02 November 2007

Buddhist-Christian Parallels

Parallel Beginnings
God the Unconditioned
Heaven Nirvana
Jewish founder of Christianity Hindu founder of Buddhism
virgin birth account virgin birth account
tempted by Satan tempted by Mara
Good News of the Kingdom of God the Dharma (law) of Liberation
Sermon on the Mount Sermon of "Turning the Wheel of Dharma"
taught in parables taught in parables
Feet kissed by Mary Feet kissed by Pasanedi
Betrayed by Judas Betrayed by Devadatta
Ascension Parinirvana
the Anointed One (Messiah, Christ) the Awakened One (Buddha, Enlightened)

Parallel developments
the Church the Sangha
Gospels Sutras
Bible Tripitaka, Prajna Paramita, and many other writings
Apostolic succession Lineage of dharma transmission
Faith promoted 300 years later by Emperor Constantine Faith promoted 300 years later by Emperor Ashoka
Church councils Buddhist councils
missionaries missionaries
monasteries monasteries
After flourishing in the Middle East, now a minority religion in area of its birth After flourishing in India, now a minority religion in area of its birth

Parallel Paths
agape (spiritual love) maitri (lovingkindness)
the world samsara
Purification (Purgatory) Rebirth (Reincarnation)
hell hell realms
imago Dei (image of God) Buddha-nature
Christ within you Realizing your Buddha-nature
Theosis/Deification Awakening, Enlightenment
the Way the Dharma
chant chant

prayer candles

prayer flags
saints buddhas, bodhisattvas
angels devas
demons demons
relics relics
Shroud of Turin Buddha's Tooth
Four Spiritual Laws Four Noble Truths
10 Commandments Eightfold Path
rosaries rosaries (malas)
icons icons (thangkas)
statues statues
the "Jesus Prayer" nembutsu
Sign of the Cross Taking Refuge
contemplation meditation
New Jerusalem Western Paradise
sin dukkha (unsatisfactoriness)

Parallel Schools
Eastern Orthodoxy
(teachings of the Church Fathers)
Theravada
(teachings of the Elders)
devotional Catholicism
(saints, Heaven)
Kwan Yin, Amitabha, Pure Land
(enlightened beings, Paradise)
Mysticism
(direct experience of God)
Zen
(direct experience of the Ultimate)
Protestantism
(Scripture and salvation)
Nichiren, Pure Land
(Scripture and salvation)
Charismatic / Pentecostal
(enthusiasm)
Vajrayana
(enthusiasm)

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