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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Buddha and Jesus Christ Compared

"The more I learn to know Buddha the more I admire him, and the sooner all mankind shall have been made acquainted with his doctrines the better it will be, for he is certainly one of the heroes of humanity." [Fausböll]
The mythological portions of the histories of Buddha and Jesus are, without doubt, nearer in resemblance than that of any two characters of antiquity. Thecause of this we shall speak of in our chapter on "Why Christianity Prospered," and shall content ourselves for the present by comparing the following analogies:
1. Buddha was born of the Virgin Mary,[289:1] who conceived him without carnal intercourse.[289:2]

1. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, who conceived him without carnal intercourse.[289:3]
2. The incarnation of Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called the "Holy Ghost," upon the Virgin Maya.[289:4]

2. The incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called the "Holy Ghost," upon the Virgin Mary.[289-3]
3. When Buddha descended from the regions of the souls,[290:1] and entered the body of the Virgin Maya, her womb assumed the appearance of clear transparent crystal, in which Buddha appeared, beautiful as a flower.[290:2]

3. When Jesus descended from his heavenly seat, and entered the body of the Virgin Mary, her womb assumed the appearance of clear transparent crystal, in which Jesus appeared beautiful as a flower.[290:3]
4. The birth of Buddha was announced in the heavens by an asterimwhich was seen rising on the horizon. It is called the "Messianic Star."[290:4]

4. The birth of Jesus was announced in the heavens by "his star," which was seen rising on the horizon.[290:5] It might properly be called the "Messianic Star."
5. "The son of the Virgin Maya, on whom, according to the tradition, the 'Holy Ghost' had descended, was said to have been born on Christmas day."[290:6]

5. The Son of the Virgin Mary, on whom, according to the tradition, the 'Holy Ghost' had descended, was said to have been born on Christmas day.[290:7]
6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the birth of Buddha. The Devas[290:8] in heaven and earth sang praises to the "Blessed One," and said: "To day, Bodhisatwa is born on earth, to give joy and peace to men and Devas, to shed light in the dark places, and to give sight to the blind."[290:9]

6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the birth of Jesus. The angels in heaven and earth sang praises to the "Blessed One," saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."[290:10]
7. "Buddha was visited by wise men who recognized in this marvelous infant all the characters of the divinity, and he had scarcely seen the day before he was hailed God of Gods."[290:11]

7. Jesus was visited by wise men who recognized in this marvelous infant all the characters of the divinity, and he had scarcely seen the day before he was hailed God of Gods.[290:12]
8. The infant Buddha was presented with "costly jewels and precious substances."[290:13]

8. The infant Jesus was presented with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[290:14]
9. When Buddha was an infant, just born, he spoke to his mother, and said: "I am the greatest among men."[290:15]

9. When Jesus was an infant in his cradle, he spoke to his mother, and said: "I am Jesus, the Son of God."[290:16]
10. Buddha was a "dangerous child." His life was threatened by King Bimbasara, who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him.[291:1]

10. Jesus was a "dangerous child." His life was threatened by King Herod,[291:2] who attempted to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him.[291:3]
11. When sent to school, the young Buddha surprised his masters. Without having ever studied, he completely worsted all his competitors, not only in writing, but in arithmetic, mathematics, metaphysics, astrology, geometry, &c.[291:4]

11. When sent to school, Jesus surprised his master Zaccheus, who, turning to Joseph, said: "Thou hast brought a boy to me to be taught, who is more learned than any master."[291:5]
12. "When twelve years old the child Buddha is presented in the temple. He explains and asks learned questions; he excels all those who enter into competition with him."[291:6]

12. "And when he was twelve years old, they brought him to (the temple at) Jerusalem . . . . While in the temple among the doctors and elders, and learned men of Israel, he proposed several questions of learning, and also gave them answers."[291:7]
13. Buddha entered a temple, on which occasion forthwith all the statues rose and threw themselves at his feet, in act of worship.[291:8]

13. "And as Jesus was going in by the ensigns, who carried the standards, the tops of them bowed down and worshiped Jesus."[291:9]
14. "The ancestry of Gotama Buddha is traced from his father,Sodhōdana, through various individuals and races, all of royal dignity, toMaha Sammata, the first monarch of the world. Several of the names and some of the events are met with in the Puranas of the Brahmans, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would appear that the Buddhist historians have introduced races, and invented names, that they may invest their venerated Sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of divinity."[292:1]

14. The ancestry of Jesus is traced from his father, Joseph, through various individuals, nearly all of whom were of royal dignity, to Adam, the first monarch of the world. Several of the names, and some of the events, are met with in the sacred Scriptures of the Hebrews, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement with the other; and it would appear that the Christian historians have invented and introduced names, that they may invest their venerated Sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of divinity.[292:2]
15. When Buddha was about to go forth "to adopt a religious life,"Mara[292:3] appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:4]

15. When Jesus was about "beginning to preach," the devil appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:5]
16. Mara said unto Buddha: "Go not forth to adopt a religious life, and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor of the world."[292:6]

16. The devil said to Jesus: If thou wilt fall down and worship me, I will give thee all the kingdoms of the world.[292:7]
17. Buddha would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him: "Get thee away from me."[292:8]

17. Jesus would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him: "Get thee behind me, Satan."[292:9]
18. After Mara had left Buddha, "the skies rained flowers, and delicious odors pervaded the air."[292:10]

18. After the devil had left Jesus, "angels came and ministered unto him."[292:11]
19. Buddha fasted for a long period.[292:12]

