both buddha and moses shared a similar life experience. their actions, however, were profoundly different.
both buddha and moses were palace dwellers.
buddha, for the earlier part of his life, was sheltered in a palace. the buddha was disillusioned with palace life. as a result, he left and had four visits outside the palace which enlightened him. he encountered sickness, old age and death in the first three visits. as a result, he asked how he could enjoy a life of pleasure when there is much suffering in the world. he sought to resolve his internal issue. sfsu
moses left the palace as a young man as well. when he left the palace, he went out to see his brothers and looked at their burdens. he saw an egyptian man striking hebrew man of his brothers. he acted upon what he saw and he slew the egyptian. on another day, he left the palace and attempted to resolve a quarrel between two hebrews. in this encounter, he was confronted with the question as what authority he had to render judgment on others. exodus 2:11
thus, there is a difference between buddha and moses. moses sought to address the suffering of others by rendering some form of justice. buddha, to the contrary, appeared to be concerned about his own personal suffering. he wished to reconcile his own internal issues.
moses’ concern was the feelings of others while buddha’s concern was of his own feelings. moses’ solution to the problem was justice in the form of physicality. buddha’s concern about his own feelings was set on introspection and asceticism.
it is not striking to find that those in the field of psychology gravitate towards buddhism. there are mental health practitioners who have written books on buddhism. since they share the concepts of individual’s accepting and coping with their problems, there is a natural fit. there is encouragement to tackle matters on an introspective matter. buddha’s enlightenment is viewed as impacting the emotions of the individual.
moses’ impact is different. he perceived himself as a social warrior concerned with the welfare of others. he believed that he was an agent of change to improve others’ lives. he believe that his actions could emotionally and physically improve the others’ lives. to do so, he imposed justice.
it is important to note, however, that moses’ initial actions could be viewed as both a failure and a revelation. he acted in a vigilante-like manner. he further acted as an individual who was not a source of authority for judgment or justice. these two episodes were eye opening to him as to the need for an authority to render justice and judgment.
as a result of leaving the palace, moses is forced to go on his journey to the desert. there, he decides to climb the god’s mountain and have an encounter with god at the burning bush. it was at this encounter that he found authority for judgment and justice in the world. god.
buddha, in order to reach his enlightenment, also went on a journey and struggle.
both moses and buddha provide guidance to humanity with respect issues of suffering and an unjust world. sometimes, there is a mergence of their issues and concepts. for example, what is the approach of each individual who is suffering emotionally as a result of a victim of a crime? both issues of justice and inner peace need to be addressed for that individual.
if you would like to read more blog posts, click here