I am reading Huston Smith's The Illustrated World's Religions for my World Religions class. Such a good class. Such an informative (or enlightening?) book.
We just 'wrapped up' Hinduism and are now getting into Buddhism. Some interesting stuff in our reading today. Thought I'd share.
The six years that Gautama saught enlightenment were comparable to Jesus' 40 days in the desert. Tempted by the Evil One, Mara, but the temptations failed. Following his enlightenment, he entered his time of 'public minstry'... also similar to Jesus'.
Reading about this made me think of the time when the Pharisees are saying that Jesus is of the Devil, to which he turns around and says something to the extent of... "Really? You think that I, who am casting out demons, am of the Devil? That's ridiculous... it would be evil fighting evil."
I think about that because most people in the world of Christianity see most other religions as 'evil' or at the very least, 'not of God.' And I am thinking about how the Buddha fought off his own evil... his own Devil. Was he tapped into anything other than the Creator? Is there another source of Good? of Love? of Light? of Truth? I don't think so.
Something else... People toward the end of his ministry and life began asking him if he were a god or an angel or a saint and all he would say is that he was awake. He did not seek to be sainted or deitized. He was human and did not wish to be worshipped. He wanted to point to the worship/devotion of the Ultimate. I hear some of Jesus' words sounding like this, that he can only do what he sees his father doing, that it is not about him, it is about God... the Ultimate.
These are merely thoughts and comparisons, so please don't get your panties in a twist if you disagree.