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Forum LockedBuddha: a christian saint?

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    Posted: 15-May-2006 at 09:28
In Philip Hitti's book "History of the Arabs", he mentions that during medieval times in Europe, there was a widely-circulated religious romance story called "Jehoshaphat and Barlaam". Based largely on this story, both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches canonized the said Jehoshaphat, who would have been a "Hindu Prince". Apparently though, the story was actually based on events in Siddhartha Gautama's life, better known as the Buddha. Jehoshaphat is apparently none other than the Buddha himself, which actually means that Buddha has been canonized twice as a saint in the christian religion. I haven't found any information on the internet on this subject, btu I was wondering if anyone else has heard of this story.
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The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition; 2006


BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT [Barlaam and Josaphat] , legend popular in medieval times. It corresponds in part to the legend of Buddha. Versions of the story have been found in nearly every language. At the birth of Josaphat (or Joasaph), the son of the Indian king Abenner, it was prophesied that the young prince was destined for greatness not as a royal leader but as a holy man. The king did all that was possible to stop the prophecy from coming true, but the prince, through the teachings of the monk Barlaam, was converted to religion (according to Western legend, Christianity). After the death of Abenner, Josaphat abdicated the throne and lived out the remainder of his days with Barlaam, as a religious recluse.

Bibliography: See the standardized Greek text with translation by G. R. Woodward and H. Mattingly (1914).



Author not available, BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright 2006 Columbia University Press



Barlaam and Josaphat

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The principal characters of a legend of Christian antiquity, which was a favourite subject of writers in the Middle Ages. The story is substantially as follows: Many inhabitants of India had been converted by the Apostle St. Thomas and were leading Christian lives. In the third or fourth century King Abenner (Avenier) persecuted the Church. The astrologers had foretold that his son Josaphat would one day become a Christian. To prevent this the prince was kept in close confinement. But, in spite of all precautions, Barlaam, a hermit of Senaar, met him and brought him to the true Faith. Abenner tried his best to pervert Josaphat, but, not succeeding, he shared the government with him. Later Abenner himself became a Christian, and, abdicating the throne, became a hermit. Josaphat governed alone for a time, then resigned, went into the desert, found his former teacher Barlaam, and with him spent his remaining years in holiness. Years after their death, the bodies were brought to India and their grave became renowned by miracles. Barlaam and Josaphat found their way into the Roman Martyrology (27 November), and into the Greek calendar (26 August). Vincent of Beauvais, in the thirteenth century, had given the story in his "Speculum Historiale". It is also found in an abbreviated form in the "Golden Legend" of Jacobus de Voragine of the same century.

The story is a Christianized version of one of the legends of Buddha, as even the name Josaphat would seem to show. This is said to be a corruption of the original Joasaph, which is again corrupted from the middle Persian Budasif (Budsaif=Bodhisattva). Still it is of historical value, since it contains the "Apology" presented by the Athenian philosopher Aristides to the Emperor Adrian (or Antoninus Pius). The Greek text of the legend, written probably by a monk of the Sabbas monastery near Jerusalem at the beginning of the seventh century, was first published by Boissonade in "Anecdota Graeca" (Paris, 1832), IV, and is reproduced in Migne, P.G., XCVI, among the works of St. John Damascene. The legend cannot, however, have been a work of the great Damascene, as was proved by Zotenberg in "Notices sur le livre de Barlaam et Josaphat" (Paris, 1886) and by Hammel in "Verhandl. des 7 interneat. Orientalisten Congresses", Semit. Section (Vienna, 1888). Another edition of the Greek was made by Kechajoglos (Athens, 1884). From the original Greek a German translation was made by F. Liebrecht (Münster, 1847). Latin translations (Minge, P.L., LXXIII), were made in the twelfth century and used for nearly all the European languages, in prose, verse and in miracle plays. Among them is prominent the German epic by Rudolph of Ems in the thirteenth century (Königsberg, 1818, and somewhat later at Leipzig). From the German an Icelandic and Swedish version were made in the fifteenth century. At Manila the legend appeared in the Tagala language of the Philippines. In the East it exists in Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Hebrew.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02297a.htm
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2006 at 10:10
My Maths teacher was telling me of how Jesus learnt in Kashmir and it is the final resting place of him. I took this to be bs at the time, but I'll ask him the sources for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2006 at 05:54
Yea jesus went to india tibet and back to jerusaleum
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2006 at 09:17
In the Buddhist religion priests are sent to find the reincarnation of the Lama. I believe that some Buddhists tie that in with the 3 wise men from the east who were identifying the new Lama.
 
The theory goes he would have gone been taken east, schooled in a monastry and after returned west, mixed his Buddhism Yuck to wealth, no-killing ect) with some local Abrahamic mumbo jumbo and hey presto! Christianity and the new messiah.
 
So Christanity is Western Buddhism.
 


Edited by Paul - 17-May-2006 at 09:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2006 at 05:12
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

 
So Christanity is Western Buddhism.
 
