Jesus, a Buddhist?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby JinpaRangdrol » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:04 pm

To claim that Jesus was a Buddhist is simply preposterous. Enough has been said on the issue that I don't need to reiterate. Religious pluralism and reductionism is, in my opinion, a great flaw in the scholastic understanding of the world's many systems of spirituality. Just because eternalist views arise from emptiness doesn't mean they aren't ignorant.
If we are going to consider Jesus as a Buddha, then I will consider my half-farcical theory that JRR Tolkien was a Tertön, and that Gandalf was an accomplished Bodhisattva to be true (he was, after all, taught "wisdom" and "pity" by Nienna the Compassionate in Valinor before going to middle earth...) Also, Arda was created by (or arisen from) Eru "The One," which could represent non-dual primordial Rigpa. And he created harmonic music (sound), which, after becoming chaotic and dissonant, ended up resulting in a full spectrum of existence.
Sorry...getting :offtopic: . My point is that, if one tries hard enough, we can make any outlandish belief justifiable. The Jesus argument is weak, and IMHO, simply the remnants of our western theoholism.

But back to the topic at hand: Buddhism is a practice-based religion, not simply a faith-based one. Simply "believing" in the Buddha, or carrying around a Hotei keychain doesn't make you a Buddhist. Taking refuge in the Three Jewels, acting in accord with the teachings of the Buddhas, and working towards Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings (which even 21st century "Hinayanists" are doing) makes you a Buddhist. Unfortunately, belief in a creator God is definitely a fundamental contradiction to Buddhist teachings, and taking refuge in an external creator god as Monotheists do goes against the very idea of taking refuge in the Buddha.
While I reject the sentiment that Buddhism is not a religion, but simply a philosophy, I think there's an important place for that kind of Buddhism in today's world. For those who are still too afflicted to abandon eternalism or nihilism, or too addicted to samsara to step onto the path, then hopefully some minor benefit can still be acquired from simple meditation, hearing the words of the Buddha, or seeing representations of his body. If the world at large viewed Buddhism as wholly dogmatic, then they may not be so open to exploring it.
But anybody who claims that Buddhism has the same goal or view as Christianity, Judaism, etc., clearly has little understanding of Buddhism.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:13 pm

....though they can call themselves whatever they want!

:tongue:
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby muni » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:28 pm

As 'Buddhists' we learn how phenomena appaer and how they are. This means not the variety of phenomena are the same or every religion is the same.

looking through opnions or clarity.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:36 pm

JinpaRangdrol"
But anybody who claims that Buddhism has the same goal or view as Christianity, Judaism, etc., clearly has little understanding of Buddhism.

[quote="conebeckham wrote:
....though they can call themselves whatever they want! :tongue:


Such as the Dalai Lama? Just saying..

(Totally screwed up the quote deal, sorry I give up on trying to correct it.)
Last edited by Distorted on Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby muni » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:37 pm

Besides the teachings of Jesus (didn't study it);

If your mind is pure, everyone is a Buddha.
If your mind is impure, everyone is ordinary. --Trulshik Rinpoche XI :buddha1:
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:47 pm

Distorted wrote:
Such as the Dalai Lama? Just saying..

(Totally screwed up the quote deal, sorry I give up on trying to correct it.)


Then again he didn't exactly say Buddhism and Christianity have the same goals. Devils Advocate, kept it short. Though all some interesting point of views I think maybe I have beat this drum to long. Though I have learned alot about the Buddhist views here on the subject. There seems to be no unified agreement on the subject. We all are human. I guess when it comes down to it living in a good way prescribed by Dharma and taking refuge in the three jewels and living so does make you a Buddhist. I don't remember that in the bible so the argument he was not Buddhist makes absolute sense.

:namaste:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:52 pm

Distorted wrote:Such as the Dalai Lama? Just saying..

(Totally screwed up the quote deal, sorry I give up on trying to correct it.)


No worries.
Dharma Teaching may be broken down into two modes (Actually, many modes, but bear with me here on this categorization)- the method for General Public, and the method for "Insiders." (I'm not making this up--this comes from a teaching I've had by Khenpo Gawang--and the word "Insiders" can be a synonym for "Buddhists." It's an exclusive club, yo..... :smile: )

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Public Figure on the World Stage. He most often teaches according to the first mode, which stresses commonalities, ethical/moral behavior, universal values, etc. Also, respect and appreciation for all religions.

