Letter To A Buddhist Friend

Dear Er. Mithra,

Loving greetings to you and your family I received your letter and the notes on Buddhism. It is a valuable document on the “enlightened one born in 560 B.C., I have gone through all that more than ones and noted the relevant and meaningful insights of the Buddha. I once again thank you for sending a very good notes on Buddhism.

I do not know why you want to compare and contrast Buddhism with Christianity. Since you have asked for it, to the best of my knowledge, I am giving you the important point form the life of our lord Jesus Christ and the holy bible.

As you have pointed out, it is good to study all religions in the pluralistic society to respect one another and there religious faiths. May the Lord our God Jesus Christ bless you and your family as you read this letter.   I trust this will give you more points to your religious studies and enlighten your thoughts on Christian faith.

I could feel your concern for the entire human world, as I read your letter. In fact that is the practical teachings of Jesus.

As you love yourself love your neighbor Lev. 18:19,Zex, 8:17; Mat 5:43; 19:19; 22:31; 33 Lk 10:27; Rom 13:9  ; Gal 5:14; James 2:8. In another words we must have a deep concern for the human world.

As you have explained the four Noble truths. The existence of suffering, the cause of suffering the ending of all suffering by giving up the desire. And the ending of a pain by the eight-fold path.

Buddha was right in saying desire is the root of all human sufferings. As you are concerned about the world and the sufferings, I am also very much thinking about all these sickness, pains, sufferings in the world.

But how to end our desire? That is my problem I just think of a great writers philosopher in the 1st century. In his book Romans (which is in the New Testament. 4th chapter, 10th verse “the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. Vs. 15I do not understand what I do. What I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. Vs.16 and it I do what I do not want to do. I agree that the law is good. Vs.17 as it is, it is not longer. I myself who do it, but is sin living in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I can not carry it out. Vs. vs. 19 for what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do. This I keep on doing. Vs. 20 now, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…. Vs.24 what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me form this body of death?

Many times, the more we try by our efforts, the more w fail like Paul, sometime in spite of all our human knowledge and determination not to committee any thing wrong we miserably fail in all our actions. That is mainly because of our sinful nature. The bible say’s all have sinned and come short of the glory of god.

Rom. 3:23.

Ron.  3:10 says “There is no one righteous, not even one; vs. 11. There is no one who understands no one who seeks god. Vs.12. all have turned away they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

In I John 1:8 it says “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves.

What Buddha told us to do is good only. All the eight told paths are great truths. The right views, right resolve, right speech; right behavior, right occupation, right efforts, right contemplation and the right meditation. But as a human being, we know what is the right thing to do but we inspite of a desire and determination to do the right thing still fail many times then we feel like Paul “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Rom. 8:2 say’s because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Vs.3. for what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature. God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us.

The early, Buddism was referred to as Theravada Buddhism that says Buddha as a saint But the Mahayana Buddhism which was developed after several centuries claim Buddha as a survivor in the life of Jesus even before his birth there were Dozens of predictions in O.T. (e.g.) 1, the Messiah will be born of a woman (Gen, 3:15; of Gal. 4:4)

2) He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Mat. 1:21f)

3) He would come some 483 years after 444 B.C. (Dan. 9:24 of)

4) he will be of the seed of Abraham (Gen 12: 1-3 and 22: 18) of Mat 1:1 and Gal 3:1b)

5)  He will be of the house of David (II sam. 7:12 of Mat 1:

6) His birth place will be Bethlehem (Mic 5:2 of Mat 2:1)

7) He will be anointed by the Holy Spirit (1sa. 11.2) of Mat 3: 16. 17).

Jesus himself claimed ‘I am the way, the truth, the life no body can come to the father except by me Baptist told he is the lamb of God who carries away the sin of this world. (Jn. 1:29).

I Jn 1:7 says the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin. Buddha never claimed himself a savior nor the immediate followers. Where is Jesus himself and many prophets who lived before and the followers of Jesus his disciples claimed him as the savior of this world.

The concept of Karma.

Each is heir to his own action; each is the fruit of his own action’s womb. Each is kinsman of his own action. What lives on after death is simply karma, the result of what has happened before, not some inward and invisible part of the individual. Since the law of karma is the final point of orientation of the supremacy of the law of Kama and salvation must be seen as the de thronement of the existing center of one’s life and the enthronement of Christ.

Since the over deliverance, the doctrine of Justification by faith has particular relevance and importance in the content of the message.

The bible says in Eph. 2:8 “for it is by grace you have been sowed, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God vs. 9. Not by works, so that no can boast. So we believe that no one can earn their salvation by their good works.

The so-called Buddhist progression into Nirvana, the absolute, is in reality a regression into eliminates any future rebirth the extinction of a personal god. It is a practical approach to life. But the bible makes it clear a personal God exist. (Is. 43:10) In Buddhism sin is against the Supreme Being. But in Christianity sin is ultimately against the Supreme Being. But in Christianity sin is ultimately against God. (Jn.1: 29; Mat1: 21;Rpm 6:23).

The Buddhist belief man is worthless, having only temporary existence. In Christianity man is of infinite worth, made in the image of god and will exist eternally. To Buddhist man’s body is a hindrance but to the Christian it is an instrument to glorify god.           

Evaluation of Zen belief.

In Zen the sudden illumination or enlightment is known as satori. Satori is an experience beyond analyzation  and communication, bringing the practitioner into a state of maturity. Part of Zen’s attraction is that one is not required to be responsible in evaluating any thing in the world while the bible commands Christians to test all things. (1 thes 5:21, 22).

In conclusion, we could say that although there are bridges and points of contact which can be used to transmit the gospel, the two concepts of salvation stand in stark contrast to each other. Nirvana is not a place   but a state of non-being. It speaks of non-reality while the Christian doctrine of salvation speaks of reality, reality in the ultimate. While in heaven, according to Christianity, in the concepts of nirvana one moves into the formless and the void. One speaks of fullness of life. While the other speaks of the extinction of life and non-becoming. The Buddha asked people to work out their own salvation without any objective teleology as is found in the biblical revelation. So, the obvious gaps between the Buddhist and Christian concepts of salvation are evident and there is no way to minimize the difference, only to present the all-sufficient

Christ. Jesus Christ will never forsake any body that so every come to him. He is the total revelation of god.

Bibliography: -

No.

Name

Books

1.

Anderson., J.N.D.,

“The worlds Religious’ inter varsity fellowship. London. 195.

2.

Gnanakan, ken

“Salvation-some Asian perspectives” ATA books, 1992.

3.

Geisler, Norman. L.

“ Christian Apologetic” O.M. books, 1999.

4.

Josh McDowell &

Don Stewart

“Hand book of Today’s religions.”

Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1977.