CONTRAST OF BUDDHIST & JUDEO-CHRISTIAN BELIEFS

 

 

THE TEACHINGS OF THE COMPASSIONATE BUDDHA includes "Early Discourses," the "Dhammapada" and later basic writings.  Most if not all of Buddha's sayings were first committed to writing several generations after his death around 500 BC. 

 

 

SUBJECT

BUDDHIST

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN

 

 

 

TRUTH

            If dissent comes only from fools, then all are fools since each has his own view.  The world is full of rival creeds, but all are on a par.  People call each other fools because each sees his own view as the only Truth. 

            Apart from consciousness, no diverse truth exists.  Those who have their Truth are smug.  They are stubborn in their theories.  Apart from consciousness, no diverse truths exist ("Truth Is Above Sectarian Dogmatism").  [QUESTION:  How can we know Buddha's truth is true since truth is only consciousness?]

            He who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just and speaks the truth, the world will hold dear ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapters on "Pleasure" and "Anger").

JEHOVAH explained that Truth was mercy (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 57f; Micah 7:20; John 1:14), patience (Psalm 68:15), goodness (Psalm 100:5), right (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 96:13) freedom/salvation (Psalm 31:5; John 8:31f), word (John 17ff) love (Psalm 40:10), peace (Psalm 85:10), and faithfulness (Isaiah 25:1).

4 NOBLE TRUTHS/PATHS

            There are four Noble Truths:  (1) Pain exists.  (2) The cause of pain is lust.  (3)  Pain ceases with non-attachment.  [QUESTION:  Please coincide this with the above statement that the only truth is consciousness.)

            (4)  The 8-fold path to cessation of pain is....right [1] views, [2] intentions, [3] speech, [4] action, [5] livelihood, [6] effort, [7] mindfulness, [8] concentration.  The Wheel of the Doctrine was set turning by the Lord (Buddha).  ("The Sermon at Benares")

           He who takes refuge with Buddha, the Law, and the Order sees the Four Holy Truths, the Eightfold Holy Way, the True Law ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapter on "The Buddha - the Awakened"  [QUESTION:  Which must we follow?  What is right or the middle path as noted next?]  

            JEHOVAH said we do not have to be good enough to erase pain in our lives.  He overcame the agony of death by raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24), and will do away with all pain for us in heaven (Revelation 21:4).

            JEHOVAH said that He personally guides us along the path of our life through his Word (Psalm 27:11; Proverbs 4;11; Luke 1:79).

RELIGION

The religious life does not depend on the dogma that the world is eternal...there still remains birth, old age, death....this profits not, nor has to do with the fundamentals of religion.  [QUESTION:  Please coincide this with the accepted definition of religion as "a belief binding the spiritual nature of man to a supernatural being...Feeling of dependence and responsibility" (Britannica World Dictionary).]

            JEHOVAH said that his teachings "fall like rain and his words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants (Deuteronomy 32:1-4). 

            God found us "in a desert land...in a barren and howling waste.  He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions (Deuteronomy 32:10-12).

            Then God sent His son to live his Word for us (John 1:1,14).  By following what Jesus did, he learned that pure religion is to look after the fatherless [orphaned and divorced] and widows, keep ourselves from being polluted by the world (James 1:27) and care for our own and extended families (I Timothy 5:4).

EXTREMISM

            Enlightenment is traveling the Middle Path and leads to Nirvana ("The Sermon at Benares").  [QUESTION:  How do we know we have not too much or too little of something?]

            The person who has been Awakened is Omniscient.  Even the gods envy those who are awakened, given to meditation, retirement from the world ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapter on "The Buddha - the Awakened"). 

            So long as the desire of man toward women, even the smallest, is not destroyed, cut out the love of self ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapter on "The Way").  [QUESTION:  If a person is to be reincarnated, but everyone ceases from procreation, where would people end up?]

            One who has had his hair and beard shaved off and dons the yellow robes and renounces the world should be greeted with reverence and should be fed and clothed by people wherever he goes ("The Spirit of Theravada Buddhism" the chapter on "What is Gained by Abandoning the World and Becoming a Monk?").  [QUESTION:  What happened to the absence of ego on the road to nirvana?]

