Christ Buddha And Christ Jesus Compared

"The more I learn to know Buddha the more I admire him, and

the sooner all mankind shall have been made acquainted with

his doctrines the better it will be, for he is certainly one

of the heroes of humanity."


The mythological portions of the histories of Buddha and Jesus are,

without doubt, nearer in resemblance than
hat of any two characters of

antiquity. The cause of this we shall speak of in our chapter on "Why

Christianity Prospered," and shall content ourselves for the present by

comparing the following analogies:

1. Buddha was born of the Virgin Mary,[289:1] who conceived him without

carnal intercourse.[289:2]

1. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, who conceived him

without carnal intercourse.[289:3]

2. The incarnation of Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by

the descent of the divine power called the "Holy Ghost," upon the

Virgin Maya.[289:4]

2. The incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought

about by the descent of the divine power called the "Holy

Ghost," upon the Virgin Mary.[289:3]

3. When Buddha descended from the regions of the souls,[290:1] and

entered the body of the Virgin Maya, her womb assumed the appearance of

clear transparent crystal, in which Buddha appeared, beautiful as a


3. When Jesus descended from his heavenly seat, and entered

the body of the Virgin Mary, her womb assumed the appearance

of clear transparent crystal, in which Jesus appeared

beautiful as a flower.[290:3]

4. The birth of Buddha was announced in the heavens by an asterim

which was seen rising on the horizon. It is called the "Messianic


4. The birth of Jesus was announced in the heavens by "his

star," which was seen rising on the horizon.[290:5] It might

properly be called the "Messianic Star."

5. "The son of the Virgin Maya, on whom, according to the tradition, the

'Holy Ghost' had descended, was said to have been born on Christmas


5. The Son of the Virgin Mary, on whom, according to the

tradition, the 'Holy Ghost' had descended, was said to have

been born on Christmas day.[290:7]

6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the birth of

Buddha. The Devas[290:8] in heaven and earth sang praises to the

"Blessed One," and said: "To day, Bodhisatwa is born on earth, to give

joy and peace to men and Devas, to shed light in the dark places, and to

give sight to the blind."[290:9]

6. Demonstrations of celestial delight were manifest at the

birth of Jesus. The angels in heaven and earth sang praises to

the "Blessed One," saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and

on earth peace, good will toward men."[290:10]

7. "Buddha was visited by wise men who recognized in this marvelous

infant all the characters of the divinity, and he had scarcely seen the

day before he was hailed God of Gods."[290:11]

7. Jesus was visited by wise men who recognized in this

marvelous infant all the characters of the divinity, and he

had scarcely seen the day before he was hailed God of


8. The infant Buddha was presented with "costly jewels and precious


8. The infant Jesus was presented with gifts of gold,

frankincense, and myrrh.[290:14]

9. When Buddha was an infant, just born, he spoke to his mother, and

said: "I am the greatest among men."[290:15]

9. When Jesus was an infant in his cradle, he spoke to his

mother, and said: "I am Jesus, the Son of God."[290:16]

10. Buddha was a "dangerous child." His life was threatened by King

Bimbasara, who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to

overthrow him.[291:1]

10. Jesus was a "dangerous child." His life was threatened by

King Herod,[291:2] who attempted to destroy the child, as he

was liable to overthrow him.[291:3]

11. When sent to school, the young Buddha surprised his masters. Without

having ever studied, he completely worsted all his competitors, not only

in writing, but in arithmetic, mathematics, metaphysics, astrology,

geometry, &c.[291:4]

11. When sent to school, Jesus surprised his master Zaccheus,

who, turning to Joseph, said: "Thou hast brought a boy to me

to be taught, who is more learned than any master."[291:5]

12. "When twelve years old the child Buddha is presented in the

temple. He explains and asks learned questions; he excels all those who

enter into competition with him."[291:6]

12. "And when he was twelve years old, they brought him to

(the temple at) Jerusalem . . . . While in the temple among

the doctors and elders, and learned men of Israel, he proposed

several questions of learning, and also gave them


13. Buddha entered a temple, on which occasion forthwith all the statues

rose and threw themselves at his feet, in act of worship.[291:8]

13. "And as Jesus was going in by the ensigns, who carried the

standards, the tops of them bowed down and worshiped


14. "The ancestry of Gotama Buddha is traced from his father,

Sodhodana, through various individuals and races, all of royal

dignity, to Maha Sammata, the first monarch of the world. Several of

the names and some of the events are met with in the Puranas of the

Brahmans, but it is not possible to reconcile one order of statement

with the other; and it would appear that the Buddhist historians have

introduced races, and invented names, that they may invest their

venerated Sage with all the honors of heraldry, in addition to the

attributes of divinity."[292:1]

14. The ancestry of Jesus is traced from his father, Joseph,

through various individuals, nearly all of whom were of royal

dignity, to Adam, the first monarch of the world. Several of

the names, and some of the events, are met with in the sacred

Scriptures of the Hebrews, but it is not possible to reconcile

one order of statement with the other; and it would appear

that the Christian historians have invented and introduced

names, that they may invest their venerated Sage with all the

honors of heraldry, in addition to the attributes of


15. When Buddha was about to go forth "to adopt a religious life,"

Mara[292:3] appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:4]

15. When Jesus was about "beginning to preach," the devil

appeared before him, to tempt him.[292:5]

16. Mara said unto Buddha: "Go not forth to adopt a religious life,

and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor of the world."[292:6]

16. The devil said to Jesus: If thou wilt fall down and

worship me, I will give thee all the kingdoms of the


17. Buddha would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said to him:

"Get thee away from me."[292:8]

17. Jesus would not heed the words of the Evil One, and said

to him: "Get thee behind me, Satan."[292:9]

18. After Mara had left Buddha, "the skies rained flowers, and

delicious odors pervaded the air."[292:10]

18. After the devil had left Jesus, "angels came and

ministered unto him."[292:11]