19. Jesus fasted forty days and nights.[292:13]
20. Buddha, the Saviour, was baptized, and at this recorded water baptism the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest God, but also the "Holy Ghost," through whom the incarnation of Gautama Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of that Divine power upon the Virgin Maya.[292:14]

20. Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, at which time the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest God, but also the "Holy Ghost," through whom the incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought about, by the descent of that Divine power upon the Virgin Mary.[292:15]
21. "On one occasion toward the end of his life on earth, Gautama Buddha is reported to have been transfigured. When on a mountain in Ceylon, suddenly a flame of light descended upon him and encircled the crown of his head with a circle of light. The mount is called Pandava, or yellow-white color. It is said that 'the glory of his person shone forth with double power,' that his body was 'glorious as a bright golden image,' that he 'shone as the brightness of the sun and moon,' that bystanders expressed their opinion, that he could not be 'an every-day person,' or 'a mortal man,' and that his body was divided into three[293:1] parts, from each of which a ray of light issued forth."[293:2]

21. On one occasion during his career on earth, Jesus is reported to have been transfigured: "Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment as white as the light."[292:16]
22. "Buddha performed great miracles for the good of mankind, and the legends concerning him are full of the greatest prodigies and wonders."[293:3]

22. Jesus performed great miracles for the good of the mankind, and the legends concerning him are full of the greatest prodigies and wonders.[293:4]
23. By prayers in the name of Buddha, his followers expect to receive the rewards of paradise.[293:5]

23. By prayers in the name of Jesus, his followers expect to receive the rewards of paradise.
24. When Buddha died and was buried, "the coverings of the body unrolled themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by supernatural powers."[293:6]

24. When Jesus died and was buried, the coverings of the body were unrolled from off him, and his tomb was opened by supernatural powers.[293:7]
25. Buddha ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his mission on earth was fulfilled.[293:8]

25. Jesus ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his mission on earth was fulfilled.[293:9]
26. Buddha is to come upon the earth again in the latter days, his mission being to restore the world to order and happiness.[293:10]

26. Jesus is to come upon the earth again in the latter days, his mission being to restore the world to order and happiness.[293:11]
27. Buddha is to be judge of the dead.[293:12]

27. Jesus is to be judge of the dead.[293:13]
28. Buddha is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end, "the Supreme Being, the Eternal One."[293:14]

28. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end,[293:15] "the Supreme Being, the Eternal One."[293:16]
29. Buddha is represented as saying: "Let all the sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered."[293:17]

29. Jesus is represented as the Saviour of mankind, and all the sins that are committed in this world may fall on him, that the world may be delivered.[293:18]
30. Buddha said: "Hide your good deeds, and confess before the world the sins you have committed."[293:19]

30. Jesus taught men to hide their good deeds,[293:20] and confess before the world the sins they had committed.[293:21]
31. "Buddha was described as a superhuman organ of light, to whom a superhuman organ of darkness, Mara or Naga, the Evil Serpent, was opposed."[294:1]

31. Jesus was described as a superhuman organ of light—"the Sun of Righteousness"[294:2]—opposed by "the old Serpent," the Satan, hinderer, or adversary.[294:3]
32. Buddha came, not to destroy, but to fulfill, the law. He delighted in "representing himself as a mere link in a long chain of enlightened teachers."[294:4]

32. Jesus said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."[294:5]
33. "One day Ananda, the disciple of Buddha, after a long walk in the country, meets with Mâtangî, a woman of the low caste of the Kândâlas, near a well, and asks her for some water. She tells him what she is, and that she must not come near him. But he replies, 'My sister, I ask not for thy caste or thy family, I ask only for a draught of water.' She afterwards became a disciple of Buddha."[294:6]

33. One day Jesus, after a long walk, cometh to the city of Samaria, and being wearied with his journey, sat on a well. While there, a woman of Samaria came to draw water, and Jesus said unto her: "give me to drink." "Then said the woman unto him: How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."[294:7]
34. "According to Buddha, the motive of all our actions should be pity orlove for our neighbor."[294:8]

34. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."[294:9]
35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, "Buddha went to the city of Benares, and there delivered a discourse, by which Kondanya, and afterwards four others, were induced to become his disciples. From that period, whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced his doctrines."[294:10]

35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, Jesus went to the city of Capernaum, and there delivered a discourse. It was at this time thatfour fishermen were induced to become his disciples.[294:11] From that period, whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced his doctrines.[294:12]
36. Those who became disciples of Buddha were told that they must "renounce the world," give up all their riches, and avow poverty.[294:13]

36. Those who became disciples of Jesus were told that they must renounce the world, give up all their riches, and avow poverty.[294:14]
37. It is recorded in the "Sacred Canon" of the Buddhists that the multitudes "required a sign" from Buddha "that they might believe."[295:1]

37. It is recorded in the "Sacred Canon" of the Christians that the multitudes required a sign from Jesus that they might believe.[295:2]
38. When Buddha's time on earth was about coming to a close, he, "foreseeing the things that would happen in future times," said to his disciple Ananda: "Ananda, when I am gone, you must not think there is no Buddha; the discourses I have delivered, and the precepts I have enjoined, must be my successors, or representatives, and be to you as Buddha."[295:3]

38. When Jesus' time on earth was about coming to a close, he told of the things that would happen in future times,[295:4] and said unto his disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."[295:5]
39. In the Buddhist Somadeva, is to be found the following: "To give away our riches is considered the most difficult virtue in the world; he who gives away his riches is like a man who gives away his life: for our very life seems to cling to our riches. But Buddha, when his mind was moved by pity, gave his life like grass, for the sake of others; why should we think of miserable riches! By this exalted virtue, Buddha, when he was freed from all desires, and had obtained divine knowledge, attained unto Buddhahood. Therefore let a wise man, after he has turned away his desires from all pleasures, do good to all beings, even unto sacrificing his own life, that thus he may attain to true knowledge."[295:6]

