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Comparative Sayings of the Buddha and Jesus
From: The Original Jesus: The Buddhist Sources of Christianity
by Elmar R. Gruber & Holger Kersten
There can be little doubt that many of the important sayings of Jesus were uttered by the Buddha five hundred years before Jesus. The Catholic church has tried to deny this for the last 2000 years but the time has come to acknowledge the truth about Jesus.
The above book is a very good one and I will add more excerpts to this particular page as time permits.
August 26, 2002
NOTE: GDh = Gandhari Dharmaphada; Ud = Udanavarga; Dh = Dhammapada; Q = Quelle ('source' in German. The source document for the four gospels of the New Testament.)
Saying of the Buddha
Sayings of Jesus
Man does not purify himself by washing as most people do in this world Anyone
who rejects any sin, larger and small, is a holy man because he rejects sins
Evil is done through the self; man defiles himself through the self. Evil is made good through the self; man purifies himself through the self (Dh 12:9).
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into
the belly, and is cast out into the draught. But those things which proceed
out of the mouth came forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man (Matthew 15:17-20).
Happily shall I live without possessions among those who possess much; among
possessors live without possessions.
Happily shall I live without struggling anxiously among the strivers live without striving (GDh 167).
How fortunate are the poor; they have God's kingdom. How fortunate the hungry;
they will be fed. How fortunate are those who are crying; they will laugh (QS
Happily shall I live without hostility among the hostile; among the hostile
live without hostility (GDh 167).
O let us live in joy, free of hatred, among the spiteful; among the spiteful let us live without hatred.
O let us live in joy, free of suffering, among those who suffer; among those who are sore troubled let us live without suffering.
O let us live in joy, free of avarice, among those filled with greed; among those who are avaricious let us live without greed.
O let us live in joy, we who are free of hindrances. Let us be like the 'Radiant Ones' who are nurtured with love (Dh 15:1-4).
Whoever counters the malicious with malice can never be pure, but he who feels no maliciousness pacifies those who hate. Hate brings misery to humanity so the wise man knows no hatred (Ud 14:12).
I am telling you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those
who mistreat you.
If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer your other cheek as well. If anyone grabs your coat, let him have your shirt as well
Give to anyone who asks, and if someone takes away your belongings, do not ask to have them back.
As you want people to treat you, do the same to them.
Hostility is never conquered by hostility in this world; hostility is conquered
by love. That is the Eternal Law (Dh 1:5).
Surmount hatred by not hating, surmount evil with good; surmount greed through generosity, surmount lies with truth; speak what is true, do not succumb to anger, give when you are asked.
Through those three steps you will come close to the gods (GDh 280-281).
Whosoever does no harm to living creatures, whosoever does not kill or participate in killing, is to be called a holy man.
Whosoever is tolerant with the intolerant, whosoever patiently tolerates punishment, and whosoever shows compassion to all creatures, is to be called a holy man (Ud 33:45-46).
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even tax collectors
love those who love them, do they not? And if you embrace only your brothers,
what more are you doing than others? Doesn't everybody do that? If you lend
to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even wrongdoers
lend to their kind because they expect to be repaid.
Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend without expecting anything in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of God.
For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good; he sends rain on the just and on the unjust (QS 9).
Judge not the mistakes of others, neither what they do or leave undone, but
judge your own deeds, that just and the unjust (GDh 271-272). Don't judge and
you won't be judged. For the standard you use (in judging) will be the standard
used against you (QS 10).
O Vasettha, those brahmins who know the three Vedas are just like a line of blind men tied together where the first sees nothing, the middle man nothing, and the last sees nothing (Tevijja-Sutta, Dighanikaya, 13:15). Can the blind lead the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit? A student is not better than his teacher. It is enough for a student to be like his teacher (QS 11).
The faults of others are more easily seen than one's own, but seeing one's
own failings is difficult. The failings of others are winnowed like chaff in
the wind, but one conceals one's own faults like a cheating gambler (Dh 18:18).
The faults of the others are more easily seen than one's own. They are more easily seen because they are winnowed like chaff in the wind, but one's own failings are difficult to see. It is like a cheat concealing his own dice while showing his opponent's, drawing attention to the other's inadequacies and constantly thinking of bringing accusations against him. Such a man is far from seeing what is right, and very much worsens his unfortunate lot (Ud 27:1).
How can you look for the splinter in your brother's eye and not notice the
stick in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the
splinter in your eye', when you do not see the stick in your own eye? You hypocrite,
first take the stick from your own eye, and then you can see to remove the
splinter that is in your brother's eye (QS 12).
No matter what a man does, whether his deeds serve virtue or vice, nothing
lacks importance. All actions bear a kind of fruit (Ud 9:8).
The bad person speaks falsely, chained by his words. He who speaks ill and rejects what is truly just is not wise (Ud 8:9).
A good tree does not bear rotten fruit; a rotten tree does not bear good fruit.
Are figs gathered form thorns, or grapes from thistles? Every tree is known
by its fruit.
The good man produces good things from his store of goods and treasures; and the evil man evil things. For the mouth speaks from a full heart (QS 13).