19. Buddha fasted for a long period.[292:12]

19. Jesus fasted forty days and nights.[292:13]

20. Buddha, the Saviour, was baptized, and at this recorded water

baptism the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the highest

God, but also the "Holy Ghost," through whom the incarnation of Gautama

Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of that

Divine power upon the Virgin Maya.[292:14]

20. Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, at which

time the Spirit of God was present; that is, not only the

highest God, but also the "Holy Ghost," through whom the

incarnation of Jesus is recorded to have been brought about,

by the descent of that Divine power upon the Virgin


21. "On one occasion toward the end of his life on earth, Gautama Buddha

is reported to have been transfigured. When on a mountain in Ceylon,

suddenly a flame of light descended upon him and encircled the crown of

his head with a circle of light. The mount is called Pandava, or

yellow-white color. It is said that 'the glory of his person shone forth

with double power,' that his body was 'glorious as a bright golden

image,' that he 'shone as the brightness of the sun and moon,' that

bystanders expressed their opinion, that he could not be 'an every-day

person,' or 'a mortal man,' and that his body was divided into

three[293:1] parts, from each of which a ray of light issued


21. On one occasion during his career on earth, Jesus is

reported to have been transfigured: "Jesus taketh Peter,

James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high

mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his

face did shine as the sun, and his raiment as white as the


22. "Buddha performed great miracles for the good of mankind, and the

legends concerning him are full of the greatest prodigies and


22. Jesus performed great miracles for the good of the

mankind, and the legends concerning him are full of the

greatest prodigies and wonders.[293:4]

23. By prayers in the name of Buddha, his followers expect to receive

the rewards of paradise.[293:5]

23. By prayers in the name of Jesus, his followers expect to

receive the rewards of paradise.

24. When Buddha died and was buried, "the coverings of the body unrolled

themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by supernatural


24. When Jesus died and was buried, the coverings of the body

were unrolled from off him, and his tomb was opened by

supernatural powers.[293:7]

25. Buddha ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his mission on

earth was fulfilled.[293:8]

25. Jesus ascended bodily to the celestial regions, when his

mission on earth was fulfilled.[293:9]

26. Buddha is to come upon the earth again in the latter days, his

mission being to restore the world to order and happiness.[293:10]

26. Jesus is to come upon the earth again in the latter days,

his mission being to restore the world to order and


27. Buddha is to be judge of the dead.[293:12]

27. Jesus is to be judge of the dead.[293:13]

28. Buddha is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end, "the Supreme

Being, the Eternal One."[293:14]

28. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, without beginning or

end,[293:15] "the Supreme Being, the Eternal One."[293:16]

29. Buddha is represented as saying: "Let all the sins that were

committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be


29. Jesus is represented as the Saviour of mankind, and all

the sins that are committed in this world may fall on him,

that the world may be delivered.[293:18]

30. Buddha said: "Hide your good deeds, and confess before the world the

sins you have committed."[293:19]

30. Jesus taught men to hide their good deeds,[293:20] and

confess before the world the sins they had committed.[293:21]

31. "Buddha was described as a superhuman organ of light, to whom a

superhuman organ of darkness, Mara or Naga, the Evil Serpent, was


31. Jesus was described as a superhuman organ of light--"the

Sun of Righteousness"[294:2]--opposed by "the old Serpent,"

the Satan, hinderer, or adversary.[294:3]

32. Buddha came, not to destroy, but to fulfill, the law. He delighted

in "representing himself as a mere link in a long chain of enlightened


32. Jesus said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law,

or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to


33. "One day Ananda, the disciple of Buddha, after a long walk in the

country, meets with Matangi, a woman of the low caste of the Kandalas,

near a well, and asks her for some water. She tells him what she is, and

that she must not come near him. But he replies, 'My sister, I ask not

for thy caste or thy family, I ask only for a draught of water.' She

afterwards became a disciple of Buddha."[294:6]

33. One day Jesus, after a long walk, cometh to the city of

Samaria, and being wearied with his journey, sat on a well.

While there, a woman of Samaria came to draw water, and Jesus

said unto her: "give me to drink." "Then said the woman unto

him: How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me,

which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings

with the Samaritans."[294:7]

34. "According to Buddha, the motive of all our actions should be pity

or love for our neighbor."[294:8]

34. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to

them that hate you."[294:9]

35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, "Buddha went to

the city of Benares, and there delivered a discourse, by which Kondanya,

and afterwards four others, were induced to become his disciples. From

that period, whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced

his doctrines."[294:10]

35. During the early part of his career as a teacher, Jesus

went to the city of Capernaum, and there delivered a

discourse. It was at this time that four fishermen were

induced to become his disciples.[294:11] From that period,

whenever he preached, multitudes of men and women embraced his


36. Those who became disciples of Buddha were told that they must

"renounce the world," give up all their riches, and avow


36. Those who became disciples of Jesus were told that they

must renounce the world, give up all their riches, and avow


37. It is recorded in the "Sacred Canon" of the Buddhists that the

multitudes "required a sign" from Buddha "that they might


37. It is recorded in the "Sacred Canon" of the Christians

that the multitudes required a sign from Jesus that they might


38. When Buddha's time on earth was about coming to a close, he,

"foreseeing the things that would happen in future times," said to his

disciple Ananda: "Ananda, when I am gone, you must not think there is no

Buddha; the discourses I have delivered, and the precepts I have

enjoined, must be my successors, or representatives, and be to you as


38. When Jesus' time on earth was about coming to a close, he

told of the things that would happen in future times,[295:4]

and said unto his disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all

nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have

commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end

of the world."[295:5]

39. In the Buddhist Somadeva, is to be found the following: "To give

away our riches is considered the most difficult virtue in the world; he

who gives away his riches is like a man who gives away his life: for our

very life seems to cling to our riches. But Buddha, when his mind was

moved by pity, gave his life like grass, for the sake of others; why

should we think of miserable riches! By this exalted virtue, Buddha,

when he was freed from all desires, and had obtained divine knowledge,

attained unto Buddhahood. Therefore let a wise man, after he has turned

away his desires from all pleasures, do good to all beings, even unto

sacrificing his own life, that thus he may attain to true


39. "And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what

good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? . . .

