I recently read a letter to the editor of the Boulder Daily Camera in which the writer referred to Yeshua [Jesus] as the Jewish Buddhist. Fascinated, I looked up a few things and a lot of information can be found here - Was Jesus a Buddhist - and here.
Some of the interesting parallels between the Buddha and Jesus 500 years later include both life stories and sayings:
* Born as an incarnate god.
* Born from a virgin mother.
* Birth claimed as a divine event and prophesied as the same.
* Birth attended by singing angels.
* Birth attended by wise men bearing gifts.
* Prodigious childhood.
* As a child astounded teachers with knowledge.
* Fasted in the wilderness for forty days.
* Tempted while alone by the devil.
* Resisted the devil successfully.
* After the devil left, supernatural events occurred.
* Were vegetarians (fish excepted).
* Began ministry at thirty years of age.
* Attract large following mostly from lower classes.
* Attracted disciples who traveled with him.
* Attracted one disciple who was treacherous.
* Changed disciples' names.
* Encouraged celibacy for their disciples.
* Consecrated in a holy river.
* Itinerant ministry instead of at a fixed place.
* Performed miracles such as curing blindness.
* Renounced worldly riches and required the same of their disciples.
* Ministered to outcasts.
* Advocated universal love and peace.
* Taught mostly through use of parables.
* Triumphal entries (in Jerusalem and Rajagripa).
* Gave major sermon from a mound.
* Disregarded by the dominant religious elite (Pharisees and Brahmans).
* Just before death dispatched disciples to preach in other areas.
* Death accompanied by supernatural event.
JESUS: "A foolish man, which built his house on sand."
BUDDHA: "Perishable is a city built on sand."
JESUS: "Therefore confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed."
BUDDHA: "Confess before the world the sins you have committed."
JESUS: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the foregiveness of sins."
BUDDHA: "Let all sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered."
JESUS: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
BUDDHA: "Consider others as yourself."
JESUS: "If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also."
BUDDHA: "If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon all desires and utter no evil words."
JESUS: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
BUDDHA: "Hatreds do not cease in this world by hating, but by love: this is an eternal truth. Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good."
JESUS: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
BUDDHA: "Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world."
JESUS: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her."
BUDDHA: "Do not look at the faults of others or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have done and have not done."
JESUS: "You father in heaven makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."
BUDDHA: "The light of the sun and the moon illuminates the whole world, both him who does well and him who does ill, both him who stands high and him who stands low."
JESUS: "If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
BUDDHA: "The avaricious do not go to heaven, the foolish do not extol charity. The wise one, however, rejoicing in charity, becomes thereby happy in the beyond."
Well, I guess this explains all those missing years unaccounted for in the Gospels!!