Buddha

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Gautama Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni) is believed to have lived and taught mostly in northeastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries before Christ. The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one".

Gautama is a primary figure in Buddhism.[1] The accounts of his life, teachings, and monastic rules were summarized after his death by people claiming to be his followers who committed those teachings to writing about 400 years after his death.

A period of 400 years is a long time. The Constitution was written and signed at the time it was devised and we have thousands of letters and commentaries by the signers, judicial decisions and even a legal dictionary to help us understand its purpose and meaning, yet people only 200 years afterwards are confused about what it says and was suppose to mean.

The same is true of Jesus Christ and the Bible. While there is a great deal of debate about who wrote what and when and more of a debate about what the different texts meant and how they should be translated. It is clear that the Modern Christians and the churches they attend are not doing what the early Church did. Christians often were in error based on Paul's letters alone including text about Nicolaitans. What eventually called itself Christian took a huge detour less than three hundred years after Jesus with the introduction of Constantine Christianity.


The Buddha went against the stream, against the religious authority of his day (temple brahmins and other ascetic schools, such as Jainism).

Buddha was a rich individual who cared about the poor and wanted to help them. He gave up his wealth to pursue the truth. He was a social reformer. He did not want to be considered a god[2] nor have people follow leaders.

Buddha opposed the interpretation of the Vedas as they were being taught in his day. He was part of a movement that actually opposed the brahmin priests at that time. The situation is mirrored later in history when Jesus opposed the temple priests who followed the Pharisees. Like the protestant reformation he revitalized and utterly transformed ancient Hinduism like Christ did with certain sects of "Judaism".

"Hinduism" did not really exist till later. It was systematized and founded by Sri Shankara (788 CE-820 CE). Shankara organized the commonalities and developed sets of beliefs we would now recognize as "Hindu." But he was very antagonistic towards Buddhism. While these religions may have a common origin in the teachings of someone called Brahman or Abraham they like most religions are twisted generation after generation. They often bear little resemblance to what their founder intended.

A modern Christian once told me they knew Buddha was burning in hell because he never accepted Jesus. Having died 400 years before Jesus certainly put him at a disadvantage for becoming a convert. Many of Gautama teachings match up rather well with those of Jesus considering he was from another culture and language centuries earlier. I suspect by what we see that had he been born later he might have sought to be baptized by John or Jesus as a Christian or follower of Christ. But he died before he could have heard the gospel of Jesus and he clearly was not trying to start another religion.

What Gautama taught and his goals may not be the same as what we see today as Buddhism any more that Christianity and Churches are what Christ told us to be doing in the world.

He certainly was a man of sacrifice and peace. Fasting and forgiveness are a essential part of his teachings just like Christ.


People |
Abraham | John the Baptist | Jesus | Paul the Apostle | Plutarch | Polybius | Seneca |
Bastiat | Buddha | David Crocket | Herod | Melchizedek | Nimrod | Philo Judaeus‎ | Wycliffe‎ |
Ambrose | Constantine | Jerome | Augustine of Hippo | Augustine of Canterbury |
Lady Godiva |


Buddha teachings Teachings of Jesus
Buddha felt that material wealth was not life's ultimate goal.[3] Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

"Consider others as yourself."[4] "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."[5] "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."[6]
"If you do not tend to one another then who is there to tend to you? Whoever would tend me, he should tend the sick."[7] "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."[8]
"Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world."[9] "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."[10]
"Hard it is to understand: By giving away our food, we get more strength; by bestowing clothing on others, we gain more beauty; by founding abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures. The charitable man has found the path of liberation. He is like the man who plants a sapling securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruit in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so is the joy of him who helps those that are in need of assistance; even so is the great nirvana."[11] "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. . . . You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."[12]
"The charitable man has found the path of liberation."[13] "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"[14]
"The fault of others is easily perceived, but that of oneself is difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour's faults like chaff, but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the bad die from the gambler."[15] "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."[16]
"Hatred does not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth. . . . Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good, overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth."[17] "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."[18]

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."[19]

"The world gives according to their faith or according to their pleasure: if a man frets about the food and the drink given to others, he will find no rest either by day or by night."20[20] "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."[21]
Lose self to gain nirvana and escape from suffering. Lose self to gain Christ and entrance into heaven, where there will be no suffering.
"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.



  • Common Teachings
  • Altruism
  • The Golden Rule
  • Don't judge others
  • Love your enemies
  • Overcome hate with love
  • More blessed to give than to receive
  • Avoid being religious for show

Gautama Buddha/Quotes

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Gautama Buddha

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." Gautama Buddha

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Gautama Buddha

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Gautama Buddha

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." Gautama Buddha

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Gautama Buddha

"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed." Gautama Buddha

"However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?" Gautama Buddha

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Gautama Buddha

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Gautama Buddha

"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship." Gautama Buddha

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." Gautama Buddha

"The mind is everything. What you think you become." Gautama Buddha

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Gautama Buddha

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." Gautama Buddha

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." Gautama Buddha

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Gautama Buddha

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." Gautama Buddha


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Footnotes

  1. Hinduism and Buddhism, have common origins in the Ganges culture of northern India during the so-called "second urbanisation" around 500 BCE.
  2. Skilton 2004, p. 64-65.
  3. Narada 1992, p. 14.
  4. Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, "Parallel Sayings of Buddha and Christ".
  5. Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
  6. Mark 12:31 And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
  7. Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, "Parallel Sayings."
  8. Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.
  9. Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, "Parallel Sayings."
  10. John 15:12–13 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
  11. Exotic India, "Buddha and Christ: Two Gods on the Path to Humanity" , ExoticIndiaArt.com.
  12. 2 Corinthians 9:6 ¶ But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 2 Corinthians 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
  13. Exotic India, "Buddha and Christ."
  14. Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  15. Dhammapada 252.
  16. Matthew 7:1 ¶ Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
  17. Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, "Parallel Sayings."
  18. Luke 6:27 ¶ But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
  19. Matthew 5:38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
  20. 20Dhammapada 249.
  21. Matthew 6:1–4 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. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 ¶ And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.


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