39. "And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? . . . Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."[295:7] "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."[295:8]
40. Buddha's aim was to establish a "Religious Kingdom," a "Kingdom of Heaven."[296:1]

40. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for theKingdom of Heaven is at hand."[296:2]
41. Buddha said: "I now desire to turn the wheel of the excellent law.[296:3]For this purpose am I going to the city of Benares,[296:4] to give light to those enshrouded in darkness, and to open the gate of Immortality to man."[296:5]

41. Jesus, after his temptation by the devil, began to establish the dominion of his religion, and he went for this purpose to the city of Capernaum. "The people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up."[296:6]
42. Buddha said: "Though the heavens were to fall to earth, and the great world be swallowed up and pass away: Though Mount Sumera were to crack to pieces, and the great ocean be dried up, yet, Ananda, be assured, the words of Buddha are true."[296:7]

42. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."[296:8]

"Verily I say unto you . . . heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."[296:9]
43. Buddha said: "There is no passion more violent than voluptuousness. Happily there is but one such passion. If there were two, not a man in the whole universe could follow the truth." "Beware of fixing your eyes upon women. If you find yourself in their company, let it be as though you were not present. If you speak with them, guard well your hearts."[296:10]

43. Jesus said: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time. Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."[296:11]
44. Buddha said: "A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. One who is not able to live in a state of celibacy should not commit adultery."[297:1]

44. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman," "but if they cannot contain let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn." "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband."[297:2]
45. "Buddhism is convinced that if a man reaps sorrow, disappointment, pain, he himself, and no other, must at some time have sown folly, error, sin; and if not in this life then in some former birth."[297:3]

45. "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind."[297:4]
46. Buddha knew the thoughts of others: "By directing his mind to the thoughts of others, he can know the thoughts of all beings."[297:5]

46. Jesus knew the thoughts of others. By directing his mind to the thoughts of others, he knew the thoughts of all beings.[297:6]
47. In the Somadeva a story is related of a Buddhist ascetic whose eye offended him, he therefore plucked it out, and cast it away.[297:7]

47. It is related in the New Testament that Jesus said: "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee."[297:8]
48. When Buddha was about to become an ascetic, and when riding on the horse "Kantako," his path was strewn with flowers, thrown there by Devas.[297:9]

48. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem, riding on an ass, his path was strewn with palm branches, thrown there by the multitude.[297:10]
Never were devotees of any creed or faith as fast bound in its thraldom as are the disciples of Gautama Buddha. For nearly two thousand four hundred years it has been the established religion of Burmah, Siam, Laos, Pega, Cambodia, Thibet, Japan, Tartary, Ceylon and Loo-Choo, and many neighboring islands, beside about two-thirds of China and a large portion of Siberia; and at the present day no inconsiderable number of the simple peasantry of Swedish Lapland are found among its firm adherents.[297:11]
Well authenticated records establish indisputably the facts, that together with a noble physique, superior mental endowments, and high moral excellence, there were found in Buddha a purity of life, sanctity of character, and simple integrity of purpose, that commended themselves to all brought under his influence. Even at this distant day, one cannot listen with tearless eyes to the touching details of his pure, earnest life, and patient endurance under contradiction, often fierce persecution for those he sought to benefit. Altogether he seems to have been one of those remarkable examples, of genius and virtue occasionally met with, unaccountably superior to the age and nation that produced them.
There is no reason to believe that he ever arrogated to himself any higher authority than that of a teacher of religion, but, as in modern factions, there were readily found among his followers those who carried his peculiar tenets much further than their founder. These, not content with lauding during his life-time the noble deeds of their teacher, exalted him, within a quarter of a century after his death, to a place among their deities—worshiping as a God one they had known only as a simple-hearted, earnest, truth-seeking philanthropist.[298:1]
This worship was at first but the natural upgushing of the veneration and love Gautama had inspired during his noble life, and his sorrowing disciples, mourning over the desolation his death had occasioned, turned for consolation to the theory that he still lived.
Those who had known him in life cherished his name as the very synonym of all that was generous and good, and it required but a step to exalt him to divine honors; and so it was that Gautama Buddha became a God, and continues to be worshiped as such.
For more than forty years Gautama thus dwelt among his followers, instructing them daily in the sacred law, and laying down many rules for their guidance when he should be no longer with them.[299:1]
He lived in a style the most simple and unostentatious, bore uncomplainingly the weariness and privations incident to the many long journeys made for the propagation of the new faith; and performed countless deeds of love and mercy.
"When the time came for him to be perfected, he directed his followers no longer to remain together, but to go out in companies, and proclaim the doctrines he had taught them, found schools and monasteries, build temples, and perform acts of charity, that they might 'obtain merit,' and gain access to the blessed shade of Nigban, which he told them he was about to enter, and where they believe he has now reposed more than two thousand years."
To the pious Buddhist it seems irreverent to speak of Gautama by his mere ordinary and human name, and he makes use therefore, of one of those numerous epithets which are used only of the Buddha, "the Enlightened One." Such are Sakya-sinha, "the Lion of the Tribe of Sakya;" Sakya-muni, "the Sakya Sage;" Sugata, "the Happy One;" Sattha, "the Teacher;" Jina, "the Conqueror;" Bhagavad, "the Blessed One;" Loka-natha, "the Lord of the World;"Sarvajna, "the Omniscient One;" Dharma-raja, "the King of Righteousness;" he is also called "the Author of Happiness," "the Possessor of All," "the Supreme Being," "the Eternal One," "the Dispeller of Pain and Trouble," "the Guardian of the Universe," "the Emblem of Mercy," "the Saviour of the World," "the Great Physician," "the God among Gods," "the Anointed" or "the Christ," "the Messiah," "the Only-Begotten," "the Heaven-Descended Mortal," "the Way of Life, and of Immortality," &c.[299:2]
At no time did Buddha receive his knowledge from a human source, that is, from flesh and blood. His source was the power of his divine wisdom, the spiritual power of Maya, which he already possessed before his incarnation. It was by this divine power, which is also called the "Holy Ghost," that he became the Saviour, the Kung-teng, the Anointed or Messiah, to whom prophecies had pointed. Buddha was regarded as the supernatural light of the world; and this world to which he came was his own, his possession, for he is styled: "The Lord of the World."[300:1]
"Gautama Buddha taught that all men are brothers;[300:2] that charity ought to be extended to all, even to enemies; that men ought to love truth and hate the lie; that good works ought not be done openly, but rather in secret; that the dangers of riches are to be avoided; that man's highest aim ought to be purity in thought, word and deed, since the higher beings are pure, whose nature is akin to that of man."[300:3]
"Sakya-Muni healed the sick, performed miracles and taught his doctrines to the poor. He selected his first disciples among laymen, and even two women, the mother and wife of his first convert, the sick Yasa, became his followers. He subjected himself to the religious obligations imposed by the recognized authorities, avoided strife, and illustrated his doctrines by his life."[300:4]
It is said that eighty thousand followers of Buddha went forth from Hindostan, as missionaries to other lands; and the traditions of various countries are full of legends concerning their benevolence, holiness, and miraculous power. His religion has never been propagated by the sword. It has been effected entirely by the influence of peaceable and persevering devotees.[300:5] The era of the Siamese is the death of Buddha. In Ceylon, they date from the introduction of his religion into their island. It is supposed to be more extensively adopted than any religion that ever existed. Its votaries are computed at four hundred millions; more than one-third of the whole human race.[300:6]