            JEHOVAH SAID "Since you died with Christ [in baptism, see Romans 6:3-4] to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:  'Do not handle!  Do not taste!  Do not touch!'?  ....Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence" (Colossians 2:20-23).

IMMORTALITY

            "I have not said that the world is eternal or that the world is not eternal...that the soul and the body are identical....that the saint exists after death.....I have not explained that the world is eternal; I have not explained that the world is not eternal...This profits not, nor has to do with the fundamentals of religion and Nirvana.  The origin of misery have I explained; the cessation of misery have I explained; and the path leading to the cessation of misery have I explained" ("Questions Not Tending to Edification" from "Sutta 63 of the Majjhima-Nikaya").

            JEHOVAH "has set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

            The Heavenly Eye sees beings as they pass away from one form of existence and take shape in another.  Those acquiring karma resulting from wrong views are reborn in some unhappy state.  But Those acquiring good karma from right views, are reborn in some happy state in heaven ("The Spirit of Theravada Buddhism, chapter "What is Gained by Abandoning the World and Becoming a Monk?"). 

            JEHOVAH has good news for us:  We don't have to keep coming back and trying to get it right over and over and over.  [SEE CHART ON HINDUISM.]

HEAVEN

            Some people are born again; evildoers go to hell; righteous people go to heaven; those who are free from all worldly desires attain Nirvana (From "Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth}, chapter on "Evil".  [QUESTION:  How do you leave hell or heaven in order to try again to reach nirvana?]

            The foolish man scorns the instruction of the saintly and follows a false doctrine and bears fruit to his own destruction.  Further, do not follow the evil law.  Do not follow false doctrine ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapters on "Self" and "The World").  [QUESTION:  Please coincide this with the above statement that true religion has no dogma.]

            JEHOVAH gives us right now "the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven" (Colossians 1:5).  In God's "great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power" (I Peter 1:3-5).

[SEE ALSO CHART ON HINDUISM]

SIN

Not to commit any sin, to do good, and to purify one's mind, that is the teaching of all the Awakened.  The Awakened call patience the highest penance, longsuffering the highest Nirvana ("Sutta Pitaka," {The Way of Truth}, chapter on "The Buddha - the Awakened") [QUESTION:  Please coincide this with the above statement that true religion has no dogma.  Also, where is sin defined?]

            Let a man never commit any wrong with his body ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapter on "The Way").  [QUESTION:  What are the guidelines on what things are wrong?]

JEHOVAH explained, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one....But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known....This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ....for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

[SEE ALSO CHART ON HINDUISM]

FORGIVENESS

            Rouse yourself by yourself, examine yourself by yourself.  Self is the lord of self, self is the refuge of self ("Sutta Pitaka" (The Way of Truth) chapter on "The Bhikshu").  [QUESTION:  MUST I SAVE MYSELF?  AS OF 1965, THERE WERE ONLY FIVE BUDDHAS (Charles Braden, JESUS COMPARED, Englewood Ciffs, N.J.; Prentice-Hall, 1957), pg. 42-43.]

            Make yourself an island.  When your impurities are blown away, you are free from guilt, you will enter into the heavenly world of the elect ("Sutta Pitaka" {The Way of Truth} chapter on "Impurity").  [QUESTION:  Please coincide this with the above statement that there is no way of knowing if there is a heavenly world.)

            Him I call indeed a brahmana who in this world has risen above bondage to both good and evil.  Him I call indeed a brahmana, the manly, the noble, the hero, the great sage, the conqueror, the sinless.  Him I call indeed a brahmana who knows his former abodes, who sees heaven and hell, has reached the end of births ("Sutta Pitaka", The Way of Truth, the chapter on "The Brahmana"). 

            BUDDHA WAS 83 TIMES AN ASCETIC, 58 TIMES A KING, 24 TIMES A BRAHMAN, 20 TIMES THE GOD SAKKA, 43 TIMES A TREE GOD, 5 TIMES A SLAVE, 1 TIME A DEVIL DANCER, 2 TIMES A RAT, AND 2 TIMES A PIG.  ALL TOLD, BUDDHA WAS BORN AND RETURNED 530 TIMES BEFORE REACHING NIRVANA/BUDDHAHOOD.  HOW DEPRESSING.

            JEHOVAH offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 

            "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...

            "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of god that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:33-39).

[SEE ALSO CHART ON HINDUISM]