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that

thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure

in heaven: and come and follow me."[295:7] "Lay not up for

yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth

corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up

for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor

rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor


40. Buddha's aim was to establish a "Religious Kingdom," a "Kingdom of


40. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,

Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."[296:2]

41. Buddha said: "I now desire to turn the wheel of the excellent

law.[296:3] For this purpose am I going to the city of Benares,[296:4]

to give light to those enshrouded in darkness, and to open the gate of

Immortality to man."[296:5]

41. Jesus, after his temptation by the devil, began to

establish the dominion of his religion, and he went for this

purpose to the city of Capernaum. "The people which sat in

darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region

and shadow of death, light is sprung up."[296:6]

42. Buddha said: "Though the heavens were to fall to earth, and the

great world be swallowed up and pass away: Though Mount Sumera were to

crack to pieces, and the great ocean be dried up, yet, Ananda, be

assured, the words of Buddha are true."[296:7]

42. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by

Jesus Christ."[296:8]

"Verily I say unto you . . . heaven and earth shall pass

away, but my words shall not pass away."[296:9]

43. Buddha said: "There is no passion more violent than voluptuousness.

Happily there is but one such passion. If there were two, not a man in

the whole universe could follow the truth." "Beware of fixing your eyes

upon women. If you find yourself in their company, let it be as though

you were not present. If you speak with them, guard well your


43. Jesus said: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old

time. Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that

whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed

adultery with her already in his heart."[296:11]

44. Buddha said: "A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a

burning pit of live coals. One who is not able to live in a state of

celibacy should not commit adultery."[297:1]

44. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman," "but if they

cannot contain let them marry, for it is better to marry than

to burn." "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own

wife and let every woman have her own husband."[297:2]

45. "Buddhism is convinced that if a man reaps sorrow, disappointment,

pain, he himself, and no other, must at some time have sown folly,

error, sin; and if not in this life then in some former birth."[297:3]

45. "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind

from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master,

who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born


46. Buddha knew the thoughts of others: "By directing his mind to the

thoughts of others, he can know the thoughts of all beings."[297:5]

46. Jesus knew the thoughts of others. By directing his mind

to the thoughts of others, he knew the thoughts of all


47. In the Somadeva a story is related of a Buddhist ascetic whose eye

offended him, he therefore plucked it out, and cast it away.[297:7]

47. It is related in the New Testament that Jesus said: "If

thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from


48. When Buddha was about to become an ascetic, and when riding on the

horse "Kantako," his path was strewn with flowers, thrown there by


48. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem, riding on an ass, his

path was strewn with palm branches, thrown there by the


Never were devotees of any creed or faith as fast bound in its thraldom

as are the disciples of Gautama Buddha. For nearly two thousand four

hundred years it has been the established religion of Burmah, Siam,

Laos, Pega, Cambodia, Thibet, Japan, Tartary, Ceylon and Loo-Choo, and

many neighboring islands, beside about two-thirds of China and a large

portion of Siberia; and at the present day no inconsiderable number of

the simple peasantry of Swedish Lapland are found among its firm


Well authenticated records establish indisputably the facts, that

together with a noble physique, superior mental endowments, and high

moral excellence, there were found in Buddha a purity of life, sanctity

of character, and simple integrity of purpose, that commended themselves

to all brought under his influence. Even at this distant day, one cannot

listen with tearless eyes to the touching details of his pure, earnest

life, and patient endurance under contradiction, often fierce

persecution for those he sought to benefit. Altogether he seems to have

been one of those remarkable examples, of genius and virtue occasionally

met with, unaccountably superior to the age and nation that produced


There is no reason to believe that he ever arrogated to himself any

higher authority than that of a teacher of religion, but, as in modern

factions, there were readily found among his followers those who

carried his peculiar tenets much further than their founder. These, not

content with lauding during his life-time the noble deeds of their

teacher, exalted him, within a quarter of a century after his death, to

a place among their deities--worshiping as a God one they had known only

as a simple-hearted, earnest, truth-seeking philanthropist.[298:1]

This worship was at first but the natural upgushing of the veneration

and love Gautama had inspired during his noble life, and his sorrowing

disciples, mourning over the desolation his death had occasioned, turned

for consolation to the theory that he still lived.

Those who had known him in life cherished his name as the very synonym

of all that was generous and good, and it required but a step to exalt

him to divine honors; and so it was that Gautama Buddha became a God,

and continues to be worshiped as such.

For more than forty years Gautama thus dwelt among his followers,

instructing them daily in the sacred law, and laying down many rules

for their guidance when he should be no longer with them.[299:1]

He lived in a style the most simple and unostentatious, bore

uncomplainingly the weariness and privations incident to the many long

journeys made for the propagation of the new faith; and performed

countless deeds of love and mercy.

"When the time came for him to be perfected, he directed his followers

no longer to remain together, but to go out in companies, and proclaim

the doctrines he had taught them, found schools and monasteries, build

temples, and perform acts of charity, that they might 'obtain merit,'

and gain access to the blessed shade of Nigban, which he told them he

was about to enter, and where they believe he has now reposed more than

two thousand years."

