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Buddha And Jesus: A Comparison Essay

2029 words - 9 pages

"...nothing now remains for the honest man to do but acknowledge the truth, which is that the history of Jesus of Nazareth[,] as related in the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations."~T. W. Doane, (Warren)Is it true? Could it be that the founder of the world's largest religion, a major prophet of another major religion, and self-proclaimed Son of God is nothing more than a Jewified compendium of stories about a man from India? Why would anyone think so? This paper is an attempt to point out the similarities and differences of the two religions, which are at first glance but mirror reflections of each other, set ...view middle of the document...

Both births were in unusual places, which the mother of the child had to travel to. Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, many miles from his hometown of Nazareth. Mary laid him in a manger. Buddha was born in a grove of sala trees at which his mother stopped while traveling from her home to her native city (Mitchell 15). Jesus' birth was accompanied by divine signs, such as choirs of angels and a new star. Three magi visited Jesus sometime in his infancy, worshipping him and presenting him with luxurious gifts. Siddhartha's birth was announced by the earth and heavens singing his praises (Mitchell 16). Siddhartha was also visited by a total of one hundred eight brahmins, who were considered the wisest men of India. Instead of worshipping him, they tried to divine his destiny in the world. All of the brahmins except one declared that he would be a great ruler. The other brahmin declared that the boy would become a Buddha (Mitchell 19).It was at this time in their life that the greatest differences between Jesus and Siddhartha began to occur. Joseph and Mary were forced to flee to Egypt in order to save Jesus from the genocide of children ordered by Herod. They were only able to return after Herod's death. The family decided to settle in the town of Nazareth, where Joseph continued his work as a carpenter. Joseph and Mary expanded their family until they eventually had four more sons and several daughters (Vermes 20). During this time, and in stark contrast to Jesus' difficult childhood, Siddhartha grew up in three incredible palaces. These palaces were constructed specially by Siddhartha's father, Suddhodona Gautama, in order that his son become a proper ruler instead of the Buddha. "And so Prince Siddhartha of the house of Gautama increased in stature, well nurtured, protected from the world, and surrounded by an immense retinue in regal splendor" (Mitchell 20).At this time, there comes a lull in the life of both boys. Jesus is mentioned only once in the Bible between his return to Nazareth and the beginning of his teaching. Other sources, not officially accepted by the Christian churches, do tell some about him. Anna, Jesus' grandmother, wrote that he was very generous, giving away fruit he had picked himself and losing races to make his opponent feel better (Gibran 9). Uriah, an old man from Nazareth, wrote: "Do you not remember Him, a boy overweening, who would argue with our learned elders, and laugh at their dignity? And remember not His youth, when He lived by the saw and chisel? He would not accompany our sons and daughters on their holidays. He would walk alone." (Gibran 98). The general consensus is that Jesus was a hard-working and skilled carpenter, who enjoyed solitary time very much. So it seems that his life was fairly uneventful until the age of thirty.Siddhartha also seemed to have a fairly uneventful life until the age of twenty- nine. In his boyhood, he was widely praised for his ability to master all skills without any...

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