Buddha

Buddha

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Buddha whose original name was Siddhartha Gautama, was born in India in the 4th century BC. Gautama was the founder of Buddhism, the religion and philosophical system that produced a great culture throughout much of southern and eastern Asia. Buddha, meaning "Awakened One," or "Enlightened One," is a title, not a proper name. There are various legends about his birth and upbringing (Jacobus 569-71). He married at the age of 16 and lived in luxury and comfort. The turning point in his life came when he was 29, when he realized the inevitability of old age, sickness, and death. He thus became aware of the suffering incurred by people, he resolved on "the great renunciation": to give up the princely life and search for truth. He departed leaving his wife and infant child behind (Jacobus 569-71).
The Buddha spent the rest of his life spreading his teachings, making converts to the spiritual truth and belief he expounded (Jacobus 569-71).
In Buddhism, it is said that life is eternal. After a person's life is finally over, that his or her spirit will be re-born. A review of Buddhism shows that the consistent goal is to look at ones self for enlightenment. Buddhism teaches that the individual should strive to reach Nirvana. Nirvana, simply means total peace. It is the total peace of the universe without aggression and hatred. The Buddhism religion strives for total peace and harmony for ones self and all living creatures (Jacobus 569-71).
When Buddhists look at the Bible and what is said about God they are confused. Buddhists do not pray or acknowledge God the way Christians do, this in itself is a concept that Buddhists cannot conceive. While Buddhists reject the Christian concept of God because it seems to be unsubstantiated, they also reject it because it seems so much lower than their own ideal, the Buddha. Buddhists also reject the Christian God because of the fact that the Bible is incorrect, God can not be perfect. Each is a complex religion, with the many dimensions that carry a profound difference. The greatest difference between Buddhist and Christian views are that Christians believe that man lives in a world full of conflict, which requires man to change. The Buddhist assertion is to the contrary, that our perception is distorted and life in the world should be accepted as is. Buddhists reject the Christian God, because, if the Bible is correct, God appears to be an imperfect god who is authoritative and vengeful (Jacobus 589-598).

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St. Matthew, was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus, he was the author of the first Gospel. This has been the contention of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was a tax collector in Palestine. His apostolic activity was to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life or for that matter his early life.
The gospel of St. Matthew is written as an outline of the ministry of Jesus, meaning that St. Matthew speaks in absolutes. St. Matthew is very direct and to the point with such examples as, "for in say unto you" and "blessed are"(Jacobus 592-3). Matthew's writings are clear, concise and to the point in his gospel of Jesus (Jacobus 589-91).
Christian's believe that the Bible is divinely inspired, God wrote it using man as a writer to teach and spread the word of God. Therefore it is God's instruction to man.
The Bible is the instruction book for anyone who wants to know God. Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God.
" For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)."
Buddhists believe that a person will live eternally if they can achieve Nirvana. This could only come from inner peace and could not be obtained by accepting salvation in order to exempt ones self from damnation. The concept of following Nirvana was to focus one's actions on doing well to others. A Buddhist believes that violence and war no matter what the reason, is totally unacceptable. Buddha taught that acts of kindness and doing well to others would lead to peace and harmony. In this way one could according to Buddha bring about greater change, one person at a time. This is no way is meant that Christians do harm or detriment to others (%&^%&%*&$).
Christianity has a vast history of war, famine and plagues that have come from God or in God's name. This would not, in a Buddhists mind nor in the Buddha's teaching be a just and peaceful God. Buddha taught that search for Nirvana would lead to peace and kindness.
The moral implications of the teachings of Buddha and Jesus differ in the respect that Christianity dealt with the suffering of men for atonement where Buddhists search for enlightenment. There are numerous referanances in the bible where Jesus paid the ultimate price for mankind by dying for our sins.
The path to enlightenment runs a parallel course with the disciples. The original disciples of Buddhism were in search of Nirvana, a place of enlightenment and peace. Disciples of Jesus were in search of God's kingdom, heaven. Both Jesus and Buddha were teachers who had their own students, similar paths different routes. The major difference that one sees is the fact that Buddhism has a limited scope of interpretation where Christianity is wide and varied on belief and practice. It is not for any person to criticize or choose, but there are so many sects and practices of christianity that contradict one another which is right or which is wrong.


WORKS CITED

Gautama, Siddhartha. "Mediation: The Path to Enlightenment" Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas. Boston, New York: Bedford/St Martin's, 1998. P 569-587

2) Jacobus, Lee A., ed. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers.
Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1998.

St. Matthew. "The Sermon on the Mount." Jacobus, Lee A. A World of Ideas. Boston, New York: Bedford/St Martin's, 1998. P 589-99

4) Jacobus, Lee A., ed. A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers.
Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1998.

5) The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X Robert Appleton Company
by Robert Appleton Company, Copyright 1911
Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
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