To the pious Buddhist it seems irreverent to speak of Gautama by his

mere ordinary and human name, and he makes use therefore, of one of

those numerous epithets which are used only of the Buddha, "the

Enlightened One." Such are Sakya-sinha, "the Lion of the Tribe of

Sakya;" Sakya-muni, "the Sakya Sage;" Sugata, "the Happy One;"

Sattha, "the Teacher;" Jina, "the Conqueror;" Bhagavad, "the

Blessed One;" Loka-natha, "the Lord of the World;" Sarvajna, "the

Omniscient One;" Dharma-raja, "the King of Righteousness;" he is also

called "the Author of Happiness," "the Possessor of All," "the Supreme

Being," "the Eternal One," "the Dispeller of Pain and Trouble," "the

Guardian of the Universe," "the Emblem of Mercy," "the Saviour of the

World," "the Great Physician," "the God among Gods," "the Anointed" or

"the Christ," "the Messiah," "the Only-Begotten," "the Heaven-Descended

Mortal," "the Way of Life, and of Immortality," &c.[299:2]

At no time did Buddha receive his knowledge from a human source, that

is, from flesh and blood. His source was the power of his divine wisdom,

the spiritual power of Maya, which he already possessed before his

incarnation. It was by this divine power, which is also called the "Holy

Ghost," that he became the Saviour, the Kung-teng, the Anointed or

Messiah, to whom prophecies had pointed. Buddha was regarded as the

supernatural light of the world; and this world to which he came was his

own, his possession, for he is styled: "The Lord of the World."[300:1]

"Gautama Buddha taught that all men are brothers;[300:2] that charity

ought to be extended to all, even to enemies; that men ought to love

truth and hate the lie; that good works ought not be done openly, but

rather in secret; that the dangers of riches are to be avoided; that

man's highest aim ought to be purity in thought, word and deed, since

the higher beings are pure, whose nature is akin to that of man."[300:3]

"Sakya-Muni healed the sick, performed miracles and taught his doctrines

to the poor. He selected his first disciples among laymen, and even two

women, the mother and wife of his first convert, the sick Yasa, became

his followers. He subjected himself to the religious obligations imposed

by the recognized authorities, avoided strife, and illustrated his

doctrines by his life."[300:4]

It is said that eighty thousand followers of Buddha went forth from

Hindostan, as missionaries to other lands; and the traditions of various

countries are full of legends concerning their benevolence, holiness,

and miraculous power. His religion has never been propagated by the

sword. It has been effected entirely by the influence of peaceable and

persevering devotees.[300:5] The era of the Siamese is the death of

Buddha. In Ceylon, they date from the introduction of his religion into

their island. It is supposed to be more extensively adopted than any

religion that ever existed. Its votaries are computed at four hundred

millions; more than one-third of the whole human race.[300:6]

There is much contradiction among writers concerning the date of the

Buddhist religion. This confusion arises from the fact that there are

several Buddhas,[301:1] objects of worship; because the word is not a

name, but a title, signifying an extraordinary degree of holiness. Those

who have examined the subject most deeply have generally agreed that

Buddha Sakai, from whom the religion takes its name, must have been a

real, historical personage, who appeared many centuries before the time

assigned for the birth of Christ Jesus.[301:2] There are many things to

confirm this supposition. In some portions of India, his religion

appears to have flourished for a long time side by side with that of the

Brahmans. This is shown by the existence of many ancient temples, some

of them cut in subterranean rock, with an immensity of labor, which it

must have required a long period to accomplish. In those old temples,

his statues represent him with hair knotted all over his head, which was

a very ancient custom with the anchorites of Hindostan, before the

practice of shaving the head was introduced among their devotees.[301:3]

His religion is also mentioned in one of the very ancient epic poems of

India. The severity of the persecution indicates that their numbers and

influence had became formidable to the Brahmans, who had everything to

fear from a sect which abolished hereditary priesthood, and allowed the

holy of all castes to become teachers.[301:4]

It may be observed that in speaking of the pre-existence of Buddha in

heaven--his birth of a virgin--the songs of the angels at his birth--his

recognition as a divine child--his disputation with the doctors--his

temptation in the wilderness--his transfiguration on the Mount--his life

of preaching and working miracles--and finally, his ascension into

heaven, we referred to Prof. Samuel Beal's "History of Buddha," as one

of our authorities. This work is simply a translation of the

"Fo-pen-hing," made by Professor Beal from a Chinese copy, in the

"Indian Office Library."

Now, in regard to the antiquity of this work, we will quote the words

of the translator in speaking on this subject.

First, he says:

"We know that the Fo-pen-hing was translated into Chinese

from Sanscrit (the ancient language of Hindostan) so early

as the eleventh year of the reign of Wing-ping (Ming-ti), of

the Han dynasty, i. e., 69 or 70 A. D. We may, therefore,

safely suppose that the original work was in circulation in

India for some time previous to this date."[302:1]

Again, he says:

"There can be no doubt that the present work (i. e. the

Fo-pen-hing, or Hist. of Buddha) contains as a woof (so to

speak) some of the earliest verses (Gathas) in which the

History of Buddha was sung, long before the work itself was


"These Gathas were evidently composed in different Prakrit

forms (during a period of disintegration) before the more

modern type of Sanscrit was fixed by the rules of Panini, and

the popular epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana."[302:2]

Again, in speaking of the points of resemblance in the history of Buddha

and Jesus, he says:

"These points of agreement with the Gospel narrative naturally

arouse curiosity and require explanation. If we could prove

that they (the legends related of Buddha) were unknown in the

East for some centuries after Christ, the explanation would

be easy. But all the evidence we have goes to prove the


"It would be a natural inference that many of the events in

the legend of Buddha were borrowed from the Apocryphal

Gospels, if we were quite certain that these Apocryphal

Gospels had not borrowed from it. How then may we explain the

matter? It would be better at once to say that in our present

state of knowledge there is no complete explanation to


There certainly is no "complete explanation" to be offered by one who

attempts to uphold the historical accuracy of the New Testament. The

"Devil" and "Type" theories having vanished, like all theories built on

sand, nothing now remains for the honest man to do but acknowledge the

truth, which is, that the history of Jesus of Nazareth as related in

the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with

a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations. Ernest de Bunsen

almost acknowledges this when he says:

