The Parallel Sayings of Four Mystical Traditions

religious-figures
Let’s compare religious teachings for a quick second, shall we? Specifically, let’s compare the teachings of four of our greatest and most influential mystical teachers. Now, there isn’t much evidence for the historical existence of any of these individuals and even worse, none of them ever wrote a word on their philosophy. Nonetheless, I feel it important that we take note of the shocking similarities at some of the things they taught us.

The Way

JESUS KRISHNA
The Kingdom is not coming with signs to be observed. The Kingdom of God is within you.
The Gospel of Luke
Those who seek oneness ceaselessly find the Lord dwelling in their own hearts.
The Bagavad Gita
BUDDHA LAO TZU
To begin the journey in the Way…first, set yourself straight. You are your only master.
The Dhammapada
The Way is empty, yet contains all. Words cannot describe it. Better that one should look for it within.
The Tao Te Ching

God and the Universal Mind

JESUS KRISHNA
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things through Him came into being, and without Him, nothing at all came into being. In Him was Life, and the Life became the light of men. And the Light appears in the darkness, and the darkness has not apprehended it.
The Gospel of John
Once, all was darkness. The All remained unseen within it, lacking distinct qualities, unknown and unknowable – as if in deep sleep. Then the Lord – who alone exists – became manifest along with His power. The self-existent Lord was everywhere, manifesting Himself from Himself.
The Ordinances of Manu
BUDDHA LAO TZU
Universal Mind exist like a vast and boundless ocean. Waves disturb its surface, but beneath, all is calm and eternally unmoved. Having no personality, all things exist in it. But due to the disturbance upon its surface, it became an actor playing many parts
The Lankavatara Sutra
In the beginning there was the void, the One without name or form. In this One is the Being in whom all things exist. This is the Living One.
Chung Tzu

Being One

JESUS KRISHNA
Unless one is born anew he will not be able to see the kingdom of God…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh. That which is born of spirit, spirit is.
The Gospel of John
All things born in truth must die, but out of death comes life.
The Bagavad Gita
BUDDHA LAO TZU
The cessation of the discriminating mind can not take place until there is a “turning-about” in the deepest seat of consciousness.
The Lankavatara Sutra
In gathering your vital energy so that you can create agility, have you achieved the state of a new-born child? In cleansing your inner vision, have you purified all of its dullness?
The Tao Te Ching

Materialism and Greed

JESUS KRISHNA
Do not accumulate earthly possessions, which moths and rust can destroy, and which robbers can steal. Rather, store up heavenly treasures which cannot be destroyed or stolen. For wherever you heart is, there is your treasure as well.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke
The desire for wealth can never bring happiness. If wealth is acquired, there is great anxiety in the efforts to keep it. If it is lost, the loss is felt as if it were death…Even if one acquires and retains wealth, the person of wealth is not satisfied, but continues to see more. Wealth only increases one’s desire.
Santiparva Mahabharata
BUDDHA LAO TZU
One buries treasure believing that there will be need of it in the future…But acting with charity and goodness, the self-controlled man stores up hidden treasures no thief can steal.
Khuddaka Patha
No Peace comes to a wealthy man, even if he owns mansions filled with gold and jewels. He must then guard his treasure against those who would steal it. Destruction follows such people.
The Tao Te Ching
JESUS KRISHNA
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.
The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke
Those who rejoice in the Self become masters of themselves, and the masters of all worlds. Those who do not know this truth are slaves.
Chandogya Upanishad
BUDDHA LAO TZU
One road leads to wealth, the other to Nirvana. Knowing this, the monk will seek to separate himself from the world.
The Dhammapada
Those who are so concerned with their lives make life unbearable for themselves. Even when they have what they want, they are not happy. They want to accumulate even more.
Chuang Tzu
JESUS KRISHNA
Go and sell what you have, and give it to the poor; then you will have the riches in heaven.
The Gospel of Mark
Eternity will not appear to those who are deluded by the illusions of wealth.
The Upanishads
BUDDHA LAO TZU
The circumstances that set up the conditions to re-birth are those which have to do with cravings for sensual pleasures.
Majjhima-nikaya
The person who gives from his abundances to those in need lives according to the Way.
Chuang Tzu

Love and Compassion

JESUS KRISHNA
Love your neighbor as yourself.
The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke
The true Yogi applies the same standard to others as he applies to himself. Seeing what is pleasure and pain for himself, he knows what is pleasure and pain for others. Thus, he wishes good to all and evil to none.
The Bagavad Gita
BUDDHA LAO TZU
Being immersed in the highest state of consciousness, the disciple’s heart is connected to compassion. He sees himself in all beings, and is free from negative feelings toward others.
Doctrinal Formulas
If we sacrifice this body for the world’s benefit, the all things will come to that person who loves others as he loves himself.
The Tao Te Ching
JESUS KRISHNA
You have heard it said that, “You should love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you might be children of your Father who is in heaven.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke
With one’s heart centered by Yoga, calm and passive everywhere, the Yogi sees the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self.
The Bagavad Gita
BUDDHA LAO TZU
With generosity and king words, always doing to others what is good, he treats all people as the same. his compassion for the world is like the hub that makes the wheel turn round.
Anguttara Nikyaya
Since the sage is in need of nothing, he gives his attention to those who are in need. He is compassionate to the caring and uncaring alike.
The Tao Te Ching

Hypocrisy

JESUS KRISHNA
Keep away from those who consider themselves to be learned, and like to parade around in their fine vestments, and who love to be noticed and honored in public – those who take the seats in honor in the synagogues, and at feasts. These hypocrites steal from windows even while they say long prayers. The judgement which comes upon them will be great.
The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke
Those who do spiritual practices with the hopes of gaining respect and honor, performing ascetic practices to gain honor, and how are ostentatious, and who practice austerities with the object of gaining welcome, honor, respect, and with ostentation, are unbalanced, and their actions are fleeting.
The Bagavad Gita
BUDDHA LAO TZU
Those monks are immature who seek prestige, doing their best to gain influence and admiration…these monks who are puffed up and boastful, insisting on their own point of view, only increase their pride and passion.
Kevaddha Sutta
Walking in the Way leads forward. But you will not achieve recognition by boasting. Arrogance denotes failure. No merit is gained by self-conceit. Leadership is not attained by inflating yourself.
The Tao Te Ching

The similarities between all of these teachers doesn’t end here, in fact, there are some even wilder connections between these teachers which I hope to write about in the near future. But I hope that this article helped raise some very important questions about these teachers and why they all essentially said the same things. All I ask is that you question.

Thanks for reading,

Notes:

  • Hooper, Richard; “Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Lao Tzu: The Parallel Sayings (The Common Teachings of Four World Religions)”, Sanctuary Publications, 2007
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4 thoughts on “The Parallel Sayings of Four Mystical Traditions

  1. Pingback: On Religion | ninetalesfox

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