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Paperback Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Book

ISBN: 1569754616

ISBN13: 9781569754610

Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings

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Book Overview

JESUS & BUDDHA THE PARALLEL SAYINGS This remarkable collection reveals how Jesus and Buddha--whether talking about love, wisdom, or materialism--were guiding along the same path. Jesus & Buddha also delves into the mystery surrounding their strikingly similar teachings and presents over one hundred examples from each. As a Christian, I grew up with Jesus and have lived with him all my life. I have not lived with the Buddha. Similarly my work on this...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An accesible revelation

I was raised Christian and have long practiced vipassana meditation and follow many of the non-dogmatic principles of Buddhism, so I have had many moments of cross-cultural epiphany, over the years, in which Buddhism and Christianity confirm each other. So I browsed this book with real pleasure. The side-by-side quotes often achieve a greater depth of significance than they tend to on their own, and I feel a growing sense of the universality of the basic tenets of both traditions. Whether Jesus actually came into contact with Buddhism before the age of 30 may be impossible to determine, but, as I see it, he at least had access, through insight, to the fundmantal rightness of compassion as a path, and oneness as the goal. I find the book well-conceived, lucid, approachable, and beautifully designed, too. It is also interesting to note that this format unexpectedly foregrounds the difference between principles and mere cultural accretions. In this light, ritual practice, questions of authority and lineage, orthodoxies of all kinds, and all the other culturally-determined trappings of religion-as-practiced can be easily shucked off to reveal the "heart of the lotus" [the "plain and simple truths"] within. In this sense, the fundamental priciples of each tradition serve as a sort of Bessamer furnace for the other, ridding it of the unnecessary and increasing its universal appeal at once. Quite a brilliant idea, and well done.

Similar but different true, but it may help build tolerance.

I doubt that "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings" will convert many Christians to Buddhism or Buddhists to Christianity. I hope that it will help to build tolerance between the two religions, which is what I believe is the author's intent. "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings" shows that there are many similarities between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha. Both were great spokesmen for compassion and nonviolence. However, by focusing on the similarities between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, this book might be somewhat naïve about the differences between Christianity and Buddhism. A couple of reviewers have pointed to "John 14:6 'I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.'" The reviewers appear to be using the inherent intolerance of this teaching as a selling point for Christianity. For me it was the intolerance of such biblical scriptures that drove me away from Christianity, the religion that I was raised with and that I once strongly believed in. I could not reconcile how such teachings can be of a loving or just god so I eventually reached the point where I could no longer believe in or worship that god. I then gradually started searching for another belief system. Because of both the similarities AND the differences, Buddhism had a naturally strong appeal to me. Buddha's teachings against attachment, even to his own teachings, are especially appealing to me. Perhaps Jesus was actually speaking against attachments to biblical scriptures when he said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me." Perhaps he was saying that only his words were the true words of God and telling his followers not to allow them selves to become attached to biblical scriptures that preceded him or may follow him (i.e.: some have argued that Paul was a corruptor of Jesus' teachings). Unfortunately, if that is what Jesus meant, many Christians do the opposite. They attach to biblical scriptures that allow them to chastise the sins of others and let go of Jesus' teachings. This is especially true of his teachings that interfere with worldly profits, egos or vengeance (i.e.: "that which has Caesar on it belongs to Caesar", "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven", "remove the log from your eye before pointing out the splinter in your neighbors", "let he who is without sin cast the first stone", "if someone strikes you, turn the other cheek", etc.). Regardless of how Jesus may have meant "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me", it is most often used as a teaching of intolerance toward other belief systems. Books like "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings", "Living Buddha, Living Christ", "Spiritual Advice For Buddhists And Christians" and "The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus" might help build tolerance between the two religi

This book is an open-minded observation

I truly enjoyed this book. It kind of saddens me to read all the negative reviews about it, because they have only come from Christians who think that this book is supposed to reveal some kind of universal "truth". All this book is trying to do is relate to people how the two religions are so similar in what they are trying to attain, and what their key figures taught and said. All this stuff about Christianity having the true God is nonsense, because it shows an ignorance of Buddhism. Buddha never once concerned himself with metaphysical matters, and none of Buddhism confuses itself with the invisible world that we cannot prove beyond earthly concepts. That's not to say that Buddhists don't believe in God. It's just a practical religion that says that you can end suffering, and the dependence on something else (like a belief structure and doctrines) in order to do so will never truly end your suffering. It's food for thought, and this book for me was the perfect gateway into this intellectual freedom. That's what's great about this book, the words and concepts are there, but feeling and message are up to the reader. It certainly does a good job of bridging a gap between two misunderstood faiths.

A wonderful meditative tool for ecumenism

This lovely book works beautifully as a meditation aid, or for those searching for the essence of two of the world's great faiths, Christianity and Buddhism. It is astonishing to discover just how much the two religious leaders had in common, just how universal certain core truths really are.One minor quibble, however: I am not sure how our Islamic sisters and brothers would feel hearing Jesus and Buddha being described as *the* two greatest religious figures of human history. Surely, Muhammed must be up there as well? Nonetheless, this book is fascinating and excellent reading for contemplation.

excellent and accessible

This little book, in its utter simplicity, says much more than a scholarly text ever could. The parallel sayings mutually inform each other, broadening and deepening the message of each. The design presents profound teachings in a simple, direct and highly accessible manner-uncluttered with intrusive rational discussion. Like good poetry, its profundity is in its silence.
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