His presentation is quite different when teaching to smaller groups of committed Buddhist practitioners, and in those cases, differences, and discrimination, are valued more than commonalities.

Hope this makes sense.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:01 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Distorted wrote:Such as the Dalai Lama? Just saying..

(Totally screwed up the quote deal, sorry I give up on trying to correct it.)


No worries.
Dharma Teaching may be broken down into two modes (Actually, many modes, but bear with me here on this categorization)- the method for General Public, and the method for "Insiders." (I'm not making this up--this comes from a teaching I've had by Khenpo Gawang--and the word "Insiders" can be a synonym for "Buddhists." It's an exclusive club, yo..... :smile: )

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Public Figure on the World Stage. He most often teaches according to the first mode, which stresses commonalities, ethical/moral behavior, universal values, etc. Also, respect and appreciation for all religions.

His presentation is quite different when teaching to smaller groups of committed Buddhist practitioners, and in those cases, differences, and discrimination, are valued more than commonalities.

Hope this makes sense.



Completely

Now... about "Buddha Boy".... :twothumbsup:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby MrDistracted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:11 pm

Distorted wrote:
Now... about "Buddha Boy".... :twothumbsup:



He seems Christian to me.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby catmoon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:12 pm

Yes, I believe he's a Presbyterian.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:32 pm

Are you saying Jesus is a Buddhist? :cheers:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby MrDistracted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:43 pm

Shhhssssh
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby catmoon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:44 pm

No, but it seems someone is saying just that...

It's been pointed out that the Silk Road had been in operation for two centuries before Jesus was born. There must have been at least some awareness of Buddhism in the middle east, and it's hard to imagine the Greeks and Romans ignoring a novel philosophy.

In any event, Christianity had to be far more influenced by Judaism. I'd wager the Greek influence outweighed the Buddhist influence as well. Any Buddhist influence would be difficult to disentangle from the myriad of other influences pouring down the silk road.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:55 pm

I had read this some time ago. It is good, though there is many people who feel he didn't have any proof to back it up. Many had found the same information he did as well in these mysterious Pecha's. It is a good read.

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_unknown_life_of_Jesus_Christ.html?id=8VVHAAAAIAAJ
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:12 pm

Distorted wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:
Paul wrote:
It's not possible to insult or annoy a buddha. So Buddhist sacrilege is not possible. Disrespecting the Dharma is a source of negative karma though.


Although Buddhas do not take offence, Buddhists certainly do, and 'sacrilege' accusations are often made about this or that practice or sect, leading to actions such as smashing statues, etc. - actions which the attacked sect may perceive as sacrilegious acts. Buddhists are not perfect beings and some attack the path of others with anger and commit violence.

Disrespecting the Dharma IS negative karma, and I agree it may lead to more.



I wanted to ask this the first time I seen this posted, "Disrespecting the Dharma IS negative Karma". How did disrespecting the Dharma come into all this and also how does one disrespect the Dharma when it seems Buddha wanted us to question even his own teachings, right?

I know you can't be thinking someone saying... Hey Yo, Dharma... You and your friends, you all are a bunch of ..... or perhaps do you mean people who are close minded and say the Buddhist Dharma is a prescription to death and damnation? How could a teaching be insulted but not a Buddha?

Perhaps you guys mean the human ability to twist a teaching for ones own self gain? That is the only thing I find offensive with humans teaching religion.

:namaste:


Hi. :)

Negative karma is negative action by any being. In this case it cannot have an effect on a Buddha, but can have an effect on the individual who acts, and other beings affected who are not Buddhas. The consequence of Karma (action) is called Karma Vipaka.

Negative action (karma) would also be committed if you expressed negative comments about Christian faith. This is not the same as analytical comment, and would be worse if you had the intention to insult another's path, which would include the scripture they use.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Tewi » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:27 am

If we are going to consider Jesus as a Buddha, then I will consider my half-farcical theory that JRR Tolkien was a Tertön,


The United States has a bona fide treasure-discoverer in the person of Joseph Smith! A mischievous person might even draw parallels between tantra and celestial marriage.

