Jesus, a Buddhist?

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Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Nosta » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Jesus was a great teacher for christians. In fact, some things he said are good: he told us to love everybody, even the enemy; he told us that we should follow a life without luxury and excessive wealth...etc.

Could Jesus be a buddhist? Or, could he be someone using buddhist teachings to creat a new movement/religion?

If we read some old christian texts not accepted in the bible (like the book of Tome, etc) we may even "feel" some buddhist ideas on them.

Also, some people claim that Jesus entered in India and learned buddhism.

What do you think about these ideas?
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:13 am

I think this is all speculation and wishful thinking, and assumes that non-Buddhists would have to depend on Buddhism in order to recognize common sense wisdom. If Jesus was a Mahayana Buddhist teacher, would not he have taught refuge in the 3 Jewels, generation of bodhicitta, and the dedication of merit? Or maybe you're suggesting that he was secretly a bodhisattva and using skillful means to guide people without karma to connect with the Buddha Dharma? That could very well be, but there's no way to know. I suppose it's an interesting topic for a conversation over coffee or tea with friends, though.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Dexing » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:10 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:I think this is all speculation and wishful thinking, and assumes that non-Buddhists would have to depend on Buddhism in order to recognize common sense wisdom.


I think this is the key. All those similarities are not because one is taking from another. That sort of "common sense wisdom" as taught by Jesus is not particularly Buddhist wisdom at all. What might be considered more Buddhist wisdom is that of emptiness, transcendental wisdom.

Jesus never taught that as far as I can see. He taught worldly wisdom and morality only. Nice as they are, they lack liberating power and insight.

:namaste:
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:10 am

Dexing wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:I think this is all speculation and wishful thinking, and assumes that non-Buddhists would have to depend on Buddhism in order to recognize common sense wisdom.


I think this is the key. All those similarities are not because one is taking from another. That sort of "common sense wisdom" as taught by Jesus is not particularly Buddhist wisdom at all. What might be considered more Buddhist wisdom is that of emptiness, transcendental wisdom.

Jesus never taught that as far as I can see. He taught worldly wisdom and morality only. Nice as they are, they lack liberating power and insight


Jesus was a Jew but he could also have been a bodhisattva. Where was he all those unaccounted years - in India with his gurus where Mahayana Buddhism was flourishing at the time? He didn't teach dharma as we know it but that doesn't mean he didn't voluntarily incarnate to benefit others. That's what b and b's do isn't it.

It is speculative - but interesting none the less.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Nosta » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:54 pm

No, i am not saying that he was a secret boddhisatva. What i was thinking is, if indeed he entered India, probably he "stole" some buddhist concepts to his own doctrines.

Do you know any good books talking on the subject (buddhismo and Jesus)?
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby meindzai » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:46 pm

Jesus's teachings would be categorized as eternalism, a wrong view in Buddhism.

-M
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:46 pm

Nosta wrote:No, i am not saying that he was a secret boddhisatva. What i was thinking is, if indeed he entered India, probably he "stole" some buddhist concepts to his own doctrines.

Do you know any good books talking on the subject (buddhismo and Jesus)?

Try this:

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Buddha-Chr ... 1573225681
Last edited by Tilopa on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:42 am

Greetings,

meindzai wrote:Jesus's teachings would be categorized as eternalism, a wrong view in Buddhism.

Indeed - it's very simple to demonstrate, in a short period of time that Jesus was neither a Buddhist, Buddha, nor bodhisattva.

Yet, some people, for some reason, insist on try to find commonalities between Buddhism and Christianity... paving over the crevices in order to build some kind of bridge between them. But for what purpose...? I've never understood.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Su DongPo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Yet, some people, for some reason, insist on try to find commonalities between Buddhism and Christianity... paving over the crevices in order to build some kind of bridge between them. But for what purpose...? I've never understood.


