The Journey Of A Christian Reaching For God With The Aid Of Buddha's Teachings

Posts tagged ‘religion’

Who was Jesus the Christ?

Jesus of Nazareth (also called Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Messiah) was believed to be born around 6 – 4 B.C in the town of Bethlehem, Judaea.  Though Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25th, there is no true record of his date of birth.  His mother was Mary and his step-father was Joseph.  The Holy Bible states that a Mary became pregnant when the Spirit of God descended upon her.  At the time of Jesus’ conception, Mary was a virgin.  I was foretold by several prophets that a baby would be born in the Jewish community that would be their Messiah or the savior.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem inside a stable.  During this time, there was a census of the land which required the people to go to the city of their birthplace with their family.  Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem and found that the all the inns were full.  Therefore, they stayed in a stable where Mary had baby Jesus.  Since they were in a stable, Mary and Joseph laid baby Jesus, who was wrapped in clothes, in a manger (an animal feeding trough).

The Holy Bible, in the book of Luke, doesn’t speak of Jesus again until when he is twelve years old.  Jesus leaves Mary and Joseph and goes to the temple in Jeruselm.  There, he speaks for three days with the doctors and scholars and all who hear young Jesus speak are astonished with his wisdom and understanding.  After this account, the Holy Bible does not speak of Jesus again until he is around 30 years old.  He is baptized by John the Baptist (called this because he baptized people not because he was the minister of a Baptist church).  After Jesus was baptized, not unlike the Buddha, Jesus began to wander in the wilderness and fasted for 40 days.  During this time, Satan, the evil one or devil, tempted Jesus three times.  First, Satan tempted Jesus by telling him to turn the rocks into bread so that he can eat.  He was tempting Jesus with physical needs.  Second, Satan tempted Jesus with the kingdoms of the world.  He was tempting Jesus with lust of the eyes and wealth.  Lastly, Satan tempted Jesus with an easy way to prove that he is the Messiah.  He told Jesus to jump from the high point of the temple.  If he did this, Jesus would show all the people that he truly is the Son of God as the angels would have saved him.  Jesus defeated Satan’s temptation.



After being tempted, Jesus began his ministry.  He gathered 12 disciples to teach and continue his work after he dies.  Jesus taught his disciples and ministered to the people for around three years.  Then, the Jews (namely the spiritual leaders of the Jewish religion) were angry with Jesus for saying he was the Messiah, the Son of God.  They convinced the Roman government to put Jesus to death on the cross, which was a typical way for the Romans to put a man to death.  The Holy Bible says that Jesus died without sin, which made him a pure sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days after Jesus was put to death, he rose from the dead, breaking the bonds of death and proving that he was the Son of God, the Messiah.  He ascended into the heavens and will one day return to the Earth to take all those who believe to a place of pure joy and happiness.



Who was Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha?

Gautama Buddha (born Siddhārtha Gautama) was born around 566 B.C.E, in the small kingdom of Kapilavastu to his father, King Suddhodana and his mother, Queen Maya.  It was foretold by wise men that the young prince would one day become the next Buddha.  This troubled the King as he wished for the prince to be a great ruler.  In order to avoid the prophecy of the wise men, the King enticed Prince Siddhārtha Gautama to stay in the palace by making the palace so pleasant that the prince will never want to leave.  Prince Siddhārtha Gautama married Princess Yasodhara at age 16 and was given three palaces so he would never think about living outside of the palace.  As time passed, the prince decided to go out of the palace.  It was noted that he left the palace four times and saw four different things. On his first time outside of the palace, the prince noticed the sick.  On his second journey outside of the palace he noticed old age.  On his third time leaving the palace, he noticed death.  The fourth time leaving the palace, the prince met a wandering monk who had given up everything he owned to seek an end to suffering.  The prince decided to be like the monk and began pondering the end of suffering.

Siddhārtha Gautama decided to leave the palace and his wife to become a wandering monk.  He left all his worldly desires, cut his hair, put on ragged robes and began going by the name Gautama.  Over a six-year period, Siddhārtha Gautama spoke with wise men and studied their ways in order understand how to an end to suffering.  None of the wise men knew the answer.  Gautama decided to meditate to find the path to end suffering.  In meditation, he ate only roots, leaves and fruit and sometime nothing.  He became very thin and unhealthy.  He could endure more hardships than anyone else of his time yet he did not find happiness.  He thought, “Neither my life of luxury in the palace nor my life as an ascetic in the forest is the way to freedom. Overdoing things can not lead to happiness. ”  He began to eat nourishing food again and regained his strength.

At last on a full moon night in May, Gautama sat under a fig tree, now known as the Bodhi Tree, and decided not to move until he gained enlightenment.  During the night, he was visited by Mara, the demon, who tried to tempt him away from his path to enlightenment.  Mara sent his beautiful daughters to lure Gautama into visual and physical pleasures, but, Gautama resisted.  Next, Mara sent bolts of lightning, wind and heavy rain to distract Gautama, yet he resisted.  Last, Mara sent his demonic armies with weapons and flaming rocks, however, Gautama met the armies and defeated them one by one with his virtue.

