Are Jesus and Buddha Equals?
A number of books have been written trying to place Jesus and Buddha on an
equal plane (like Marcus Borg's book, Jesus and Buddha: the Parallel Sayings, or
Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh). Though Jesus and Buddha both
taught some basic, moral concepts that ARE compatible (like the importance of
self-denial, withdrawing from worldly influence, or living according to the
Golden Rule) their personal nature and their interpretation of spiritual
realities are at totally opposite ends of the supernatural theological ‘pole.’
Please consider the following important comparisons:
- Buddha was born of a normal sexual union of a man and woman and was a
normal human being; Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a
virgin, and was literally God manifested in the flesh.
- Buddha was basically atheistic in his approach; Jesus acknowledged the
existence and reality of God constantly.
- Buddha taught that two of the biggest hindrances to enlightenment are
belief in a personal soul and belief that a person's soul can experience
eternal existence in a heavenly state. Jesus definitely taught that all men
have eternal souls and that repentant persons, through a true
salvation experience, can receive the gift of eternal life---and personally
live forever in a heavenly state.
- Buddha taught the doctrine of reincarnation; Jesus taught just one life in
- Buddha taught the doctrine of karma (kama)--that in order to 'achieve'
nirvana one must overcome all negative karma—which is a self-achieved ‘salvation’.
There is no provision in Buddhism for forgiveness and grace coming from
God. Jesus taught the availability of forgiveness, if we repent of our sins,
and cleansing of the soul by the blood of Jesus. This is not a self-achieved
salvation, but salvation by grace (the unmerited love of God).
- Buddha never died as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind on a cross; Jesus
did, personally claiming that His death was for the "remission of
Buddha apparently died of food poisoning and is still in the grave (or what
remains of him); Jesus died a much worse death and rose again victoriously
and lives forever as King of kings in the third heaven.
- Buddha never promised that He would return; Jesus promised that He will
one day return, resurrecting those who are "dead in Christ",
granting His followers glorified bodies and restoring this world to the
perfection of paradise, the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
- Buddha taught that nothing is permanent; Jesus taught that there will yet
be a New Creation that will be permanent and that we, through a covenant
relationship with Him, can be assured of being included in that New
- Buddha was a mere human being who sought for enlightenment; Jesus never
sought enlightenment but rather declared, “I am the truth”. He
purposefully came to enlighten others and bring them to an understanding of
By this time, I believe that all of you are convinced of the uniqueness of
Jesus, but possibly not convinced of His exclusivity. In all honesty, I was
never convinced that Jesus really is the only way to a true experience of God
until I tested His claims through prayer. As a teacher of yoga at four
universities, I was strongly committed to a Far Eastern worldview. But then, at
the urging of a friend, I dedicated an entire day to the Lord Jesus Christ. I
only read the Bible and when I prayed I used none of the yogic methods I had
learned. I asked Jesus, if He really was “the door to eternal life” to show
me that day. It happened and I was transformed forever. Once I was ‘born again’
I knew that the claims of Jesus were right and that His path is the only true
path leading to God.
If you are willing to perform a ‘spiritual experiment’ of this nature,
please do the following three things:
- First, read the expanded version of my
- Then approach the Lord Jesus Christ with a simple prayer similar to the
following. He has promised to manifest Himself to those who call upon His
“Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Wash me in your blood. Forgive me of
my sins. Give me eternal life. Fill me with your presence and your love and
let me be “born again.” I acknowledge that you died for the sins of the
world and that you arose from the dead. I accept you now as Lord of my life.”
- Finally, contact me and
let me know of your decision to follow the Lord Jesus as your Lord and
Savior. He loves you and so do I.
I look forward to hearing from you.
In Search of the
In Search of the True Light is a very unique and
inspiring book accomplishes three main things—it chronicles Mike
Shreve's spiritual journey, it provides an in-depth study of over 20
religions of the world, and it points unmistakably to the "True
for more information about In Search of the True Light