There is much contradiction among writers concerning the date of the Buddhist religion. This confusion arises from the fact that there are several Buddhas,[301:1] objects of worship; because the word is not a name, but a title, signifying an extraordinary degree of holiness. Those who have examined the subject most deeply have generally agreed that Buddha Sakai, from whom the religion takes its name, must have been a real, historical personage, who appeared many centuries before the time assigned for the birth of Christ Jesus.[301:2] There are many things to confirm this supposition. In some portions of India, his religion appears to have flourished for a long time side by side with that of the Brahmans. This is shown by the existence of many ancient temples, some of them cut in subterranean rock, with an immensity of labor, which it must have required a long period to accomplish. In those old temples, his statues represent him with hair knotted all over his head, which was a very ancient custom with the anchorites of Hindostan, before the practice of shaving the headwas introduced among their devotees.[301:3] His religion is also mentioned in one of the very ancient epic poems of India. The severity of the persecution indicates that their numbers and influence had became formidable to the Brahmans, who had everything to fear from a sect which abolished hereditary priesthood, and allowed the holy of all castes to become teachers.[301:4]
It may be observed that in speaking of the pre-existence of Buddha in heaven—his birth of a virgin—the songs of the angels at his birth—his recognition as a divine child—his disputation with the doctors—his temptation in the wilderness—his transfiguration on the Mount—his life of preaching and working miracles—and finally, his ascension into heaven, we referred to Prof. Samuel Beal's "History of Buddha," as one of our authorities. This work is simply a translation of the "Fo-pen-hing," made by Professor Beal from a Chinese copy, in the "Indian Office Library."
Now, in regard to the antiquity of this work, we will quote the words of the translator in speaking on this subject.
First, he says:
"We know that the Fo-pen-hing was translated into Chinese from Sanscrit (the ancient language of Hindostan) so early as the eleventh year of the reign of Wing-ping (Ming-ti), of the Han dynasty, i. e., 69 or 70 A. D. We may, therefore, safely suppose that the original work was in circulation in India for some time previous to this date."[302:1]
Again, he says:
"There can be no doubt that the present work (i. e. the Fo-pen-hing, or Hist. of Buddha) contains as a woof (so to speak) some of the earliest verses (Gâthas) in which the History of Buddha was sung, long before the work itself was penned.
"These Gâthas were evidently composed in different Prakrit forms (during a period of disintegration) before the more modern type of Sanscrit was fixed by the rules of Panini, and the popular epics of the Mâhabharata and the Ramâyana."[302:2]
Again, in speaking of the points of resemblance in the history of Buddha and Jesus, he says:
"These points of agreement with the Gospel narrative naturally arouse curiosity and require explanation. If we could prove that they (the legends related of Buddha) were unknown in the East for some centuries after Christ, the explanation would be easy. But all the evidence we have goes to prove the contrary.
"It would be a natural inference that many of the events in the legend of Buddha were borrowed from the Apocryphal Gospels, if we were quite certain that these Apocryphal Gospels had not borrowed from it. How then may we explain the matter? It would be better at once to say that in our present state of knowledge there is no complete explanation to offer."[302:3]
There certainly is no "complete explanation" to be offered by one who attempts to uphold the historical accuracy of the New Testament. The "Devil" and "Type" theories having vanished, like all theories built on sand, 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. Ernest de Bunsen almost acknowledges this when he says:
"With the remarkable exception of the death of Jesus on the cross, and of the doctrine of atonement by vicarious suffering, which is absolutely excluded by Buddhism, the most ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha which correspond in a remarkable manner, and impossibly by mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels about the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ. It is still more strange that these Buddhistic legends about Gautama as the Angel-Messiah refer to a doctrine which we find only in the Epistles of Paul and in the fourth Gospel. This can be explained by the assumption of a common source of revelation; but then the serious question must be considered, why the doctrine of the Angel-Messiah, supposing it to have been revealed, and which we find in the East and in the West, is not contained in any of the Scriptures of the Old Testament which can possibly have been written before the Babylonian Captivity, nor in the first three Gospels.Can the systematic keeping-back of essential truth be attributed to God or to man?"[303:1]
Beside the work referred to above as being translated by Prof. Beal, there is another copy originally composed in verse. This was translated by the learned Fonceau, who gives it an antiquity of two thousand years, "although the original treatise must be attributed to an earlier date."[303:2]
In regard to the teachings of Buddha, which correspond so strikingly with those of Jesus, Prof. Rhys Davids, says:
"With regard to Gautama's teaching we have more reliable authority than we have with regard to his life. It is true that none of the books of the Three Pitakas can at present be satisfactorily traced back before the Council of Asoka, held at Patna, about 250 B. C., that is to say, at least one hundred and thirty years after the death of the teacher; but they undoubtedly contain a great deal of much older matter."[303:3]
Prof. Max Müller says:
"Between the language of Buddha and his disciples, and the language of Christ and his apostles, there are strange coincidences. Even some of the Buddhist legends and parables sound as if taken from the New Testament; though we know that many of them existed before the beginning of the Christian Era."[303:4]
Just as many of the myths related of the Hindoo Saviour Crishna were previously current regarding some of the Vedic gods, so likewise, many of the mythspreviously current regarding the god Sumana, worshiped both on Adam's peak, and at the cave of Dambulla, were added to the Buddha myth.[303:5] Much of the legend which was transferred to the Buddha, had previously existed, and had clustered around the idea of a Chakrawarti.[303:6] Thus we see that the legend of Christ Buddha, as with the legend of Christ Jesus, existed before his time.[303:7]
We have established the fact then—and no man can produce better authorities—that Buddha and Buddhism, which correspond in such a remarkable manner with Jesus and Christianity, were long anterior to the Christian era. Now, as Ernest de Bunsen says, this remarkable similarity in the histories of the founders and their religion, could not possibly happen by chance.
Whenever two religious or legendary histories of mythological personages resemble each other so completely as do the histories and teachings of Buddha and Jesus, the older must be the parent, and the younger the child. We must therefore conclude that, since the history of Buddha and Buddhism is very much older than that of Jesus and Christianity, the Christians are incontestably either sectarians or plagiarists of the religion of the Buddhists.

