Buddhism and Christianity are two of the largest religions on the earth and while they have both existed separately for thousands of years, a lot of people (including myself) can't help but notice the vast similarities between these two religions. I was baptized Lutheran and throughout some of my youth, I studied Christianity. But given the fact that I was very much a "science minded" youth, I gravitated towards Buddhism which seemed to have a more "universal" way of thinking. Over the decades, as my inquisitiveness and passion for both religions grew stronger, I couldn't help but notice the multitude of similarities between the two religions.
For example, each religion focuses heavily on ALTRUISM and each has their own figurehead, where Christianity has Jesus Christ and Buddhism has Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). Two very different men with two seemingly different paths, but what if somehow their paths were interconnected? Before you blow my theory out of the water completely, let's state some facts here that have recently been confirmed throughout various ancient Indian texts...
The Buddha lived from approximately 500BCE to 420BCE and his buddhist practices and philosophies were passed down through his disciples well after his death. Jesus lived from around 4BCE to 30AD and it is well known that Jesus left Jerusalem at age 13 to travel to Sindh to study directly under a brahmin priest for 6 years to "learn the way". Jesus then travelled throughout the Himalayas for a full DECADE to understand "the way" during the golden age and birth of Mahayana Buddhism. Therefore, even though Jesus may not have been a DIRECT disciple of Buddha himself, he did in fact follow buddhist teachings and philosophies during his early adult years while he traveled and he was so interested that he remained in the Himalayas until age 30. The bible talks about the birth of Jesus and then picks up the story again way later when Jesus was around age 30. The bible conveniently skips all of the details about his early "Buddhist" years during which time he was learning the ways of the Buddha and gaining a solid understanding of Buddhist teachings. These formative years for Jesus must have had a very profound effect upon his psyche and beliefs.
Ancient Indian scriptures tell us many things and we are finding that there are vast similarities between early Christian and Buddhist teachings which I have known all along. What is most interesting to me is that Jesus studied "Mahayana Buddhism" which is a very strict form of buddhism which outlines in detail how to live a "righteous life".
It should become obvious to anyone whom has studied both religions that many of the things that Jesus taught were already taught by Buddha (Siddhartha), therefore it is VERY possible that Jesus used his Buddhist teachings as a platform to create a NEW religion that people from his land could understand more easily. Unfortunately, what may seem very logical and straightforward to me, seems preposterous to some of my Christian friends who find my theory blasphemous to accept. It's almost as if they see Buddhism as evil or something which only shows their arrogance and ignorance because the two religions have far more similarities than differences. To shed some light on this, let's take a detailed look at some of the teachings of both Jesus and Buddha.
Buddha: Teaches the path to enlightenment (which would end suffering)
Jesus: Teaches the path to heaven (which would end suffering)
Buddha: Lose the self and attain nirvana
Jesus: Lose the self and gain eternal light
Buddha: Love all because each path is different and they will learn eventually.
Jesus: "Father forgive them because they know not for what they have done" (Love all because others simply don’t understand what they are doing)
Buddha: Was keen on meditation and chanting to the universe.
Jesus: Frequently meditated and was very vocal about chanting and praying to God.
BOTH religions can be summed up by following these principles below and if you don’t see the light after reading this, then I simply don’t know what else to say here.
"Forgive all, love all, detach from the self, forget materialism and focus on inner peace. Give back to the world more than you take from it."
The way I see things, around age 30 or so Jesus came back to the Middle East after his travels and he was keen on sharing his Buddhist insights and teachings in a way that HIS people could understand and relate to. He took the words from Buddha himself and re-arranged them for the people of his land so that they would be just as inspired and passionate about them as he was.
Regardless of whether you believe that Jesus is the son of god or not, it is proven that Jesus was a mortal man that did in fact travel to the Himalayas and learn the ways of the Buddha. Both Buddha and Jesus had such profound ways of thinking and such passion for the world around them that many people followed their ways.
When simply looking back at history and the facts, you see two very different men, living out two different lives during different time periods with the exact same state of mind on both life and existence itself. To me it is beautiful to see that one entire religion (Christianity) could have come from Jesus whom may have simply been the disciple of another man (Buddha) who lived a few hundred years prior. That's how most religions begin, they take the bit's and pieces from a philosophy that make sense to them and they create a belief of their own that 'their people' can relate to...