"With the remarkable exception of the death of Jesus on the

cross, and of the doctrine of atonement by vicarious

suffering, which is absolutely excluded by Buddhism, the most

ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain

statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha

which correspond in a remarkable manner, and impossibly by

mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels

about the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ. It is still more

strange that these Buddhistic legends about Gautama as the

Angel-Messiah refer to a doctrine which we find only in the

Epistles of Paul and in the fourth Gospel. This can be

explained by the assumption of a common source of revelation;

but then the serious question must be considered, why the

doctrine of the Angel-Messiah, supposing it to have been

revealed, and which we find in the East and in the West, is

not contained in any of the Scriptures of the Old Testament

which can possibly have been written before the Babylonian

Captivity, nor in the first three Gospels. Can the systematic

keeping-back of essential truth be attributed to God or to


Beside the work referred to above as being translated by Prof. Beal,

there is another copy originally composed in verse. This was translated

by the learned Fonceau, who gives it an antiquity of two thousand

years, "although the original treatise must be attributed to an earlier


In regard to the teachings of Buddha, which correspond so strikingly

with those of Jesus, Prof. Rhys Davids, says:

"With regard to Gautama's teaching we have more reliable

authority than we have with regard to his life. It is true

that none of the books of the Three Pitakas can at present be

satisfactorily traced back before the Council of Asoka, held

at Patna, about 250 B. C., that is to say, at least one

hundred and thirty years after the death of the teacher; but

they undoubtedly contain a great deal of much older


Prof. Max Mueller says:

"Between the language of Buddha and his disciples, and the

language of Christ and his apostles, there are strange

coincidences. Even some of the Buddhist legends and parables

sound as if taken from the New Testament; though we know that

many of them existed before the beginning of the Christian


Just as many of the myths related of the Hindoo Saviour Crishna were

previously current regarding some of the Vedic gods, so likewise, many

of the myths previously current regarding the god Sumana, worshiped

both on Adam's peak, and at the cave of Dambulla, were added to the

Buddha myth.[303:5] Much of the legend which was transferred to the

Buddha, had previously existed, and had clustered around the idea of a

Chakrawarti.[303:6] Thus we see that the legend of Christ Buddha, as

with the legend of Christ Jesus, existed before his time.[303:7]

We have established the fact then--and no man can produce better

authorities--that Buddha and Buddhism, which correspond in such a

remarkable manner with Jesus and Christianity, were long anterior to the

Christian era. Now, as Ernest de Bunsen says, this remarkable similarity

in the histories of the founders and their religion, could not possibly

happen by chance.

Whenever two religious or legendary histories of mythological personages

resemble each other so completely as do the histories and teachings of

Buddha and Jesus, the older must be the parent, and the younger the

child. We must therefore conclude that, since the history of Buddha and

Buddhism is very much older than that of Jesus and Christianity, the

Christians are incontestably either sectarians or plagiarists of the

religion of the Buddhists.


[289:1] Maya, and Mary, as we have already seen, are one and the same


[289:2] See chap. xii. Buddha is considered to be an incarnation of

Vishnu, although he preached against the doctrines of the Brahmans. The

adoption of Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu was really owning to the

desire of the Brahmans to effect a compromise with Buddhism. (See

Williams' Hinduism, pp. 82 and 108.)

"Buddha was brought forth not from the matrix, but from the right side,

of a virgin." (De Guignes: Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 224.)

"Some of the (Christian) heretics maintained that Christ was born from

the side of his mother." (Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 157.)

"In the eyes of the Buddhists, this personage is sometimes a man and

sometimes a god, or rather both one and the other, a divine incarnation,

a man-god; who came into the world to enlighten men, to redeem them, and

to indicate to them the way of safety. This idea of redemption by a

divine incarnation is so general and popular among the Buddhists, that

during our travels in Upper Asia, we everywhere found it expressed in a

neat formula. If we addressed to a Mongol or Thibetan the question, 'Who

is Buddha?' he would immediately reply, 'The Saviour of Men.'" (M.

L'Abbe Huc: Travels, vol. i. p. 326.)

"The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a

great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in

Christianity." (Ibid. p. 327.)

"He in mercy left paradise, and came down to earth because he was filled

with compassion for the sins and misery of mankind. He sought to lead

them into better paths, and took their sufferings upon himself, that he

might expiate their crimes, and mitigate the punishment they must

otherwise inevitably undergo." (L. Maria Child.)

[289:3] Matt. ch. i.

[289:4] See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, pp. 10, 25 and 44. Also, ch. xiii.

this work.

[290:1] "As a spirit in the fourth heaven he resolves to give up all

that glory in order to be born in the world for the purpose of rescuing

all men from their misery and every future consequence of it: he vows to

deliver all men who are left as it were without a Saviour." (Bunsen:

The Angel-Messiah, p. 20.)

[290:2] See King's Gnostics, p. 168, and Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p.


[290:3] See chap. xii. note 2, page 117.

"On a painted glass of the sixteenth century, found in the church of

Jouy, a little village in France, the Virgin is represented standing,

her hands clasped in prayer, and the naked body of the child in the same

attitude appears upon her stomach, apparently supposed to be seen

through the garments and body of the mother. M. Drydon saw at Lyons a

Salutation painted on shutters, in which the two infants (Jesus and

John) likewise depicted on their mothers' stomachs, were also saluting

each other. This precisely corresponds to Buddhist accounts of the

Boddhisattvas ante-natal proceedings." (Viscount Amberly: Analysis of

Relig. Belief, p. 224, note.)

[290:4] See chap. xiii.

[290:5] Matt. ii. 1, 2.

[290:6] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. x.

[290:7] We show, in our chapter on "The Birth-Day of Christ Jesus," that

this was not the case. This day was adopted by his followers long after

his death.

[290:8] "Devas," i. e., angels.

[290:9] See chap. xiv.

[290:10] Luke, ii. 13, 14.

