Many of Jesus’ most famous sayings are mirrored in the words of the Buddha.a Most striking of all the parallels between Jesus’ and Buddha’s words are those dealing with love and compassion.


This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12–13)

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. (Luke 6:29)

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. From anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. (Luke 6:27–30)


Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world. (Sutta Nipata 149–150)

Consider others as yourself. (Dhammapada 10.1)

If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter not evil words. (Majjhima Nikaya 21.6)

Hatreds do not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth…Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good. Overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth. (Dhammapada 1.5 and 17.3)

Both Jesus and the Buddha emphasized that the inner person is more vital than the outer image, and that individuals must look to their own lives rather than criticize others.

Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7)

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. (Dhammapada 4.7)

Although Jesus was born to a peasant family in Galilee, and the Buddha to a powerful ruler who held sway over northern India, both arrived at the same moral destination. Each felt not only that wealth was not the way to heaven and enlightenment, but that worldly riches interfered with an attempt to lead a good life.

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20)

Let us live most happily, possessing nothing; let us feed on joy, like the radiant gods. (Dhammapada 15.4)

For Jesus it is a narrow gate, for the Buddha a lofty mountain, but the salvation message is the same. To become pure is the ultimate challenge, and few will meet it.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who take it. (Matthew 7:13–14)

Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:26)

Just as there are few pleasant parks and lakes, but many dense thickets and inaccessible mountains, so are there few beings who will be reborn among men. More numerous are those who will be reborn in purgatory. (Anguttara Nikaya 1.19)

Those who have sufficient faith in me, sufficient love for me, are all headed for heaven or beyond. (Majjhima Nikaya 22.47)