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Jesus The Christ Versus "The Buddha"

Updated on August 5, 2015

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

The Buddahist Monk was  garded by Samuri solgers
The Buddahist Monk was garded by Samuri solgers | Source

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!

The "Buddha Boy" Palden Dorje

He don't look like he had not eaten for six months!
He don't look like he had not eaten for six months! | Source
Maitreya-also known as the "laughing Buddha" or "god of happyness."
Maitreya-also known as the "laughing Buddha" or "god of happyness." | Source


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Buddha boy.....D:

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Is it true that Buddha said, "I seek The way, I seek the light, I seek the truth"? I saw a post elsewhere that is of 'the buddha' who nearly died of starvation to attain 'Enlightenment" (and different kind of enlightenment just as the Age of Enlightenment' is not the same) in doing so, the site was saying he and The Christ who pre-existed this very existence we call the Universe and Time are the same when Jesus said, "I AM the Way, The Truth and the Life"..and "I AM the Light of Men"...which can only mean, the buddha was seeking Christ but never found Him. The Gospel message existed way before the Buddha who was around the same time as the prophets, yet it was the Word of God speaking through the Prophets at that time about Christ who was to come..because Christ already pre-existed Buddha since Eternity. There is not comparison at all.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree with Lone77star. Look at what Jesus is actually supposed to have said. Consider that he spoke to uneducated fishermen who were commonly taught religious doctrine in parables. Within those criteria, there isn't enough difference between his words and Buddha's to get excited about.

      Paul was the engine behind Christianity as it became, and no doubt Buddha had disciples who were expert in keeping his gig going. Whether either of them would be very satisfied (or surprised) with present day results is another matter!

    • magnoliazz profile image


      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Another great hub, you must have written this one while I was away for a few months.

      I find it very strange that a baby out of the womb could speak and walk. I am sure you would know what any fundamental Christian would have to say about that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, forgive me but I am of a different opinion and would assert that until unity becomes apparent in the world around you, including the worlds faiths there's a missing in true understanding of Christianity, and who Jesus was. Some may say to claim the teachings of Christ and of Buddha one and the same is Blaspheme. but those who wish to Know truth will look at this statement and ask is that True? .. what is Blaspheme the Dictionary Defines it as speaking irreverently about god or sacred things.... so go to John chapter 1:1-3 you will see god created all things with himself including you... to say that a human is like a dirty rag where virtue is concerned is Blaspheme against a "sacred thing" a creation of god, made with god. what do we really say every time we believe in our limitations rather than god? is Christianity without a path? Jesus dose it all for you ? ..well lets see, go to Mathew 5:20 for I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (dose that sound like " don't worry poor helpless dirty soul I'll do it all for you"?) Buddha nature is in all of us, you said this was a teaching of the Buddha. that's different than Christ's teaching? .. including Luke 17:21 "...for behold the kingdom of heaven is within you" ? Christ was the word made flesh as we already covered in John 1:1"in the beginning was the word and the word was with god and the word was god" as Jesus is recorded to have said in John 17:5 "...with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" Jesus is not speaking of himself as a man of flesh and bones and as you said only 33Yrs of age. he was born of water first then spirit, after the second birth his words are the voice of the word of god made flesh or as you said The truth, the way and the life... not the flesh made word or the flesh made the truth way and life.. the truth the way and the life became Jesus and becomes all who surrender their ego and allow god to live in and through them, for they are eternal and without beginning or end save in god. this is stated in many places in the bible, one is Mathew 16:25 "....whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." when he says "for my sake" what dose he mean by "my" ...dose that not mean for the sake of the truth, the way, the life.? the Dharma is what Buddha taught, the word Dharma can be translated as the Truth. the way is the removal of ignorance and the death of the ego or separate self, giving way to the birth of truth within. (born of spirit) to make Christ out in your own image and limit the word of god to one body and Name rather than seeing that The Christ and the Truth are one,creates blindness. where you find Truth you find the word of god and you find Christ. don't let yourself off the hook so easily thinking you've found a faith that has a teacher who by virtue of a crucifixion has done all the work for you. your very own bible says in several places that according to your deed's it shall be given you. Crucifixion wipes clean the slate of original sin and opens the doors of forgiveness but you must still work and live by gods love to awake in Christ. you could Just read the letters of John. 1John 2:6 "he that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he has walked." and 1 John 3 verse 2-3 "Beloved, now we are sons of god....when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is, and every man who has this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure." if you go to the gospel of John chapter 17:19 you'll see that even Christ speaks of working for his own Sanctification..... long story short, take your bible and Study it... you will find its a book of love and peace, and teaches a path of practice. that Christ is that eternal love of God made flesh and all who teach love are of God no matter what "Religion" they "belong" to. also it dose not teach in Buddhism that there is no god. read further you'll find out for yourself. and last Buddha was not a Buddhist nor was Christ a Christian .... these are things made of man after the fact and Turn teachings of peace into articles Titled "lets get ready to rumble." and many worse things.

