I have been reading a lot of Shantideva’s [ASIN id=”1590306147″ title=”The Way of the Boddhisattva” description=”A modern translation.”] lately. It strikes me that it has a very Christian flavour, so much so that I have been wondering if Shantideva was a reincarnation of Jesus. My brother came around for dinner last night and he was telling me about this documentary he had seen (see below) that Christ was a Buddha.
It reminded me of a book in my library called [ASIN id=”1852305509″ title=”Jesus Lived in India” description=”Compelling evidence that Jesus lived in India.”] by Holger Kersten, which goes into a lot more detail on the subject. He draws on the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas. Much of the material covered in the BBC documentary is drawn from the same material.
The Bible doesn’t overly suit my type of mind. Neither do lot of Buddhist texts for that matter. In my mind there are no -isms or -anities. What religion is there other than the luminous mind? Gods, devas, and miracles aren’t really my cup of tea as awareness is miraculous enough for me. Nevertheless, as I recall, the Gospel of Thomas (in the apocrypha) talks about Thomas, Mary and Jesus heading down to India.
In the esoteric school I did my early training in, one of the basic beliefs was that Christ was none other than Maitreya Buddha. It all gets a bit complex about the relationship between Christ and Jesus, not that it really matters. One of the views as much I understood it was that Buddha perfected wisdom, creating the religion for the East, and Christ perfected love, creating the religion for the West. Two sides of the same coin.
To that end, the other day, I was listening to a FBA lecture where the basic premise was that for bodhicitta to arise you had to simultaneously detach from the world and engage your fellow beings through loving kindness.