe in God, for the Buddhists are their masters. Buddhists try to reach a state of nirvana by following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went in search of enlightenment around the 6th century BC. There is no faith in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.
4. Who was born the first Buddha or Jesus?
Buddha was born first, and Jesus later. Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) insisted that he was human and that there was no omnipotent and benevolent God. He preached that desire was the leading cause of suffering and that people should try to eliminate hunger. He was born in present-day Nepal about 500 years before Jesus Christ (Jesus of Nazareth).
5. What are the three central Buddhist beliefs?
The teachings of the Buddha are exclusively aimed at freeing sentient beings from suffering. The three central beliefs and Teachings of the Buddha are:
- The Three Universal Truths;
- The four noble truths;
- The Noble Eightfold Path.
6. Do Buddhists drink alcohol?
This type of drink, known as alcohol or not, can be considered a transgression of vows. Despite the great variety of Buddhist traditions in different countries, Buddhism has generally not allowed the intake of alcohol since ancient times, so Buddhists do not drink alcohol.
It was not clear what to think of it, but the coincidences were in many places so strong that a growing number of scholars had come to believe that Buddhism was directly influencing Christianity. The famous German scholar Max Mueller (scholar of Indian culture, language, and history) has shown in learned treatises that Indian fairy tales and other narratives have reached the West and have remained there to this day. He also demonstrated the influence of India in the Old Testament. And yet, being a believing Christian, animated by a missionary spirit, he excluded for years an influence on Christianity.
In the Gospel of John, Buddhist ideas are found word for word. It is so pervaded that the theologian J. Edgar Bruns has written an entire book entitled “The Christian Buddhism of St. John.” Excellent terms for Christian ears! And even more surprising for the Church. The surprise, however, soon becomes bewilderment if we consider these words of the Buddha: “Whoever sees the Dharma, he sees me. Whoever sees me, he sees the Dharma ”. The Christ of St. John says: “Whoever sees me, he sees him who sent me” (John 12:45).
In both religions, councils are convened, one in Rajagriha and one in Jerusalem. Orthodox Buddhists formalised their doctrine at the Council of Pataliputra 250 years after the Buddha’s demand. And so did the Church with the Council of Nicaea, 300 years after Jesus was last seen in Palestine. By the time Jesus lived and preached in Palestine, the Mahayana school of Buddhism had just evolved from the more closed-in Hinayana school. The Mahayana school made Buddhism a universal religion, open to believers from all nations and cultures.