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Buddhism and Christianity: Similarities and Contrast

Buddhism and Christianity are both religions that have a rich history and millions of devout followers throughout the world. In some ways, the two religions are similar, being based largely on the teachings of a single man; the Buddha in the case of Buddhism, and Christ in the case of Christianity. "How many people have provoked this question - not 'Who are you''...but 'What are you''...Only two: Jesus and Buddha." (Smith, p82). There are many differences however, in their interpretations of the world and the afterlife, that make each religion unique. Buddhism was founded upon the teachings of the Buddha, who was born (most likely) in the 5th century BCE, to a noble family in northern India. "The infant was born in the royal palace in Lummini, according to the tablet found by the archaeologists in 1896; and there he was named Siddhartha Gautama." (Gaer, p40). Being of high birth in a Hindu society with an established caste system, Gautama lived the first decades of his life in luxury and comfort. A confrontation with an old, sick man left Gautama disillusioned about the nature of life, and he left his life of comfort to live as a monk. In contrast to Christianity, Gautama did not become 'the Buddha' until he was in his thirties, after becoming awakened to the nature to life. This revelation occurred to Gautama after sitting down to meditate underneath a Bodhi tree. There, he resisted distraction to realize the meaning of life. "The records offer as the first event of the night a temptation scene reminiscent of Jesus' on the eve of his ministry." (Smith, p86). When he arose from meditation, Gautama was awakened, and became 'the Buddha'. Instead of entering nirvana (the release of the soul from earthly bondage), the Buddha chose to remain on earth and spread enlightenment. "The Great Awakening had arrived. Gautama's being was transformed, and he emerged the Buddha...all created things...

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Buddhism and Christianity: Similarities and Contrast. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 14:31, October 23, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/201645.html