Comparison - Christianity and BuddhismQUESTION: Comparison Christianity and Buddhism - What are the differences?ANSWER:
Jesus came to this world as a man and fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Buddha could not reconcile the existence of suffering with an all-powerful, loving God and so rejected the teachings of Hinduism.
There are Four Noble Truths to Buddhism: Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha, and Marga.
Dukkha, the first of the Four Noble Truths, says that all human experience is transient and that suffering results from excessive desire and attachment. It is a Pali word which means, "incapable of satisfying." The Buddha taught that suffering is an inescapable reality. We know there are things in this world that will momentarily end suffering. How do we know suffering exists unless we have something to compare it to? Does a man who is completely blind know when he enters a dark room?
Samudaya, the second noble truth, explains that the cause of suffering is ignorant desire.
Nirodha, the third noble truth indicates that this desire can be destroyed. The way out of suffering is craving.
Marga, the fourth noble truth, teaches that the way out of suffering is the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path shows the way out of the cycle of birth and death, which is full of misery. Comparison between Christianity and Buddhism can be done using the principles of the Eightfold Path:Right Understanding - "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17).
Right Intention - "He who has a wayward and crooked mind finds no good. . ." (Proverbs 17:20).
Right Speech "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. . .If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless" (James 1:19, 27).
Right Action - "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17).
Right Livelihood - "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
Right Effort - "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Right Mindfulness - "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Right Concentration - "Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth" (Colossians 3:2).
A comparison between Christianity and Buddhism reveals that both acknowledge the reality of suffering. The Bible teaches that suffering began when mankind rejected God. When we refuse to accept the reality of God in our lives, it results in suffering both for us and for those who are affected by our choices. Separation from God results in temporary suffering on this earth and everlasting suffering in Hell. Unlike Buddhism, Christianity teaches that suffering ends only in the presence of God in Heaven. We cannot get to heaven without Christ.
Buddha has shown his way to live: his Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. God shows us His way; He has revealed His truth and has told us how we are to live. "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6).