FOOTNOTES:
[289:1]Maya, and Mary, as we have already seen, are one and the same name.
[289:2]See chap. xii. Buddha is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu, although he preached against the doctrines of the Brahmans. The adoption of Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu was really owning to the desire of the Brahmans to effect a compromise with Buddhism. (See Williams' Hinduism, pp. 82 and 108.)
"Buddha was brought forth not from the matrix, but from the right side, of a virgin." (De Guignes: Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 224.)
"Some of the (Christian) heretics maintained that Christ was born from the side of his mother." (Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 157.)
"In the eyes of the Buddhists, this personage is sometimes a man and sometimes a god, or rather both one and the other, a divine incarnation, a man-god; who came into the world to enlighten men, to redeem them, and to indicate to them the way of safety. This idea of redemption by a divine incarnation is so general and popular among the Buddhists, that during our travels in Upper Asia, we everywhere found it expressed in a neat formula. If we addressed to a Mongol or Thibetan the question, 'Who is Buddha?' he would immediately reply, 'The Saviour of Men.'" (M. L'Abbé Huc: Travels, vol. i. p. 326.)
"The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in Christianity." (Ibid. p. 327.)
"He in mercy left paradise, and came down to earth because he was filled with compassion for the sins and misery of mankind. He sought to lead them into better paths, and took their sufferings upon himself, that he might expiate their crimes, and mitigate the punishment they must otherwise inevitably undergo." (L. Maria Child.)
[289:3]Matt. ch. i.
[289:4]See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, pp. 10, 25 and 44. Also, ch. xiii. this work.
[290:1]"As a spirit in the fourth heaven he resolves to give up all that glory in order to be born in the world for the purpose of rescuing all men from their misery and every future consequence of it: he vows to deliver all men who are left as it were without a Saviour." (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 20.)
[290:2]See King's Gnostics, p. 168, and Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 144.
[290:3]See chap. xii. note 2, page 117.
"On a painted glass of the sixteenth century, found in the church of Jouy, a little village in France, the Virgin is represented standing, her hands clasped in prayer, and the naked body of the child in the same attitude appears upon her stomach, apparently supposed to be seen through the garments and body of the mother. M. Drydon saw at Lyons a Salutation painted on shutters, in which the two infants (Jesus and John) likewise depicted on their mothers' stomachs, were also saluting each other. This precisely corresponds to Buddhist accounts of the Boddhisattvas ante-natal proceedings." (Viscount Amberly: Analysis of Relig. Belief, p. 224, note.)
[290:4]See chap. xiii.
[290:5]Matt. ii. 1, 2.
[290:6]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. x.
[290:7]We show, in our chapter on "The Birth-Day of Christ Jesus," that this was not the case. This day was adopted by his followers long after his death.
[290:8]"Devas," i. e., angels.
[290:10]Luke, ii. 13, 14.
[290:12]Matt. ii. 1-11.
[290:14]Matt. ii. 11.
[290:15]See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, pp. 145, 146.
[290:16]Gospel of Infancy, Apoc., i. 3. No sooner was Apollo born than he spoke to his virgin-mother, declaring that he should teach to men the councils of his heavenly father Zeus. (See Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 22.) Hermes spoke to his mother as soon as he was born, and, according to Jewish tradition, so did Moses. (See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 145.)
[291:1]See Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp. 103, 104.
[291:2]See Matt. ii. 1.
[291:3]That is, provided he was the expected Messiah, who was to be a mighty prince and warrior, and who was to rule his people Israel.
[291:4]See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism; Bunsen's Angel-Messiah; Beal's Hist. Buddha, and other works on Buddhism.
This was a common myth. For instance: A Brahman called Dashthaka, a "heaven descended mortal," after his birth, without any human instruction whatever, was able thoroughly to explain the four Vedas, the collective body of the sacred writings of the Hindoos, which were considered as directly revealed by Brahma. (See Beal's Hist. Buddha, p. 48.)
Confucius, the miraculous-born Chinese sage, was a wonderful child. At the age of seven he went to a public school, the superior of which was a person of eminent wisdom and piety. The faculty with which Confucius imbibed the lessons of his master, the ascendency which he acquired amongst his fellow pupils, and the superiority of his genius and capacity, raised universal admiration. He appeared to acquire knowledge intuitively, and his mother found it superfluous to teach him what "heaven had already engraven upon his heart." (See Thornton's Hist. China, vol. i. p. 153.)
[291:5]See Infancy, Apoc., xx. 11, and Luke, ii. 46, 47.
[291:6]See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp. 67-69.
[291:7]See Infancy, Apoc., xxi. 1, 2, and Luke, ii. 41-48.
[291:8]See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Bud. 67-69.
[291:9]Nicodemus, Apoc., ch. i. 20.
[292:1]R. Spence Hardy, in Manual of Buddhism.
[292:3]"Mara" is the "Author of Evil," the "King of Death," the "God of the World of Pleasure," &c., i. e., the Devil. (See Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 36.)
[292:5]Matt. iv. 1-18.
[292:7]Matt. iv. 8-19.
[292:9]Luke, iv. 8.
[292:11]Matt. iv. 11.
[292:13]Matt. iv. 2.
[292:14]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.
[292:15]Matt. iii. 13-17.
[292:16]Matt. xvii. 1, 2.
[293:1]This has evidently an allusion to the Trinity. Buddha, as an incarnation of Vishnu, would be one god and yet three, three gods and yet one. (See the chapter on the Trinity.)
[293:2]See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 45, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 177.
Iamblichus, the great Neo-Platonic mystic, was at one time transfigured. According to the report of his servants, while in prayer to the gods, his body and clothes were changed to a beautiful gold color, but after he ceased from prayer, his body became as before. He then returned to the society of his followers. (Primitive Culture, i. 136, 137.)
[293:4]See that recorded in Matt. viii. 28-34.
[293:6]Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 49.
[293:7]See Matt. xxviii. John, xx.
[293:9]See Acts, i. 9-12.
[293:13]Matt. xvi. 27; John, v. 22.
[293:14]"Buddha, the Angel-Messiah, was regarded as the divinely chosen and incarnate messenger, the vicar of God, and God himself on earth." (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 33. See also, our chap. xxvi.)
[293:15]Rev. i. 8; xxii. 13.
[293:16]John, i. 1. Titus, ii. 13. Romans, ix. 5. Acts, vii. 59, 60.
[293:17]Müller: Hist. Sanscrit Literature, p. 80.
[293:18]This is according to Christian dogma:
"Jesus paid it all,All to him is due,Nothing, either great or small,Remains for me to do."
[293:19]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 28.