[290:11] See chap. xv.

[290:12] Matt. ii. 1-11.

[290:13] See chap. xi.

[290:14] Matt. ii. 11.

[290:15] See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, pp. 145, 146.

[290:16] Gospel of Infancy, Apoc., i. 3. No sooner was Apollo born

than he spoke to his virgin-mother, declaring that he should teach to

men the councils of his heavenly father Zeus. (See Cox: Aryan Mythology,

vol. ii. p. 22.) Hermes spoke to his mother as soon as he was born,

and, according to Jewish tradition, so did Moses. (See Hardy's Manual

of Buddhism, p. 145.)

[291:1] See Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp. 103, 104.

[291:2] See Matt. ii. 1.

[291:3] That is, provided he was the expected Messiah, who was to be a

mighty prince and warrior, and who was to rule his people Israel.

[291:4] See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism; Bunsen's Angel-Messiah; Beal's

Hist. Buddha, and other works on Buddhism.

This was a common myth. For instance: A Brahman called Dashthaka, a

"heaven descended mortal," after his birth, without any human

instruction whatever, was able thoroughly to explain the four Vedas,

the collective body of the sacred writings of the Hindoos, which were

considered as directly revealed by Brahma. (See Beal's Hist. Buddha, p.


Confucius, the miraculous-born Chinese sage, was a wonderful child. At

the age of seven he went to a public school, the superior of which was a

person of eminent wisdom and piety. The faculty with which Confucius

imbibed the lessons of his master, the ascendency which he acquired

amongst his fellow pupils, and the superiority of his genius and

capacity, raised universal admiration. He appeared to acquire knowledge

intuitively, and his mother found it superfluous to teach him what

"heaven had already engraven upon his heart." (See Thornton's Hist.

China, vol. i. p. 153.)

[291:5] See Infancy, Apoc., xx. 11, and Luke, ii. 46, 47.

[291:6] See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, pp.


[291:7] See Infancy, Apoc., xxi. 1, 2, and Luke, ii. 41-48.

[291:8] See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 37, and Beal: Hist. Bud. 67-69.

[291:9] Nicodemus, Apoc., ch. i. 20.

[292:1] R. Spence Hardy, in Manual of Buddhism.

[292:2] See chap. xvii.

[292:3] "Mara" is the "Author of Evil," the "King of Death," the "God

of the World of Pleasure," &c., i. e., the Devil. (See Beal: Hist.

Buddha, p. 36.)

[292:4] See ch. xix.

[292:5] Matt. iv. 1-18.

[292:6] See ch. xix.

[292:7] Matt. iv. 8-19.

[292:8] See ch. xix.

[292:9] Luke, iv. 8.

[292:10] See ch. xix.

[292:11] Matt. iv. 11.

[292:12] See ch. xix.

[292:13] Matt. iv. 2.

[292:14] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.

[292:15] Matt. iii. 13-17.

[292:16] Matt. xvii. 1, 2.

[293:1] This has evidently an allusion to the Trinity. Buddha, as an

incarnation of Vishnu, would be one god and yet three, three gods and

yet one. (See the chapter on the Trinity.)

[293:2] See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 45, and Beal: Hist. Buddha, p.


Iamblichus, the great Neo-Platonic mystic, was at one time

transfigured. According to the report of his servants, while in

prayer to the gods, his body and clothes were changed to a beautiful

gold color, but after he ceased from prayer, his body became as before.

He then returned to the society of his followers. (Primitive Culture, i.

136, 137.)

[293:3] See ch. xxvii.

[293:4] See that recorded in Matt. viii. 28-34.

[293:5] See ch. xxiii.

[293:6] Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 49.

[293:7] See Matt. xxviii. John, xx.

[293:8] See chap. xxiii.

[293:9] See Acts, i. 9-12.

[293:10] See ch. xxiv.

[293:11] See Ibid.

[293:12] See ch. xxv.

[293:13] Matt. xvi. 27; John, v. 22.

[293:14] "Buddha, the Angel-Messiah, was regarded as the divinely chosen

and incarnate messenger, the vicar of God, and God himself on earth."

(Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 33. See also, our chap. xxvi.)

[293:15] Rev. i. 8; xxii. 13.

[293:16] John, i. 1. Titus, ii. 13. Romans, ix. 5. Acts, vii. 59, 60.

[293:17] Mueller: Hist. Sanscrit Literature, p. 80.

[293:18] This is according to Christian dogma:

"Jesus paid it all,

All to him is due,

Nothing, either great or small,

Remains for me to do."

[293:19] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 28.

[293:20] "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of

them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven."

(Matt. vi. 1.)

[293:21] "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another,

that ye may be healed." (James, v. 16.)

[294:1] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp. x. and 39.

[294:2] "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh

into the world." (John, i. 9.)

[294:3] Matt. iv. 1; Mark, i. 13; Luke, iv. 2.

[294:4] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 140.

[294:5] Matt. v. 17.

[294:6] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 243. See also, Bunsen's

Angel-Messiah, pp. 47, 48, and Amberly's Analysis, p. 285.

[294:7] John, iv. 1-11.

Just as the Samaritan woman wondered that Jesus, a Jew, should ask drink

of her, one of a nation with whom the Jews had no dealings, so this

young Matangi warned Ananda of her caste, which rendered it unlawful for

her to approach a monk. And as Jesus continued, nevertheless, to

converse with the woman, so Ananda did not shrink from this outcast

damsel. And as the disciples "marvelled" that Jesus should have

conversed with this member of a despised race, so the respectable

Brahmans and householders who adhered to Brahmanism were scandalized to

learn that the young Matangi had been admitted to the order of


[294:8] Mueller: Religion of Science, p. 249.

[294:9] Matt. v. 44.

[294:10] Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 6.

[294:11] See Matt. iv. 13-25.

[294:12] "And there followed him great multitudes of people." (Matt. iv.