Just as rain penetrates a badly-covered house, so passion enters a dispersed
mind. Just as rain does not penetrate a well-covered house, so too does passion
not enter a well-developed mind (Dh 1:13-14).
Why do you call me, 'Master, master', and not do what I say?
Everyone who hears my words and does them is like a man who built a house on rock. The rain fell, a torrent broke against the house, and it did not fall, for it had a rock foundation.
But everyone who hears my words and does not do them is like a man who built a house on sand. The rain came, the torrent broke against it, and it collapsed. The ruin of that house was great (QS 14).
Those who aspire are ever striving; they do not stay in one place. Like swans
leaving a lake, they move from house to house.
The only source of refuge for those who do not accumulate possessions and are careful about what they eat is unconditional freedom, knowing as they do the void of transience. Their way is difficult to follow like that of birds in the sky (Dh 7:2-3).
Whosoever has laid aside human ties, leaving behind the powers of attraction of the gods, free of all bonds, that man I call holy (Ud 33:52).
When someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go,' Jesus answered,
'Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the son of man has nowhere
to lay his head.'
When another said, 'Let me first go and bury my father,' Jesus said, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead.'
Yet another said, 'I will follow you, sir, but first let me say goodbye to my family.' Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God' (QS 19).
People must store up reserves of faith since true merits cannot be taken away
and no one need fear thieves. Happy are the disciples who have gained faith,
and happy is the wise man when he meets such a believer (Ud 10:11). Sell your
possessions and give to charity (alms). Store up treasure for yourselves in
a heavenly account, where moths and rust do not consume, and where thieves
cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will
also be (QS 40).
In this world the wise man holds onto faith and wisdom. Those are his greatest treasures; all other riches he pushes aside (Ud 10:9). Seek after the treasure which does not perish, which endures in the place where no moth comes near to devour, and no worm ravages (Thomas 76).
The heirs are quarrelling over his property, but the King's being accords with his deeds. None of his possessions follow the dead man: no sons, wives, money, or power. Long life is not achieved through money, and old age is not frightened off by riches. Wisdom is thus better than money since it leads to perfection (Rathapala-Sutta, Majjhimanikaya 82).
'These children and these riches belong to me,' thought the fool, anxiously. But since no one possesses even himself, what is the point of 'my children and my riches'?
The law of humanity is that, even if people accumulate hundreds and thousands of earthly goods, they nevertheless succumb to the power of death. All stores are scattered; what was built is torn down; everything that comes together must end in separation; and life must terminate in death (Ud 1:20-22).
Someone from the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the
inheritance with me.' But he said to him, 'Sir, who made me your judge or lawyer?'
He told them a parable, saying, 'The land of a rich man produced in abundance,
and he thought to himself, "What should I do, for I have nowhere to store
my crops?" Then he said, "I will do this. I will pull down my barns
and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And
I will say to my soul, Soul you have ample goods stored for many years. Take
it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry." But God said to him, "Foolish
man? This very night you will have to give back your soul, and the things you
produced, whose will they be?" That is what happens to the one who stores
up treasure for himself and is not rich in the sight of God' (QS 38).
A wandering monk should neither despise what he has received nor should he
envy what others get. The envious monk does not achieve deep contemplation
The wise man does not make friends with the unbelieving, greedy, slanderous or quarrelsome. The wise man avoids the evil (Ud 25:1).
Go. Look, I send you out as lambs among wolves.
Do not carry money, or bag, or sandals, or staff; and do not greet anyone on the road.
Whatever house you enter, say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a child of peace is there, your greeting will be received. But if not, let your peace return to you. And stay in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
And if you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Pay attention to the sick and say to them, 'God's kingdom has come near to you.'
But if you enter a town and they do not receive you, as you leave, shake the dust from your feet and say, 'Nevertheless, be sure of this, the realm of God has come to you' (QS 20).
Whosoever is free of worries, holding onto truth and the Dharma, will cross
the sea of life, will put an end to suffering (Mahaparinibbanasutta 3:66).
It is difficult to follow the path of those who have accumulated nothing and live from right nourishment, those whose only refuge is unconditional freedom in recognition of the void of the transient. Their path is like that of birds in the sky. It is difficult to follow the path of those whose appetite is satisfied and are not attached to consumption, those whose only refuge is unconditional freedom in recognition of the void of the transient. Their path is like that of birds in the sky (Dh 7:3-4).
I am telling you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about
your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more
Think of the ravens. They do not plant, harvest, or store grain in barns, and God feeds them. Aren't you worth more than the birds? Which of you can add a single day to your life by worrying?
And why do you worry about clothing? Think of the way lilies grow. They do not work or spin. But even Solomon in all his splendor was not as magnificent. If God puts beautiful clothes on the grass that is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into a furnace, won't he put clothes on you, faint hearts?
So don't worry, thinking, 'What will we eat?', or 'What will we drink?', or 'What will we wear?' For everybody in the whole world does that, and your father knows that you need these things.
Instead, make sure of his rule over you, and all these things will be yours as well (QS 39).