[293:20]"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven." (Matt. vi. 1.)
[293:21]"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." (James, v. 16.)
[294:1]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp. x. and 39.
[294:2]"That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John, i. 9.)
[294:3]Matt. iv. 1; Mark, i. 13; Luke, iv. 2.
[294:4]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 140.
[294:5]Matt. v. 17.
[294:6]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 243. See also, Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, pp. 47, 48, and Amberly's Analysis, p. 285.
[294:7]John, iv. 1-11.
Just as the Samaritan woman wondered that Jesus, a Jew, should ask drink of her, one of a nation with whom the Jews had no dealings, so this young Matangi warned Ananda of her caste, which rendered it unlawful for her to approach a monk. And as Jesus continued, nevertheless, to converse with the woman, so Ananda did not shrink from this outcast damsel. And as the disciples "marvelled" that Jesus should have conversed with this member of a despised race, so the respectable Brahmans and householders who adhered to Brahmanism were scandalized to learn that the young Matangi had been admitted to the order of mendicants.
[294:8]Müller: Religion of Science, p. 249.
[294:9]Matt. v. 44.
[294:10]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 6.
[294:11]See Matt. iv. 13-25.
[294:12]"And there followed him great multitudes of people." (Matt. iv. 25.)
[294:13]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, pp. 6 and 62 et seq.
While at Rajageiha Buddha called together his followers and addressed them at some length on the means requisite for Buddhist salvation. This sermon was summed up in the celebrated verse:
"To cease from all sin,To get virtue,To cleanse one's own heart—This is the religion of the Buddhas."
(Rhys David's Buddha, p. 62.)
[294:14]See Matt. viii. 19, 20; xvi. 25-28.
[295:1]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 27.
[295:2]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 230.
"Gautama Buddha is said to have announced to his disciples that the time of his departure had come: 'Arise, let us go hence, my time is come.' Turned toward the East and with folded arms he prayed to the highest spirit who inhabits the region of purest light, to Maha-Brahma, to the king in heaven, to Devaraja, who from his throne looked down on Gautama, and appeared to him in a self-chosen personality." (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah. Compare with Matt. xxvi. 36-47.)
[295:3]"Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee." (Matt. xii. 38.)
[295:4]See Matt. xxiv; Mark, viii. 31; Luke, ix. 18.
[295:5]Mark, xxviii. 18-20.
Buddha at one time said to his disciples: "Go ye now, and preach the most excellent law, expounding every point thereof, and unfolding it with care and attention in all its bearings and particulars. Explain the beginning, the middle, and the end of the law, to all men without exception; let everything respecting it be made publicly known and brought to the broad daylight." (Rhys David's Buddhism, p. 55, 56.)
When Buddha, just before his death, took his last formal farewell of his assembled followers, he said unto them: "Oh mendicants, thoroughly learn, and practice, and perfect, and spread abroad the law thought out and revealed by me, in order that this religion of mine may last long, and be perpetuated for the good and happiness of the great multitudes, out of pity for the world, to the advantage and prosperity of gods and men." (Ibid. p. 172.)
[295:6]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 244.
[295:7]Matt. xix. 16-21.
[295:8]Matt. vi. 19, 20.
[296:1]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. x, note.
[296:2]Matt. iv. 17.
[296:3]i. e., to establish the dominion of religion. (See Beal: p. 244, note.)
[296:4]The Jerusalem, the Rome, or the Mecca of India.
This celebrated city of Benares, which has a population of 200,000, out of which at least 25,000 are Brahmans, was probably one of the first to acquire a fame for sanctity, and it has always maintained its reputation as the most sacred spot in all India. Here, in this fortress of Hindooism, Brahmanism displays itself in all its plentitude and power. Here the degrading effect of idolatry is visibly demonstrated as it is nowhere else except in the extreme south of India. Here, temples, idols, and symbols, sacred wells, springs, and pools, are multiplied beyond all calculation. Here every particle of ground is believed to be hallowed, and the very air holy. The number of temples is at least two thousand, not counting innumerable smaller shrines. In the principal temple of Siva, called Visvesvara, are collected in one spot several thousand idols and symbols, the whole number scattered throughout the city, being, it is thought, at least half a million.
Benares, indeed, must always be regarded as the Hindoo's Jerusalem. The desire of a pious man's life is to accomplish at least one pilgrimage to what he regards as a portion of heaven let down upon earth; and if he can die within the holy circuit of the Pancakosi stretching with a radius of ten miles around the city—nay, if any human being die there, be he Asiatic or European—no previously incurred guilt, however heinous, can prevent his attainment of celestial bliss.
[296:5]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 245.
[296:6]Matt. iv. 13-17.
[296:7]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 11.
[296:8]John, i. 17.
[296:9]Luke, xxi. 32, 33.
[296:10]Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 228.
[296:11]Matt. v. 27, 28.
On one occasion Buddha preached a sermon on the five senses and the heart (which he regarded as a sixth organ of sense), which pertained to guarding against the passion of lust. Rhys Davids, who, in speaking of this sermon, says: "One may pause and wonder at finding such a sermon preached so early in the history of the world—more than 400 years before the rise of Christianity—and among a people who have long been thought peculiarly idolatrous and sensual." (Buddhism, p. 60.)
[297:1]Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 138.
[297:2]I. Corinth. vii. 1-7.
[297:3]Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 103.
[297:4]John, ix. 1, 2.
This is the doctrine of transmigration clearly taught. If this man was born blind, as punishment for some sin committed by him, this sin must have been committed in some former birth.
[297:5]Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 181.
[297:6]See the story of his conversation with the woman of Samaria. (John, iv. 1.) And with the woman who was cured of the "bloody issue." (Matt. ix. 20.)
[297:7]Müller: Science of Religion, p. 245.
[297:8]Matt. v. 29.
[297:9]Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 134.
[297:10]Matt. xxi. 1-9.
Bacchus rode in a triumphal procession, on approaching the city of Thebes. "Pantheus, the king, who had no respect for the new worship (instituted by Bacchus) forbade its rites to be performed. But when it was known that Bacchus was advancing, men and women, but chiefly the latter, young and old, poured forth to meet him and to join his triumphal march. . . . It was in vain Pantheus remonstrated, commanded and threatened. 'Go,' said he to his attendants, 'seize this vagabond leader of the rout and bring him to me. I will soon make him confess his false claim of heavenly parentage and renounce his counterfeit worship.'" (Bulfinch: Age of Fable, p. 222. Compare with Matt. xxvi.; Luke, xxii.; John xviii.)
