Jesus The Christ Versus "The Buddha"
Here are some of the basic teachings of the Buddha.
Let's get ready to RUMBEL!
I keep hearing over and over again about the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism and yet when examined closely, these teaching are quite different. The number one difference between the two belief systems is that in Buddhism it is believed that one has the ability within themselves to obtain enlightenment. The Buddha taught that the Buddha Nature was something that was deep within every human and that everyone has the potential to activate there own enlighten awareness.
This differs greatly from the teaching of Jesus who claimed that He was the way the truth and the light. Another obvious difference was that in mainstream Christianity that a person lives only once and then faces the judgment when at last God will determine if a soul will spend eternity with Him or separated from Him. Instead of this, Buddha teaches a kind of spiritual evolution that only after countless lifetimes can one reach the ultimate goal of not having to return to the physical world of suffering. This is know as Nirvana which has been roughly translated from the original Sanskrit to mean “to blowout or extinguish suffering.”
When looking at the characteristics of these two men, it should be recognized that Jesus lived to be only 33 years old and preached about three years, while Siddhartha Gotama (the Buddha) was said to live until he was eighty years old and taught for about forty-five years. Jesus earthly father was a carpenter while Siddhartha’s father was a ruler. There are some similarities around both Jesus and the Buddha for both were said to have prophecies around their births and lives.
Maya, the mother of Siddhartha, was said to have a dream about a white elephant that offered her white lotus flower and entered her though her side. Ten months later she “delivered” a bouncing baby Buddha while standing up right in a garden (at least this is what the legends state). This baby also had the ability to speak and walk and made the following statement…."I am chief in the world, I am best in the world, I am first in the world. This is my last birth. There will be no further rebirth." Sounds a little snotty for an enlightened being don’t you think? This conflicts with the concept that Siddhartha had spent many years searching for enlightenment though the path of Jameism, which was kind of like the original Hippies. They felt that the best way to try to control one Karma (cause and effect) was to do as little as possible! The lest amount of action the better! Finally he graduated from this extreme, and with the help of the "Bodhi tree" he finally became "Awake." This famous tree is in the family of pipal fig trees. It is called Bodhi or sometimes "Bo" because of the town the tree was located in.
I say this to illustrate a point, and that is in the teaching of The Buddha and the teachings about the Buddha are filled with contradictions. As many or more contradictions as the Bible is said to have! It has been proclaimed by many Buddhist that Buddhism does not believe in God and yet, there are stories in some of sutras (Buddhist scriptures) that one of The Buddha’s past lives he was a god in a heaven known as “Tusitar.” This “heaven” is a kind of a holding station for a bodhisattva until they are ready to be reincarnated into there final reincarnation as a Buddha or “Awaken One.” Now a bodhisattva can have different meanings, even though it is generally someone who have devoted their life to compassion and have placed the needs and concerns of others above there own selves.One of the basics beliefs presented in Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths which are…
1) Life is full of suffering
2) Suffering is caused by attachment
3) Abandoning attachment brings relief from suffering
4) Release can be achieved though the eighth fold path
This Eighth fold path is as follows….
1. Right opinion
2. Right intentions
3. Right Speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration
To these eight paths I would like to add one more and that is …making sure you hold your tongue right! For that is one of the reasons I have problems with Buddhism in the first place, you have to get every thing right! Now the Bible tells us as fallen humans we can not get it right for our righteousness is like filthy rags! Even the Buddha admitted that obtaining Buddha-hood is actually harder than standing on top of mountain top in one world and throwing a thread though a eye of needle held by someone on mountain top in another world!
Another confusing fact about Buddhism is that there are two groups of teachings-the earlier and “lesser” teaching known as Hinayana and the Mahayana which is known as the “greater vehicle.” Mahayana is the most popular form of Buddhism and includes most of the later sutras like the “Heart” and the “Lotus” sutra which Gotama said was the most important Sutra for it focused on the Law of Cause and Effect. Tibetan Buddhism uses the “Heart” sutra while the “Lotus” has been used in many sects including Tiantai and Nichiren. One way to explain the difference between the two types of Buddhism is like comparing Catholicism to Protestantism in the Christian religion. Mahayana being the later form, just like Protestant is the later in Christianity.
Nichiren Buddhism is the form of Buddhism that I am personally most familiar with because I practiced this form of Buddhism for about seven years. It was developed by a Buddhist Monk named Nichiren Daishoninwho started his sect in Japan in the 1200’s. He is considered by his followers as a Buddha of the “later day of the Law.” The main aspect of the teaching is the Lotus Sutra and chanting the Mantra Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. This is Mantra that which roughly translated to mean “Devotion to the Law of Cause and Effect though sound vibration.”
When Nichiren first started teaching in Japan, he ran into resistance from the Nibru sect of Buddhism which at this time was the most powerful sect in Buddhism in Japan. Even to this day, there is strife between these two sects. It is also believed by some that Nichiren was spared being executed by the appearance of comet in the sky over the beach were he was going to beheaded, which only proves that he was a true Buddha! The reason is the belief that a Buddha can not be killed and only will die when he is ready to die.
The Compashinit Buddha
Nicheriren-who is considered a Buddha by his followers
kosen rufu.or the coming of Matireya? Which is it?
One important aspect of Nichiren Buddhism is what is known as Kosen-rufu which means “widely declared.” This is the concept that when “True Buddhism”, or Nichiren Buddhism is practiced though out the world it will lead to world peace! This was believed so strongly, that propagating this form of Buddhism became the obsession of many of the believers to the point that it caused a division between the Priests who followed the practice of the Lotus sutra and the Soka Gakkai or laymen origination. In fact, this was the main reason I also quit practicing this form of Buddhism was because it started resembling the “Bible thumping” approaches that turned me off with mainstream Christianity.
There was just too much pressure put on the followers to propagate the practice. There also seem to me way to much focus on President Ikda who is the president of the layman organization or Soka Gakkai. He was promoted to the point that I started to wonder if he was the one who was being worshiped! Then, there was allegations being made around sex scandals and other issues that were just way to political for me.
There is yet another aspect or belief about Buddhism that should also be looked at, for it opens up whole different subject, and that is the prophecies and belief in the coming of yet another Buddha. This is a Buddha that has been called Maitireya Buddha.
The interesting thing about this Buddha is that many believe that he has arrived, in fact if you do a search for Maireya you will find several groups and sites that claim that this Buddha has already appeared on earth and will unite all religions! This brings me back to my old theme that I speak of in some of my other writing like “Gods way Verses Mans Way” in which I talk about the increase in false prophets and false Messiahs that has been prophesied to happen in the Bible and that I believe is happening right now.
For example, Back in 2005 there was a mysterious boy who had been dubbed “the Buddha boy” who some believed to be the Maireya Buddha. His name is Ram Bahadur Bomjor or Palen Dorje, if you want to use his Buddhist name. He was said to have fasted for over six months, and there has been some documentaries done on his meditation. I will not go into much detail about this boy, accept to say that he himself does not declare himself to be a Buddha, yet anyway!To me it is somewhat entertaining that this “future Buddha” Maireya, will be the one to unite all religions since a majority of Buddhist would agree that the Buddha is not a god but instead someone who has become self-elightened!
In closing I like to encourage those who are skeptical about what I have stated about an increase in false prophets and Messiahs to do your own Goggle search you may be amazed by what you could find!