 
Even if the story were true (hey, who knows?) it still would be too contaminated to be a form of Buddhism.
 
Actually it's more like Hellenised Judaism (with a touch of Roman governance in the Catholic churches).
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 18-May-2006 at 05:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Achilles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 15:19
I have also heard stories about Jesus going to the far east and stufying Bhuddism, then returning to Israel and teaching. maybe that is what he actualy did from when he was 10 to 30. you never know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anujkhamar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 15:33
Well i wouldn't really call India the far east
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maziar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2006 at 15:43
Originally posted by Anujkhamar Anujkhamar wrote:

My Maths teacher was telling me of how Jesus learnt in Kashmir and it is the final resting place of him. I took this to be bs at the time, but I'll ask him the sources for you.
Yes i have read about it in a magazine. In Kashmir in front of a Muslims graveyard there is a rectangular building, Rauza bal. This must be the mausoleum of Yuz Asaf, and people say Yuz Asaf was the Jesus, who haven't died on the cross, but also he fled there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2006 at 20:04
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

 
So Christanity is Western Buddhism.
 
 
Even if the story were true (hey, who knows?) it still would be too contaminated to be a form of Buddhism.
 
Actually it's more like Hellenised Judaism (with a touch of Roman governance in the Catholic churches).
 
 
Unlikely, Maziar theory, as farfetched as it sounds, make more sense. Christianity fundamental doctrines are very akin to Buddhism. I believe the tenets of Buddhism was taught to Jesus in Egypt. Remember Buddhism is taught according to one's believe and is not rigid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2006 at 08:44
 
Originally posted by Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

 
So Christanity is Western Buddhism.
 
 
Even if the story were true (hey, who knows?) it still would be too contaminated to be a form of Buddhism.
 
Actually it's more like Hellenised Judaism (with a touch of Roman governance in the Catholic churches).
 
 
Unlikely, Maziar theory, as farfetched as it sounds, make more sense. Christianity fundamental doctrines are very akin to Buddhism.
 
 
!
The major fundamental doctrine of Buddhism is that all suffering springs from desire (or, at least, from attachment to desire). Christianity has nothing like that.
It is also a fundamental doctrine of Buddhism that all things, gods and immaterial beings as well as humans, are subject to the wheel of karma. Christianity has no such doctrine.
It is also a fundamental doctrine of Buddhism that the universe is eternal. Christianity holds the universe was created.
Buddhism teaches that any man can achieve Buddhahood through meditation and detachment from desire. Men are therefore the equal of gods - or, at least, have the potential to be. Christianity does not allow any man to achieve divinity.
 
The major fundamental doctrine of Christianity is that a unique God created heaven and earth. Buddhism has no such doctrine, and recognises no unique God, let alone a creator..
Another fundamental doctrine is that humanity fell from grace as the result of the original sin of Adam: acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil. There is no comparable doctrine in Buddhism.
The doctrine that most distinguishes Christianity is that Christ was incarnated in the man Jesus, was crucified, and resurrected: this sacrifice removed the burden of original sin. Buddhism has no such doctrine of incarnation (though Hinduism does), and it also has no doctrine of salvation.
The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that the Christian God is a single being constituting three persons of the same substance. Buddhism has no such teaching (though there are some similarities in Hinduism).
The doctrine of the Mass, for the majority of Christians, though not all, teaches that the bread and wine when consecrated become the flesh and blood of Christ. Buddhism has no such doctrine.
 
Above all perhaps reincarnation is central to Buddhism, whereas the concept of a single afterlife is central to Christianity.
 
Buddhism and Christianity have hardly anything in common except some similar moral precepts. But the derivation of those precepts is totally different.
 
On the other hand, theologically Judaism and Christianity are very similar, which is why they share most of the same scriptures. They differ in the role of Christ and the Trinity, and the view of the Jews as being still the chosen people. (Christians also recognise that the Jews were the original chosen people, but that Christ's latterday message is for all people.)
 
Jews and Christians alike believe in the coming of the Messiah and the triumph of their religion in the last days and the final judgment. There is nothing at all like that in Buddhism, which sees the universe as eternal both in the future and the past.
 
And in certain aspects, for instance in the opening of the Gospel of John, Christian thought shows definite traces of Hellenistic influence, as it does in the writings of some of the early fathers.
 
 
Quote
I believe the tenets of Buddhism was taught to Jesus in Egypt. Remember Buddhism is taught according to one's believe and is not rigid.
 
There are schools of Buddhism, of course, just as there are Christian denominations and sects. But it is difficult to think of any two religions more directly opposed than Buddhism and Christianity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2006 at 07:51
 
I think you are wrong on all points. Just to correct one: the ultimate doctrine of Buddhism has little to do with desire, the ultimate root teaching is that everything is empty and so is desire and suffering. Desire is the caused of suffering is meaningless when understand the concept of emptiness. That's the only solid Buddhist teaching. There are many ways to transcend to that level.
 
