A Christian Perspective of of Buddha

As many of you know, I love to read, learn, and take action. Today, I was listening to a YouTube podcast about Buddha. What many of you might not know is that he was from a wealthy elite family, and he gave up everything including his wife and child to find enlightenment. Like Jesus, but 600 years before Jesus, Buddha sat under a Bodhi tree and engaged in deep meditation for 40 Days to find what many Buddhists seek – ENLIGHTENMENT. At that tree, he found wisdom and inner peace. He found Dharma, which means “The Truth of All Things”. Buddha was not divine; he was a messenger to help others gain this enlightenment. Prior to his enlightening, he left everything he had and witnessed poverty, sickness, and death. Life was not a bowl of cherries, outside of his perfect world, in fact they were harsh realities.

When Buddha spent those 40 days under that Bodhi Tree, he considered ‘All that is and All that will be’. He focused on the oneness with the universe. I take this to be the oneness with God. Once Buddha reached this enlightenment, he shared Four Noble Truths:

  1. The Truth of Suffering
  2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering is our Desires
  3. The Truth of the End of Suffering is to Release Those Desires
  4. The Truth of the Path That Leads to the End of Suffering is the 8-Fold Path
    • Right Speech
    • Right Action
    • Right Livelihood
    • Right View
    • Right Effort
    • Right Mindfulness
    • Right Resolve
    • Right Concentration

Being a Christian, I find these teachings so similar to what we believe as Christians. After studying the bible, learning the Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, the power of prayer (meditation), and John 3:16, I cannot help to think that this Enlightenment is a connection to God. What if Buddha actually found God that day? The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the universe and our All-Encompassing Creator. He found an inner peace so strong that it consumed him, he felt a true connection to the universe, or perhaps to God.

In the beginning, God wanted us to live freely, joyously and without suffering, yet human ego and curiosity got in the way – and BAM! That life was taken away in a second. We are now like sheep, who have gone astray, trying to find our way back home. Buddha wanted to find that peace, the place we all come home. He wanted to find that safe space from suffering. He was seeking that extraordinary life before Eve ate that apple, the life God intended us to live. I find no harm in following these four noble truths, or the 8-fold path to enlightenment, as long as we know who we are trying to seek. Jesus is our Enlightenment.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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