Bashir Ahmad Orchard
The Review of Religions, June 1990
Buddha and Jesus were both holy prophets of God who appeared in their own times for the spiritual rejuvenation of the people to whom they were sent. Buddha appeared in India about six hundred years before Jesus. In both were found a purity of life, sanctity of character and patient endurance under fierce persecution. It appears that they were both very near in resemblance as suggested by the following analogies.
The basic teachings of Buddha are very similar to those taught by Jesus most of which are contained in his Sermon on the Mount. (Matth. ch 5)
The essence of Buddha’s teachings are:
Gautama Buddha taught that all men are brothers, that charity ought to be extended to all, even to enemies; that men ought to love truth and hate the lie; that good work ought not to be done openly; but rather in secret; that the dangers of riches are to be avoided; that man’s highest aim ought to be purity in thought, word and deed, since the higher things are pure, whose nature is akin to that of man. (The Angel-Messiah by Benson)
There are, indeed, also points of resemblance in the history of Buddha and Jesus. It has been declared that history of Jesus, as portrayed in the New Testament, is a copy of the history of Buddha:
The most ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha which correspond in a resemblance manner, and impossibly by mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels about the life and teachings of Jesus. (The Angel-Messiah by Benson, p 50)
The view has been advanced that the similarities found in the lives and teachings of Gautama Buddha and Jesus could not happen by chance and that as Buddha is the older than Christianity then the former is the parent of the latter. This, of course, is speculation as there are many teachings and points similar and common to all religions.