I won't attack your argument point by point simply because your starting logic is flawed. Your are interpreting the scriptures as taught by your local cleric. The real meaning of the words is left for one to interpret. How hard is that to understand. It is a futile exercise to discredit your raving.


Edited by Quetzalcoatl - 24-May-2006 at 07:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2006 at 06:07
 
Originally posted by Quetzalcoatl Quetzalcoatl wrote:

 
I think you are wrong on all points. Just to correct one: the ultimate doctrine of Buddhism has little to do with desire, the ultimate root teaching is that everything is empty and so is desire and suffering.
 
Couldn't disagree more. If suffering is empty, why did Gautama seek to reduce it? Why did he preach compassion?
 
Where do you find that doctrine in Gautama's teaching?
 
Quote
Desire is the caused of suffering is meaningless when understand the concept of emptiness. That's the only solid Buddhist teaching. There are many ways to transcend to that level.
 
I won't attack your argument point by point simply because your starting logic is flawed.
 
 
No, the reason you're not doing it is that you have no answer to any of the points.
 
Where in Buddhism is the notion of a creator God? Where in Buddhism is there the idea of a last judgement? Where is there any concept of a afterlife of rewards and punishments? Even the afterlife of the Pure Land sect is merely an interruption, and there is no judgment of sinners.
 
Where in Christianity is there the idea that a man can equal or surpass the gods? Where in Christianity do you find the doctrine of the Wheel? Of the eternal universe? Of reincarnation?
 
Quote
Your are interpreting the scriptures as taught by your local cleric.
 
I don't have a local cleric, not belonging to any religion. McGraw-Hill did however publish a textbook on comparative religion written by me (and a co-author).
 
Quote
 The real meaning of the words is left for one to interpret. How hard is that to understand. It is a futile exercise to discredit your raving.
 
Not raving at all. What is idiotic is to suggest that Christianity and Buddhism aren't almost as far apart as two religions can be.
 
And what is pointless is to say that you just can't be bothered to answer someone's arguments.
 
You should try learning something about what you're talking about, instead of, I suspect, simply passing on some ill-digested crackpot views of some latter-day pretender.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2006 at 06:47
Quote
 
Couldn't disagree more. If suffering is empty, why did Gautama seek to reduce it? Why did he preach compassion?
 
Where do you find that doctrine in Gautama's teaching?
 
 
No Gautama didn't teach about the reduction of suffering; on the contrary he taught that one should be neutral to both happiness and suffering. But he further stressed that desire is the cause of suffering. This is a teaching for novices, not for one of the level of Gautama, who is neutral to all thing: happiness and suffering alike. Jesus came to similar conclusion concerning suffering.
 
Compassion is taught not because it has any importance in itself since it is empty. But you start with compassion then transcends to the root teaching, that is, the emptiness of all things. Compassion has for purpose to destroy the ego. Without compassion you can't realise the full meaning of emptiness. Emptiness is the destruction of the self, you therefore become omni-potent, all knowing but neutral to all thing good and evil, suffering and happiness. This being is akin to a God. By the way, no where did Jesus defined God. He said: "If you see me you've seen the Father." This is very like Buddhist doctrine that anyone can become a buddha.
 
Your interpretation is due to a poor understanding of the religion.
 
On emptiness the root teaching
 
 
Quote
 
No, the reason you're not doing it is that you have no answer to any of the points.
 
Where in Buddhism is the notion of a creator God? Where in Buddhism is there the idea of a last judgement? Where is there any concept of a afterlife of rewards and punishments? Even the afterlife of the Pure Land sect is merely an interruption, and there is no judgment of sinners.
 
Where in Christianity is there the idea that a man can equal or surpass the gods? Where in Christianity do you find the doctrine of the Wheel? Of the eternal universe? Of reincarnation?
 
 
I didn't bother reply to you because your starting logic is flawed and bordered the nonsensical. Once I've destroyed the reasoning behind your mindlessness there is no need of going further. Your vision of buddhism and Christianity is restricted to conventional teachings and myths. You explanation is superficial and vain, at no point did you quote the bible to back any of your statement. It is logical to dismiss your statement as raving. You would make sense only to the laymen not to the erudites.
 
Judgement day, notion of God etc are concepts that came to you through the interpretation of the Bible by the Catholic church or anglican church. many of these teachings were corrupted and differed from one denomination to another. Therefore it is imperative you quote before you argue. This will prompt to destroy your claim by giving my version of the interpretation. Now, I hope you understand why your logic is flawed and you should to remedy the problem before I start to seriously consider your responses.
 
 
Quote
I don't have a local cleric, not belonging to any religion. McGraw-Hill did however publish a textbook on comparative religion written by me (and a co-author).
 
 
 So you are spreading lies. McGraw-Hill definitely have poor standards; you should work on fiction instead because your knowledge on the subject is pretty much basic.


Edited by Quetzalcoatl - 25-May-2006 at 06:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivek Sharma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Sep-2006 at 06:34
Very good. So we Indians can have a claim on influencing / originating another religion. Islam is the only one left now.
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