Parallels Between the Beatitudes of Jesus
and the Proverbs of Solomon and the Buddha:
Part II


In this second part of a two-part blog, we examine four more of the Beatitudes and some parallels in Solomon's writings and the Buddha's proverbs.


Mercy

Jesus taught that the merciful are blessed, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."[1] Solomon wrote that one who confesses and renounces their sins will find mercy, "He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy."[2] The Buddha admonished that one has attained righteousness when he is not faultfinding or murderous, "Him I call indeed a Brahmana[3] who finds no fault with other beings, whether feeble or strong, and does not kill nor cause slaughter."[4] Faultfinding and judging can escalate into hatred and murder. We ought not to pay back wrongs done to us or harbor hatred in our hearts, but seek to be merciful.


Peacemaking

In addition to being merciful, Jesus said that peacemakers are blessed and will be known as the sons of God, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."[5] Solomon counseled that if God takes pleasure in our way, he will cause even our enemies to be a peace with us, "When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."[6] The Buddha exhorted that a righteous person is tolerant with intolerant people, mild with those who are fault-finders, and free from passion (desires) even when among those captured by their passions, "Him I call indeed a Brahmana who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with fault-finders, and free from passion among the passionate."[7] It is a blessing to be a peacemaker, and in doing so, we may often find that our peacemaking ways will diffuse situations that might otherwise erupt into unpleasant or even dangerous situations.


Mourning

Jesus taught that when we mourn, we will be comforted, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."[8] Solomon advised that it's better to be in a house of mourning than one of feasting, because we are all destined to die, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart."[9] The Buddha counseled that the one who knows the end of life (end of suffering) and has put down his burdens is a righteous one, "Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, even here, knows the end of his suffering, has put down his burden, and is unshackled."[10] It is important to know that our time on this earth is brief, and when we mourn the loss of loved ones that we will be comforted.


Persecution

Jesus said that we are blessed when we are persecuted for doing the right thing, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."[11] Solomon wrote that a righteous person will be rescued from trouble, and it will land upon the wicked instead, "The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead."[12] He also taught that justice comes from God, "Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice."[13] The Buddha admonished that a righteous person even though he has not committed an offence endures unjust persecution and punishment, "Him I call indeed a Brahmana who, though he has committed no offence, endures reproach, bonds, and stripes, who has endurance for his force, and strength for his army."[14] When the righteous man is punished, even though he does not deserve it, he can endure it with a quiet strength.


[1] Matthew 5:7 (NIV).

[2] Proverbs 28:13 (AMP).

[3] Brahmana: One who has attained enlightenment.

[4] Dhammapada 405.

[5] Matthew 5:9 (NIV).

[6] Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV).

[7] Dhammapada 406.

[8] Matthew 5:4 (NIV).

[9] Ecclesiastes 7:2 (NIV).

[10] Dhammapada 402.

[11] Matthew 5:10 (NIV).

[12] Proverbs 11:8 (NKJV).

[13] Proverbs 29:26 (NIV).

[14] Dhammapada 399.
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