      (Forgive me if I've been harsh in my criticism, My ego is not extinguished yet, and I do still have attachments here. this just happens to be one of those topics for me. I believe we should share truth and love. not misunderstanding. I have studied deeply these things if that which I have said here is found to be in error forgive me. in my heart these things ring true as well as in the Gospels so I trust it from there.... But you need not believe it on that. look in your own hearts, experience, and Bibles to see what it says for yourself. ) with love Jason

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Highvoltagewriter, this is a thought-provoking article. I gave it a thumbs up for the wonderful fact that this is such a valuable topic.

      First of all, you might want to correct the spelling in your title: "versus" means "against" or "opposed to." This is the correct word to use. The word you used, "verses," means passages in writing or poetry.

      You might also want to correct the spelling of "rumble" in your sub-title.

      Here's the big question:

      "Is your interpretation of God's word equal or superior to God's word?"

      If you're like me, then the answer is an emphatic "no." That doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss our interpretations, it just means that we should not be too attached to them.

      For every conflict you show between Christianity and Buddhism, I see harmony and agreement. It all hinges on the interpretation.

      Is Christ consciousness something which is deep within each of us? Jesus did say that we can do the miracles he did and even greater. He also said, "I and my father are one." And when full-blown miracles have happened in my life, I have felt this oneness — a perfect confidence, covered with the most profound humility. Jesus also said that the kingdom of heaven is within you.

      I agree that we cannot mix the two paths, but we can learn from all paths, if our hearts are not so hardened — if we are not so arrogant and full of ego that we cannot see.

      The path of the patriarchs was found not to be working, so Jesus was sent to give us a far better path. The evils of the Pharisees who wanted perfectly to follow the ancient law can be summed up in one word — ego. Ego is the master of this world. This is the self which must die before we can gain everlasting life. Buddhism says the same thing.

      Don't be so quick to judge. Gautama Siddhartha Buddha saw that one more blessed than himself would soon arrive toward the West — someone with reddish hair — the Maitireya of whom you wrote. Was this Jesus of whom he spoke? I've known many Jews with reddish or auburn hair. Five centuries later, Jesus arrived in the West (from India) and gave us a far more profound path to salvation.

      You said, "Now the Bible tells us as fallen humans we can not get it right for our righteousness is like filthy rags!" But do you really understand what that means? I can see a viewpoint that I think is yours, because my grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister. I grew up with this stuff. Could the filthy rags of which our Master spoke be the ego self? This is what the Pharisees were using when they cared more about how they appeared in public, than about showing compassion and understanding for others. They could not love the prostitute and thief as Jesus did. Can you? Don't be so smug and self-righteous for these are the dirty rags of which Jesus spoke. Buddha also talked of these dirty rags — calling them ego and selfishness.

      Buddha had Christ consciousness even before Jesus arrived. So did Moses, when he parted the sea. So did Elijah, when he was taken by God in a flaming chariot. Buddha was a rare individual and in his compassion he gave up his riches. Remember what Jesus said about the chances of the rich man entering heaven?

      If the purpose of your religiosity is to be right and to point out how others are wrong, then you have missed the boat by a mile. If your purpose is to rejoin God and to help others with compassion and love, then that is truly a blessed thing.

    • Powerpoe1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Voted Up & Rated Useful~

      Job Well Done!

    • Highvoltagewriter profile imageAUTHOR

      William Benner 

      8 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Absolutely true, Gisele and I could say it better myself! Thank you for your comments!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 

      8 years ago

      Yes, some people of non-Christian religions believe it is possible to combine Christianity with another religion, but it is simply not, because Christianity is the only religion that believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Christianity is therefore mutually exclusive from other beliefs. In fact, Christianity is very distinct even from the other Abrahamic faiths (i.e. Muslim and Jewish), and even more separate from Buddhism.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile imageAUTHOR

      William Benner 

      8 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Hello Lita, it is so good to hear from you and I am glad that you enjoyed the hub! God Bless!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Very interesting, particularly the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. I viewed them in my own belief, a Roman Catholic, and I think Buddhism and Christianity fall into the same pit of falsities like idolatry of the one who leads them. You did a good research and this is informative. Thank you.


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