A Comparative Study of Buddha and Jesus
The Life of Buddha and Jesus
Buddha was born from the side of a virgin as Queen Maya received a prophetic dream in which she saw the incarnation of the Buddha in her womb. Jesus was born from Virgin Mary and was perceived to be connected with the Holy Spirit.
It was when people showed a feeling of hatred towards Hindu teachings and castes that Buddha came out of anonymity and discovered a new truth. Christ appeared when people suffered from the oppression of religious leaders. However, Christ didn’t discover the truth nor did he seek spiritual preservation from suffering.
Buddha died from eating rotten food when he was 80 years old. He set an example of plain living without any luxury and practiced asceticism. Jesus led an earthly life by eating fish and meat. He died at the young age of 33 years old by being sentenced to death without clear reasons.
Buddhist and Christian Teachings
- The Concept of God
Buddha is not related with God. He claimed what is important is not the existence of God but the liberation from suffering and the attainment of enlightenment. In Buddha’s eyes, it doesn’t matter whether a Buddhist believes in God or not. Buddha did not claim to be an eternal deity. On the contrary, Jesus is believed to be the incarnation of God and he can alleviate all sources of sin.
- The Concept of Humanity
Buddha searched for self-discovery and self-improvement to achieve illumination. Through enlightenment, he sought to relieve the sufferings of all living beings. Christ is perceived to be the wisdom of God and serves for mankind. He was aware of who he is and knew his mission from his birth. Christ believed in active love, objective truth and refused the falsehood of reality, by arguing that life is real.
- The Concept of Heaven and Nirvana
Buddha’s ultimate state was nirvana, a state of nothingness, where suffering, desire, attachment and self-ego are all blown out of existence. Life there is just like a candle in the wind and a drop of water in the sea. Christ purifies one in the heaven by God’s grace. Heaven is a reality in Christian teachings.
- The Concept of Reincarnation
Reincarnation in Buddhism means taking one’s body into the next life. It is a process for Buddhists to extend the time to enter the state of nirvana. But Buddha left myths on afterlife and eternal life. Christ offered some absolute answers of afterlife by teaching personal eternal life.