Friday, June 30, 2006

Great teachings on compassion

I want to share with you some more from Marcus Borg's book, Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings. First I want to give you the introduction by Borg to his chapter on Compassion. Then I'll give you a sample of the sayings.

Most striking of all the parallels between Jesus and Buddha are those dealing with love. Both teachers invoked the Golden Rule of treating others as you want them to treat you. Many of Jesus' most famous sayings - turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, and the idea that one who lives by the sword will die by it - are mirrored in the words of the Buddha.

"The moral teaching of Buddha," Oxford scholar Burnett Hillman Streeter noted, "has a remarkable resemblance to the Sermon on the Mount." A further similarity lies in the fact that Jesus' words from the Mount represent his most important teachings, just as the Dhammapda, which closely parallels the Sermon, is the central book in Buddhism. It was reputedly compiled in the Pali language from an oral tradition that began with Buddha's initiates just as the Sermon on the Mount and other parts of the four Gospels are attributed to the early followers of Jesus.

Now here are a couple of samples of parallel sayings:

Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

-- Jesus (Luke 6.31)

Consider others as yourself.

-- The Buddha (Dhammapada 10.1)

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

-- Jesus (John 15. 12-13)

Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.

-- The Buddha (Sutta Nipat 149-150)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:35 PM

    Thank you for the reminders about this book. It is one I will have to add to my collection. Marilyn


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