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Dharma Movie Review:
The Passion of the Christ [& The Compassion of the Buddha]
Both the Buddha and Jesus are among the most influential of history's religious teachers. While watching the movie, I couldn't help comparing both. Please read the following with an open mind :
While Jesus is supposed to have died for us at about 33, the Buddha lived for all... till he was 80. While Jesus taught for about 3 and a half years, the Buddha taught for about 45 years. While the image of Jesus that commonly comes to mind is that of him suffering injustice on the cross, the common image of the Buddha is that of him smiling in calm meditation under the Bodhi Tree.
While Jesus suffered greatly in his last 12 hours (as portrayed in the movie) to save all, the Buddha practised extreme asceticism for about 6 years to seek the solution to suffering for all beings. Shunning proper food and shelter to experience and transcend suffering, he became starved and emaciated to barely skin and bones and almost died. Furthermore, the Buddha went through immeasurable hardships in many past lives to perfect his compassion and wisdom. It is said that the blood that the Buddha has bled for other beings as a Bodhisattva is deeper than the deepest ocean.
There is a common "3L" argument that Jesus is either Liar, Lunatic, or Lord, for voluntarily letting himself be subjected to the great pain he went through, sacrificing himself. Since it is unlikely that he is a Liar or a Lunatic, he must be Lord, representative of the greatest love possible? If this line of reasoning holds fast, how does it apply to Lord Buddha and his countless acts of selfless compassion? There is greatness in all religions in their own ways, which is why they can inspire so many lives for the better. Let us always keep an open mind in the spirit of harmonious inter-religious dialogue and understanding. May all religions benefit all beings unconditionally. May all be well and happy.