[297:11]"There are few names among the men of the West that stand forth as saliently as Gotama Buddha, in the annals of the East. In little more than two centuries from his decease the system he established had spread throughout the whole of India, overcoming opposition the most formidable, and binding together the most discordant elements; and at the present moment Buddhism is the prevailing religion, under various modifications, of Tibet, Nepal, Siam, Burma, Japan, and South Ceylon; and in China it has a position of at least equal prominence with its two great rivals, Confucianism and Taouism. A long time its influence extended throughout nearly three-fourths of Asia; from the steppes of Tartary to the palm groves of Ceylon, and from the vale of Cashmere to the isles of Japan." (R. Spence Hardy: Buddhist Leg. p. xi.)
[298:1]"Gautama was very early regarded as omniscient, and absolutely sinless. His perfect wisdom is declared by the ancient epithet ofSamma-sambuddha, 'the Completely Enlightened One;' found at the commencement of every Pali text; and at the present day, in Ceylon, the usual way in which Gautama is styled is Sarwajnan-wahanse,' the Venerable Omniscient One.' From his perfect wisdom, according to Buddhist belief, his sinlessness would follow as a matter of course. He was the first and the greatest of the Arahats. As a consequence of this doctrine the belief soon sprang up that he could not have been, that he was not, born as ordinary men are; that he had no earthly father; that he descended of his own accord into his mother's womb from his throne in heaven; and that he gave unmistakable signs, immediately after his birth of his high character and of his future greatness." (Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 162.)
[299:1]Gautama Buddha left behind him no written works, but the Buddhists believe that he composed works which his immediate disciples learned by heart in his life-time, and which were handed down by memory in their original state until they were committed to writing. This is not impossible: it is known that the Vedas were handed down in this manner for many hundreds of years, and none would now dispute the enormous powers of memory to which Indian priests and monks attained, when written books were not invented, or only used as helps to memory. Even though they are well acquainted with writing, the monks in Ceylon do not use books in their religions services, but, repeat, for instance, the whole of the Patimokkha on Uposatha (Sabbath) days by heart. (See Rhys Davids' Buddhism, pp. 9, 10.)
[299:2]Compare this with the names, titles, and characters given to Jesus. He is called the "Deliverer," (Acts, vii. 35); the "First Begotten" (Rev. i. 5); "God blessed forever" (Rom. ix. 5); the "Holy One" (Luke, iv. 34; Acts, iii. 14); the "King Everlasting" (Luke, i. 33); "King of Kings" (Rev. xvii. 14); "Lamb of God" (John, i. 29, 36); "Lord of Glory" (I. Cor. ii. 8); "Lord of Lords" (Rev. xvii. 14); "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. v. 5); "Maker and Preserver of all things" (John, i. 3, 10; I. Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 16); "Prince of Peace" (Isai. ix. 6); "Redeemer," "Saviour," "Mediator," "Word," &c., &c.
[300:1]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 41.
[300:2]"He joined to his gifts as a thinker a prophetic ardor and missionary zeal which prompted him to popularize his doctrine, and to preach to all without exception, men and women, high and low, ignorant and learned alike." (Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 53.)
[300:3]Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.
[300:4]Ibid. p. 46.
[300:5]"The success of Buddhism was in great part due to the reverence the Buddha inspired by his own personal character. He practiced honestly what he preached enthusiastically. He was sincere, energetic, earnest, self-sacrificing, and devout. Adherents gathered in thousands around the person of the consistent preacher, and the Buddha himself became the real centre of Buddhism." (Williams' Hinduism, p. 102.)
[300:6]"It may be said to be the prevailing religion of the world. Its adherents are estimated at four hundred millions, more than a third of the human race." (Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Buddhism." See also, Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 251.)
[301:1]It should be understood that the Buddha of this chapter, and in fact, the Buddha of this work, is Gautama Buddha, the Sakya Prince. According to Buddhist belief there have been many different Buddhas on earth. The names of twenty-four of the Buddhas who appeared previous to Gautama have been handed down to us. The Buddhavansa or "History of the Buddhas," gives the lives of all the previous Buddhas before commencing the account of Gautama himself. (See Rhys Davids' Buddhism, pp. 179, 180.)
[301:2]"The date usually fixed for Buddha's death is 543 B. C. Whether this precise year for one of the greatest epochs in the religious history of the human race can be accepted is doubtful, but it is tolerably certain that Buddhism arose in Behar and Eastern Hindustan about five centuries B. C.; and that it spread with great rapidity, not by force of arms, or coercion of any kind, like Muhammedanism, but by the sheer persuasiveness of its doctrine." (Monier Williams' Hinduism, p. 72.)
[301:3]"Of the high antiquity of Buddhism there is much collateral as well as direct evidence—evidence that neither internecine nor foreign strife, not even religious persecution, has been able to destroy. . . . Witness the gigantic images in the caves of Elephanta, near Bombay and those of Lingi Sara, in the interior of Java, all of which are known to have been in existence at least four centuries prior to our Lord's advent." (The Mammoth Religion.)
[301:4]Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 250.
[302:1]Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. vi.
[302:2]Ibid. pp. x. and xi.
[302:3]Ibid. pp. vii., ix. and note.
[303:1]Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 50.
[303:2]Quoted by Prof. Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. viii.
[303:3]Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 86.
[303:4]Science of Religion, p. 243.
[303:5]Rhys Davids' Buddhism.
[303:6]Ibid. p. 184.                          
"It is surprising," says Rhys Davids, "that, like Romans worshiping Augustus, or Greeks adding the glow of the sun-myth to the glory of Alexander, the Indians should have formed an ideal of their Chakravarti, and transferred to this new ideal many of the dimly sacred and half understood traits of the Vedic heroes? Is it surprising that the Buddhists should have found it edifying to recognize in their hero the Chakravarti of Righteousness, and that the story of the Buddha should be tinged with the coloring of these Chakravarti myths?" (Ibid. Buddhism, p. 220.)

Extract from CHAPTER XXIX, BUDDHA AND CHRIST JESUS COMPARED; "BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS" By T. W. DOANE,  1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36