Hmm. Maybe for the same reason that Chinese colored Buddhism with the Dao; Japanese combined Buddhism with Shinto; Tibetans, with Bon, and so on. It seems pretty natural to look for commonalities in one's original/majority culture when negotiating with doctrines from an introduced religion. Nor is the migration of influences all in one direction. As I understand it, the boddhisattva Avalokiteśvara may have begun his career as a Persian deity before crossing the Himalayas, switching gender, and spreading throughout East Asia.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:Indeed - it's very simple to demonstrate, in a short period of time that Jesus was neither a Buddhist, Buddha, nor bodhisattva.

Unless you have the clairvoyance that correctly understand the minds of others it's almost impossible to know who is and who isn't a buddha or bodhisattva. But if you can prove Jesus wasn't one that would definitely be an interesting addition to this thread.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:22 am

Greetings Tilopa,

Tilopa wrote:Unless you have the clairvoyance that correctly understand the minds of others it's almost impossible to know who is and who isn't a buddha or bodhisattva.

You don't need to read their minds... you simply need to hear them teach that which the Buddha explicitly denounced as Wrong View.

You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

:?

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Su DongPo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:53 am

Hi retro,

Are compassion and forgiveness wrong view then? I know you don't mean this, but what do you mean?

Cheers,
SDP
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:12 am

Greetings Su DongPo,

Su DongPo wrote:Are compassion and forgiveness wrong view then?

Of course not... but they're not attributes exclusive to Buddhadharma, are they? My wife endorses these attributes for example, and she's an atheist.

Su DongPo wrote:I know you don't mean this, but what do you mean?

I mean that eternalism, soul theory, salvation through god (rather than one's own efforts) and the notion of a creator god all explicitly contradict the teachings of the Buddha (regardless of which body of scriptures one refers to).

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:You don't need to read their minds... you simply need to hear them teach that which the Buddha explicitly denounced as Wrong View.
Bodhisattvas will do whatever is beneficial for living beings and they don't always manifest as teachers of dharma. That is one form they commonly take but by no means the only one. They can also be poets, artists, musicians, politicians, social activists and even practitioners of non dharmic religions - in fact anything at all and that's why without clairvoyance you can't say for sure that your pet dog or your next door neighbour isn't a bodhisattva or manifestation of the buddha.

You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

Why not? If by subscribing to the prevailing belief in a creator god a bodhisattva is able to influence practitioners of that belief system in a positive way he might do exactly that.
Last edited by Tilopa on Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:16 am

Greetings Tilopa,
Tilopa wrote:
You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

They might. But it would depend on the situation. What wrong view are you referring to?

Take the examples in my last post, for example.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilopa,
Tilopa wrote:
You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

They might. But it would depend on the situation. What wrong view are you referring to?

Take the examples in my last post, for example.

Metta,
Retro. :)


LOL we're crossing posts in cyber space.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:22 am

Greetings Tilopa,

Tilopa wrote:
You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

Why not?...

The 4th bodhisattva vow for one, i.e. not to lie or use false speech

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilopa,

Tilopa wrote:
You're not suggesting that a bodhisattva might intentionally teach Wrong View as "skillful means" are you?

Why not?...

The 4th bodhisattva vow for one, i.e. not to lie or use false speech

Maitri,
Retro. :)


Bodhisattvas must never act out of anger or hatred but if they have genuine wisdom and compassion actions such killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and taking intoxicants are ok. I don't have the list in front of me but I think one of the secondary bodhisattva vows is broken when a bodhisattva doesn't commit non virtue if it's necessary to benefit others.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tilopa » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:40 am

Yes here it is. Number 11 in this list of secondary precepts:

http://viewonbuddhism.org/resources/bod ... _vows.html
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Su DongPo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:24 pm

I wonder if it is helpful to distinguish between Jesus and the Church which grew up, especially after the 3rd century, as an institution. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian, and most of the extent texts (gospels) accounting for his career are actually non-canonical. This changes (for me at least) the picture of Jesus a great deal. This doesn't prove that he was a Buddhist or a Bodhisattva, of course; that cannot be definitely proven (although it might be a matter of faith :smile: ).
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