So I've been reading a lot on Buddhism lately. Not that I suddenly think Buddhism is "The Way" and at last I have all the answers. I just love to learn and to read all kinds of different things.
I'm currently working my way through a book called The Teaching of Buddha. It's interesting to see how many similarities there are between Buddhist and Christian legend. And isn't it funny that Buddhism began about 500 years before the birth of Christ. Interesting, indeed.
For example, though the Buddha's mother was not a virgin, as she had been married for 20 years, the Buddha was not conceived as a result of sexual relations. His barren mother had a dream one night in which a white elephant entered her womb and she became pregnant.
After his birth, a hermit predicted that the Buddha's life would take one of two paths -- he would either become a great king and rule the world or he would forsake the palace and become the Savior of the world.
And so it continues.
I had to chuckle when I read a parable of Buddha about a wealthy man whose son left home and fell into a life of poverty and debauchery. After years the son wandered back to his father's house, and as his father watched him walk back to the house, he sent his servants running out to greet him. The son became a servant in the house until he was advanced and could at last recognize his father. He was then given all of his father's property and treasure.
Perhaps this sounds a bit familiar to anyone who knows the parable of the prodigal son?
Not that I'm saying one is right and the other is wrong. But maybe no religion is really original. Indeed.