Distorted, you have discovered the Notovitch ms, one of the 19th-century esoteric works I mentioned earlier. You should also read the travel book it was published in. (The high lama of Hemis discusses Freemasonry, among other topics.)

It's been pointed out that the Silk Road had been in operation for two centuries before Jesus was born. There must have been at least some awareness of Buddhism in the middle east, and it's hard to imagine the Greeks and Romans ignoring a novel philosophy.


Much longer than two centuries, but few travelers would go all the way across Eurasia. "Awareness of Buddhism in the Middle East" would have to be argued for using historical sources, and could not be assumed.

In any event, Christianity had to be far more influenced by Judaism. I'd wager the Greek influence outweighed the Buddhist influence as well. Any Buddhist influence would be difficult to disentangle from the myriad of other influences pouring down the silk road.

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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Bhavana » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:18 am

mint wrote:
Bhavana wrote:I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.


A person's reasons for leaving Christianity can be varied. Reasons may range from being deeply scandalized to the self-serving rejection of challenging dogma or moral practice. Leaving because Jesus possibly was a Buddhist has got to be one of the most shallow reasons I've ever heard.


I am not leaving anything. I was raised catholic, but am mostly agnostic. I believe Jesus existed, and that the idea of him was/is nice - though I take what was written about him with a grain of salt.... But he has nothing to do with my reasons for being interested in Buddhism, I was just making a comment that i could see why some people like to make the connection, that I can understand where they are coming from.

And really, if the idea that Jesus had similarities to Buddha appeals to some people, and that makes them more interested in Buddhism, then what is so bad about that? It could be a good starting point. Maybe that isn't as deep or superior as the reasons of some others, but what the heck, if it gets you there, it can't be all that bad.
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:49 am

Blue Garuda wrote:
Hi. :)

Negative karma is negative action by any being. In this case it cannot have an effect on a Buddha, but can have an effect on the individual who acts, and other beings affected who are not Buddhas. The consequence of Karma (action) is called Karma Vipaka.

Negative action (karma) would also be committed if you expressed negative comments about Christian faith. This is not the same as analytical comment, and would be worse if you had the intention to insult another's path, which would include the scripture they use.



Thank you for the clarification Blue Garuda. It makes me very happy and I feel it is a breath of fresh air that there is no double standards in this understanding. :smile: :thanks:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:53 am

Tewi wrote:
Distorted, you have discovered the Notovitch ms, one of the 19th-century esoteric works I mentioned earlier. You should also read the travel book it was published in. (The high lama of Hemis discusses Freemasonry, among other topics.)



Yes, it was very good. I will have to check out that travel book I have not read that yet. I would like to read that book the Swami had made about the same Pecha Notovitch had perused at the monastery. High Lama discussing Freemasonry is very strange indeed. Then again I thought it was weird running into a Freemasonry temple out in the Klondike. Very interesting. Thanks for the heads up.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:35 am

Bhavana wrote:
mint wrote:
Bhavana wrote:I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.


A person's reasons for leaving Christianity can be varied. Reasons may range from being deeply scandalized to the self-serving rejection of challenging dogma or moral practice. Leaving because Jesus possibly was a Buddhist has got to be one of the most shallow reasons I've ever heard.


I am not leaving anything. I was raised catholic, but am mostly agnostic. I believe Jesus existed, and that the idea of him was/is nice - though I take what was written about him with a grain of salt.... But he has nothing to do with my reasons for being interested in Buddhism, I was just making a comment that i could see why some people like to make the connection, that I can understand where they are coming from.

And really, if the idea that Jesus had similarities to Buddha appeals to some people, and that makes them more interested in Buddhism, then what is so bad about that? It could be a good starting point. Maybe that isn't as deep or superior as the reasons of some others, but what the heck, if it gets you there, it can't be all that bad.



We definitely have to crawl before we walk. Personally the Dharma attracted me to Buddhism. I know I am still crawling as I have much to learn. I do feel this is right for me though. I hope all the best to those with interest regardless of their personal reasoning.

:thanks:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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