In the end, Gautama realized the cause of suffering and how to remove it.  He had gained enlightenment, the most supreme wisdom and understood things as they truly are, and became the Buddha.,  ‘The Awakened One’.  For the next 45 years, Buddha traveled teaching others how to gain enlightenment for themselves.  He taught of such teachings as The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, and Nirvana. 

At the ripe old age of 80 years old, Buddha knew that it was close to his death.  He received his last meal from a blacksmith who offered him food.  The Buddha is noted to have told his disciples that he is dying of old age, not because of what he ate (food poison).  The Theravada tradition generally believes that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, which is acceptable in Theravada Buddhism as the monks and Buddha would ask others for alms and eat whatever was given.  The Mahayana tradition, however, believes that the Buddha ate some sort of truffle or other mushroom, which is required as they are highly vegetarian.

The Buddha’s final words are reported to have been: “All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.”  At last, Buddha passed on and his body was cremated.  The time of Buddha’s passing is either around 486 B.C.E. according to Theravada tradition or around 383 B.C.E. according to Mahayana traditions.

What is Christianity and Theravada Buddhism?

Maybe I should back up and explain a little more about what is Christianity and what is Theravada Buddhism.  As with any religion, these religions are far more complex than any one person could type in a blog posting.  With differences in each persons belief, it would be impossible to use any one video to explain everything about Christianity and Buddhism.  I am going to offer two videos: one about What is Christian? and one about What is Theravada Buddhism?  Both of these videos are just a brief overview of the two religions, but they should be helpful in understand a piece of each religion.  Please take a look at the videos and post any questions you may have about the religions.  I look forward to explaining my stands on Christian-Buddhism.

Click on the words to go to the YouTube video

What is Christianity?

A visual explanation by “What is” Media about Jesus, God and Religion.

What is Theravada Buddhism?

As explained by a Theravada Monk.


So, How Does Christianity And Buddhism Compare And Differ?

I figured a follow-up question to “What Does It Mean To Be A Christian – Buddhist” would be so, how does Christianity and Buddhism Compare and Differ from one another?  Below, I compiled a few major items.  First are the similarities followed by some differences.

Similarity Between Christianity And Buddhism
The Golden Rule

  • Buddhism – Buddha based his ethics on the Golden Rule, which was for the welfare of all human beings and all with life in it.
  • Christianity – Jesus also preached His ethics on the Golden Rule, which was for the welfare of all people whether Christian (a Christ follower) or a sinner and easily approachable.

Asceticism (Abstaining from Certain Things)

  • Buddhism – Buddha extreme asceticism and gave an emphasis on self-liberation through knowledge.
  • Christianity – Jesus also rejected extreme asceticism.

Forms Of Worship

  • Buddhism : The worship in Buddhism includes monasticism, ringing of bells, bowing, use of incense and rosary, erection of towers or stupas, prayers and meditation.  Though, one must remember that Theravada Buddhists do not worship any Gods or people, including Buddha.
  • Christianity : Christians also follow almost the same forms of worship – Monasticism, Confession, ringing of bells, use of rosary, incense and the erection of towers.  Note that this is found more in the Catholic churches and its branches/schools.

Love And Compassion

  • Buddhism : The Buddhist doctrine gives an emphasis on love for all of humanity and every other beings as well, no matter whether the being is a friend or an enemy, human or animal.
  • Christianity : The Christian doctrine is also based on the principle of ‘Love thy neighbor like unto yourself’, which means that love should be showered upon not only your friends, but also your enemies.

Difference Between Buddhism And Christianity


  • Buddhism – The original Buddhist doctrine does not entail any Godly figures. However, the later Buddhist sects introduced some godly figures.  In Theravada Buddhism, there is no god/gods.
  • Christianity : There is only one triune God (Jesus and the Holy Spirit) who is loving and approachable.


  • Buddhism – According to the Buddhist concept, one has to work for one’s own salvation, and therefore, cannot blame or depend on others for salvation.
  • Christianity – Salvation is not based on one’s work, but instead, is for all those who believe and accept Jesus as their savior.

Eternal Life

  • Buddhism – According to the Buddhist doctrine, there is an eternal life, which depends on the karma of one’s present life.
  • Christianity – There is an eternal life in Heaven, which has nothing to do with karma and comes as a free gift of salvation.

Love And Compassion

  • Buddhism – The concept of Buddhism requires the use of love and compassion to gain good karma.  However, it does not mention a God who showers love and takes care of His people.
  • Christianity – The Bible requires the use of love and compassion.  God loves all people and showers His love from Heaven to all.

The Concept of World

  • Buddhism – Buddhism neither deals with the beginning nor a definite end of the world.
  • Christianity – According to the Christian doctrine, God has created the world from nothing, and rules it according to His own definite plan and one day will send Jesus to Earth again to end the current world and renew it to holiness.

Spiritual Texts

  • Buddhism : The Buddhist texts includes only those insights which the Buddha learned by His own strength and will after comprehending the nature of truth.
  • Christianity : The Bible is regarded as the words of God and includes those realities, which are unknown to humanity.

I would love for my blog followers to propose some questions for me to answer, which will allow me to write about what you want to hear about.  Next week, I will begin talking about my personal Christian-Buddhist beliefs.  So come back next Monday/Tuesday for more…

May God bless you and the Buddha guide you throughout your life…

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