When a mendicant monk, although still young, yokes himself to the Buddha's
teachings, the world is illuminated like the moon freed of clouds (Dh 25:23).
He who wishes to follow me must know himself and bear my yoke.
To anyone who leaves behind this world without having recognized his own real world, that is of as little use as the Veda he has not studied or some work he has avoided (Brihad-Aranyaka-Upanishad). Jesus said: He who would know everything, but fails to know himself misses the knowledge of everything (Thomas 67).
Whosoever has heard the law of virtue and vice is as a man who has eyes and carries a lamp, seeing everything. He will become completely wise (Ud 22:4)
Just as a lotus blossom, scented and beautiful, can blossom on a dunghill at the side of a road, so too radiates the wisdom of the Buddha's pupils who have realized the Dharma, while normal mortals are blind (GDh 303-304).
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand.
And those in the house see the light.
The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good your whole body will be full of light. But if it is bad your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness (QS 33).
The wise man should renounce the way of darkness and follow the way of light
This world is veiled in darkness; few there can see. Only a few enter into the realm of bliss, just as only a few birds escape the net (Dh 13:8).
Because of that I say this: Whoever is emptied will be filled with light;
but whoever is divided will be filled with darkness (Thomas 61).
Life is easy for someone who is shameless like a crow, slanderous and presumptuous,
boastful and corrupt.
Life is difficult for someone modest who always strives for purity, detached and reticent, immaculate in life and clear in understanding (Dh 18:10-11).
Strive to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will try to enter
by it and will not be able. Once the owner of the house has locked the door,
you will stand outside, knock at the door, and say, 'We ate and drank with
you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say to you, 'I do not know
where you are from. Get away from me, all you unrighteous people' (QS 47).
One way leads to worldly gain and the other to Nirvana. Let the mendicant monk, the Buddha's pupil, seek wisdom, not worldly honours (Dh 5:16). No man can serve two masters. Either he hates the one and loves the other, or he is loyal to one and despises the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Mammon) (QS 55).
(Buddha had withdrawn to a forest hut at Kosala in the Himalayas for solitary reflection.) Then Mara, The Evil One, knew the thought that had arisen in the Enlightened One, so he went to the Buddha: 'O Lord, may the Enlightened One reign as King, may the Perfected One reign with justice, without killing or ordering killings, without being oppressive or serving oppression, without suffering form pain or causing pain to others.' The Buddha answered: 'What doest thou have in mind, O Evil One, that thou speakest thus with me?' Mara responded: 'The Enlightened One, O Lord, has assumed the fourfold might of miracles. If the Enlightened One so wished, he could command the Himalayas, the king of mountains, to become gold, and the mountain would become gold.' The Buddha turned him away: 'What would it help the wise man to own a mountain of gold or silver? Whosoever has recognized the cause of suffering, how should he succumb to desires?' Then replied Mara, the Evil One: 'The Enlightened One knows me, the Perfected One knows me,' and, grieved and discontented, he went away (Marasamyutta from the Samyuttanikaya II 10). Then Jesus was led into the wilderness by the spirit for trial by the accuser. He fasted for forty days and was hungry. The accuser said, 'If you are the son of God, tell this stone to become bread.' But Jesus answered, 'It is written, "No one lives by bread alone."' Then the accuser took him to Jerusalem and placed him at the highest point of the temple and said to him, 'If you are the son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "He will command his angels to protect you", and "They will carry you with their hands so that your foot will not strike a stone."' But Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "You shall not put the lord your God to the test."' Then the accuser took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, and he said to him, 'All these I will give you if you will do obeisance and reverence me.' But Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "You shall reverence the lord your God and serve him alone."' Then the accuser left him (QS 6).
The Evil One spent six difficult years, constantly following the Bohdisattva,
always looking for, seeking, an opportunity to get the better of him, but he
never succeeded. When he did get a chance, he had to leave frustrated and wrathful
(Lalitavistara XVIII). And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he
departed from him for a season (Luke 4:13).
Better than reigning supreme over the earth, better than ruling heaven, better
than dominating all worlds, is the reward of the sotopatti way (Dh 13:12).
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself,
or be cast away (Luke 9:25).
For What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36).
You fool! Of what use are your long locks? Of what use your clothing of hides?
Within yourself darkness is at home. Only outwardly you clean yourself (Ud
Of what use is your matted hair, O fool! Of what use your clothes made of animal hides? Within yourself is a jungle, but outwardly you adorn yourself (Dh 26:12).
Shame on you Pharisees! For you clean the outside of the cup and the dish,
but inside you are full of greed and incontinence. Foolish Pharisees! Clean
the inside and the outside will also be clean. Shame on you Pharisees! for
you love the front seats in the assemblies and greetings in the marketplaces.
Shame on you! for you are like graves, outwardly beautiful, but full of pollution
inside (QS 34).
The blind saw and the deaf could hear...The ill were healed. The hunger and thirst of the deprived were stilled. Drunkenness was taken away from the drunken. The mad regained reason. The blind could see again, and the deaf hear (Lalitavistara VII). Jesus said, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind recover their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are given good news' (QS 16).
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races,
all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
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