[294:13] Hardy: Eastern Monachism, pp. 6 and 62 et seq.

While at Rajageiha Buddha called together his followers and addressed

them at some length on the means requisite for Buddhist salvation. This

sermon was summed up in the celebrated verse:

"To cease from all sin,

To get virtue,

To cleanse one's own heart--

This is the religion of the Buddhas."

--(Rhys David's Buddha, p. 62.)

[294:14] See Matt. viii. 19, 20; xvi. 25-28.

[295:1] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 27.

[295:2] Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 230.

"Gautama Buddha is said to have announced to his disciples that the time

of his departure had come: 'Arise, let us go hence, my time is come.'

Turned toward the East and with folded arms he prayed to the highest

spirit who inhabits the region of purest light, to Maha-Brahma, to the

king in heaven, to Devaraja, who from his throne looked down on Gautama,

and appeared to him in a self-chosen personality." (Bunsen: The

Angel-Messiah. Compare with Matt. xxvi. 36-47.)

[295:3] "Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying,

Master, we would see a sign from thee." (Matt. xii. 38.)

[295:4] See Matt. xxiv; Mark, viii. 31; Luke, ix. 18.

[295:5] Mark, xxviii. 18-20.

Buddha at one time said to his disciples: "Go ye now, and preach the

most excellent law, expounding every point thereof, and unfolding it

with care and attention in all its bearings and particulars. Explain the

beginning, the middle, and the end of the law, to all men without

exception; let everything respecting it be made publicly known and

brought to the broad daylight." (Rhys David's Buddhism, p. 55, 56.)

When Buddha, just before his death, took his last formal farewell of his

assembled followers, he said unto them: "Oh mendicants, thoroughly

learn, and practice, and perfect, and spread abroad the law thought out

and revealed by me, in order that this religion of mine may last long,

and be perpetuated for the good and happiness of the great multitudes,

out of pity for the world, to the advantage and prosperity of gods and

men." (Ibid. p. 172.)

[295:6] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 244.

[295:7] Matt. xix. 16-21.

[295:8] Matt. vi. 19, 20.

[296:1] Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. x, note.

[296:2] Matt. iv. 17.

[296:3] i. e., to establish the dominion of religion. (See Beal: p.

244, note.)

[296:4] The Jerusalem, the Rome, or the Mecca of India.

This celebrated city of Benares, which has a population of 200,000, out

of which at least 25,000 are Brahmans, was probably one of the first to

acquire a fame for sanctity, and it has always maintained its reputation

as the most sacred spot in all India. Here, in this fortress of

Hindooism, Brahmanism displays itself in all its plentitude and power.

Here the degrading effect of idolatry is visibly demonstrated as it is

nowhere else except in the extreme south of India. Here, temples, idols,

and symbols, sacred wells, springs, and pools, are multiplied beyond all

calculation. Here every particle of ground is believed to be hallowed,

and the very air holy. The number of temples is at least two thousand,

not counting innumerable smaller shrines. In the principal temple of

Siva, called Visvesvara, are collected in one spot several thousand

idols and symbols, the whole number scattered throughout the city,

being, it is thought, at least half a million.

Benares, indeed, must always be regarded as the Hindoo's Jerusalem. The

desire of a pious man's life is to accomplish at least one pilgrimage to

what he regards as a portion of heaven let down upon earth; and if he

can die within the holy circuit of the Pancakosi stretching with a

radius of ten miles around the city--nay, if any human being die there,

be he Asiatic or European--no previously incurred guilt, however

heinous, can prevent his attainment of celestial bliss.

[296:5] Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 245.

[296:6] Matt. iv. 13-17.

[296:7] Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 11.

[296:8] John, i. 17.

[296:9] Luke, xxi. 32, 33.

[296:10] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 228.

[296:11] Matt. v. 27, 28.

On one occasion Buddha preached a sermon on the five senses and the

heart (which he regarded as a sixth organ of sense), which pertained to

guarding against the passion of lust. Rhys Davids, who, in speaking of

this sermon, says: "One may pause and wonder at finding such a sermon

preached so early in the history of the world--more than 400 years

before the rise of Christianity--and among a people who have long been

thought peculiarly idolatrous and sensual." (Buddhism, p. 60.)

[297:1] Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 138.

[297:2] I. Corinth. vii. 1-7.

[297:3] Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 103.

[297:4] John, ix. 1, 2.

This is the doctrine of transmigration clearly taught. If this man was

born blind, as punishment for some sin committed by him, this sin must

have been committed in some former birth.

[297:5] Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 181.

[297:6] See the story of his conversation with the woman of Samaria.

(John, iv. 1.) And with the woman who was cured of the "bloody issue."

(Matt. ix. 20.)

[297:7] Mueller: Science of Religion, p. 245.

[297:8] Matt. v. 29.

[297:9] Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 134.

[297:10] Matt. xxi. 1-9.

Bacchus rode in a triumphal procession, on approaching the city of

Thebes. "Pantheus, the king, who had no respect for the new worship

(instituted by Bacchus) forbade its rites to be performed. But when it

was known that Bacchus was advancing, men and women, but chiefly the

latter, young and old, poured forth to meet him and to join his

triumphal march. . . . It was in vain Pantheus remonstrated, commanded

and threatened. 'Go,' said he to his attendants, 'seize this vagabond

leader of the rout and bring him to me. I will soon make him confess his

false claim of heavenly parentage and renounce his counterfeit

worship.'" (Bulfinch: Age of Fable, p. 222. Compare with Matt. xxvi.;

Luke, xxii.; John xviii.)

[297:11] "There are few names among the men of the West that stand forth

as saliently as Gotama Buddha, in the annals of the East. In little more

than two centuries from his decease the system he established had spread

throughout the whole of India, overcoming opposition the most

formidable, and binding together the most discordant elements; and at

the present moment Buddhism is the prevailing religion, under various

modifications, of Tibet, Nepal, Siam, Burma, Japan, and South Ceylon;

and in China it has a position of at least equal prominence with its two

great rivals, Confucianism and Taouism. A long time its influence

extended throughout nearly three-fourths of Asia; from the steppes of

Tartary to the palm groves of Ceylon, and from the vale of Cashmere to

the isles of Japan." (R. Spence Hardy: Buddhist Leg. p. xi.)

