Was Jesus the Maitreya Buddha?
- If we examine Siddhartha Gotama's prophesy of the future Buddha, we may find evidence that he was predicting the life of Jesus the Nazarene. Siddhartha Gotama called the future Buddha "Metteyya," which was later translated into Sanskrit as MAITREYA. He also predicted the future Buddha to arrive 500 years after him (DN 26.25). Well, Jesus the Nazarene came 500 years after Siddhartha Gotama.
Additionally, if we examine the term `Metteyya' we will see that it comes from the Pali term `Metta', which is generally translated as "loving kindness" or possibly better rendered as "brotherly love." Certainly "brotherly love" was Jesus the Nazarene's mission statement.
Further, if we examine the origins of the Hebrew term `messiah,' which means "anointed one," we may very well find that it has its origins in the Pali term "Metteyya," and/or the Sanskrit term "Maitreya." They have at least sufficient phonological and linguistic similitude to suggest common origins.
Still further, if we examine the term `Christ' which came from the Greek `Khristos' and understand that Greek invaders invaded India around 450 BCE, they could very well have returned with the term `Krishna', and the concept of the `avatar' and transformed that into the idea of the `Khristos' which was ascribed to Jesus the Nazarene.
Of course the question is how could the ideas and terms of India make it to Europe and vice versa. As I mentioned above. Greeks under Alexander invaded India in about 450 BCE. Further, Persia was conquered by the Indian Emperor Asoka on 250 BCE, who was a Buddhist, so he brought Buddhism to Persia. Later Persia is ruled by Asoka's descendant Melinda in 50 BCE, who happened to be half-Greek because Asoka had taken a number of wives in his military campaigns, and one of those wives was a Greek princes from Bactria, which is modern day Afghanistan.
But even more than military conquest being a means of exchange of ideas, there is ample archeological evidence to prove that trade took place between the peoples on the periphery of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean for thousands of years before Jesus. Thus it is not too unreasonable to say that the ancient Hebrews were participants with Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, etc., in exchanges of religious ideas going back into the very origins of each of those cultures and their religions.
Also, there is ample archeological evidence that Buddhism was expressed all throughout the Persian Empire until the Islamic invasion of 652 AD. Thus, Jesus, during his "missing years" between 12 and 27, could easily have traveled to Persia, which was no more than a few days walk from Jerusalem. He could also easily have hitched a ride on a trade vessel on the southern coast of Arabia and sailed a few days to India, which was certainly doable and may very well have been common practice in his day.
Most of the major religions have a concept of a divinely inspired progenitor. If we consider the above argument then we can see no difference between a Prophet, a Messiah, a Buddha or an Avatar. However, when we assume that our Prophet, Messiah, Buddha or Avatar is the last one or only comes every few thousand years, then we have just killed our religion, because the record proves that divinely inspired contemplatives emerge all of the time.
The Wheel-turning Emperor (DN 26.25)