[298:1] "Gautama was very early regarded as omniscient, and absolutely

sinless. His perfect wisdom is declared by the ancient epithet of

Samma-sambuddha, 'the Completely Enlightened One;' found at the

commencement of every Pali text; and at the present day, in Ceylon, the

usual way in which Gautama is styled is Sarwajnan-wahanse,' the

Venerable Omniscient One.' From his perfect wisdom, according to

Buddhist belief, his sinlessness would follow as a matter of course.

He was the first and the greatest of the Arahats. As a consequence of

this doctrine the belief soon sprang up that he could not have been,

that he was not, born as ordinary men are; that he had no earthly

father; that he descended of his own accord into his mother's womb from

his throne in heaven; and that he gave unmistakable signs, immediately

after his birth of his high character and of his future greatness."

(Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 162.)

[299:1] Gautama Buddha left behind him no written works, but the

Buddhists believe that he composed works which his immediate disciples

learned by heart in his life-time, and which were handed down by memory

in their original state until they were committed to writing. This is

not impossible: it is known that the Vedas were handed down in this

manner for many hundreds of years, and none would now dispute the

enormous powers of memory to which Indian priests and monks attained,

when written books were not invented, or only used as helps to memory.

Even though they are well acquainted with writing, the monks in Ceylon

do not use books in their religions services, but, repeat, for instance,

the whole of the Patimokkha on Uposatha (Sabbath) days by heart. (See

Rhys Davids' Buddhism, pp. 9, 10.)

[299:2] Compare this with the names, titles, and characters given to

Jesus. He is called the "Deliverer," (Acts, vii. 35); the "First

Begotten" (Rev. i. 5); "God blessed forever" (Rom. ix. 5); the "Holy

One" (Luke, iv. 34; Acts, iii. 14); the "King Everlasting" (Luke, i.

33); "King of Kings" (Rev. xvii. 14); "Lamb of God" (John, i. 29, 36);

"Lord of Glory" (I. Cor. ii. 8); "Lord of Lords" (Rev. xvii. 14); "Lion

of the tribe of Judah" (Rev. v. 5); "Maker and Preserver of all things"

(John, i. 3, 10; I. Cor. viii. 6; Col. i. 16); "Prince of Peace" (Isai.

ix. 6); "Redeemer," "Saviour," "Mediator," "Word," &c., &c.

[300:1] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 41.

[300:2] "He joined to his gifts as a thinker a prophetic ardor and

missionary zeal which prompted him to popularize his doctrine, and to

preach to all without exception, men and women, high and low, ignorant

and learned alike." (Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 53.)

[300:3] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 45.

[300:4] Ibid. p. 46.

[300:5] "The success of Buddhism was in great part due to the reverence

the Buddha inspired by his own personal character. He practiced honestly

what he preached enthusiastically. He was sincere, energetic, earnest,

self-sacrificing, and devout. Adherents gathered in thousands around the

person of the consistent preacher, and the Buddha himself became the

real centre of Buddhism." (Williams' Hinduism, p. 102.)

[300:6] "It may be said to be the prevailing religion of the world. Its

adherents are estimated at four hundred millions, more than a third of

the human race." (Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Buddhism." See also,

Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 251.)

[301:1] It should be understood that the Buddha of this chapter, and in

fact, the Buddha of this work, is Gautama Buddha, the Sakya Prince.

According to Buddhist belief there have been many different Buddhas on

earth. The names of twenty-four of the Buddhas who appeared previous

to Gautama have been handed down to us. The Buddhavansa or "History of

the Buddhas," gives the lives of all the previous Buddhas before

commencing the account of Gautama himself. (See Rhys Davids' Buddhism,

pp. 179, 180.)

[301:2] "The date usually fixed for Buddha's death is 543 B. C. Whether

this precise year for one of the greatest epochs in the religious

history of the human race can be accepted is doubtful, but it is

tolerably certain that Buddhism arose in Behar and Eastern Hindustan

about five centuries B. C.; and that it spread with great rapidity, not

by force of arms, or coercion of any kind, like Muhammedanism, but by

the sheer persuasiveness of its doctrine." (Monier Williams' Hinduism,

p. 72.)

[301:3] "Of the high antiquity of Buddhism there is much collateral as

well as direct evidence--evidence that neither internecine nor foreign

strife, not even religious persecution, has been able to destroy. . . .

Witness the gigantic images in the caves of Elephanta, near Bombay and

those of Lingi Sara, in the interior of Java, all of which are known to

have been in existence at least four centuries prior to our Lord's

advent." (The Mammoth Religion.)

[301:4] Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 250.

[302:1] Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. vi.

[302:2] Ibid. pp. x. and xi.

[302:3] Ibid. pp. vii., ix. and note.

[303:1] Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 50.

[303:2] Quoted by Prof. Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. viii.

[303:3] Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 86.

[303:4] Science of Religion, p. 243.

[303:5] Rhys Davids' Buddhism.

[303:6] Ibid. p. 184.

"It is surprising," says Rhys Davids, "that, like Romans worshiping

Augustus, or Greeks adding the glow of the sun-myth to the glory of

Alexander, the Indians should have formed an ideal of their Chakravarti,

and transferred to this new ideal many of the dimly sacred and half

understood traits of the Vedic heroes? Is it surprising that the

Buddhists should have found it edifying to recognize in their hero the

Chakravarti of Righteousness, and that the story of the Buddha should be

tinged with the coloring of these Chakravarti myths?" (Ibid. Buddhism,

p. 220.)

[303:7] In Chapter xxxix., we shall explain the origin of these myths.