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Comparison of Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha and the Parable of the Lost Son - Essay Example

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Comparison of Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha and the Parable of the Lost Son

In The Teachings, the father’s wealth was greatly focused upon and stressed as an important part of the story. The father had many jewels about him, and acquired many riches, while his son was laboring in a poor hamlet for low wages.1 The Buddhist account is a tale which truly focuses on how the father was living in lavish luxury—while his own son was very poor, as he had left the household in search of adventure and spent much of his own fortune. What is most troubling about the difference between the Buddhist and the Christian accounts is how much the Buddhist teaching focuses on telling the story in such an elaborate fashion—detailing the every luxury of the father’s house, whereas the Christian account is a rather, how shall one say, ‘unvarnished’ tale. The Biblical account, while very similar in terms of talking about the father’s wealth—also mentions the fact that, like in the Buddhist account, the son is poor and working as a hired hand on his own father’s land. ...
gs, it says, “The father [was] struck with compassion [for his son, who was working hard in the field as a day-laborer.”3 In the Biblical account, it says, “But while he [the son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him...”4 This demonstration of compassion is something that everyone can relate to, as a parent’s compassion for a child is something that is unbelievably generous and tender. This is related well in both accounts of the actual story’s own retelling. IV. The Father Sought Communication With His Son It is natural for any parent to want to have communication with his or her child. This father, in both accounts, was so desperate to have his son back home that not only did he go out of his way to be close to his son—but, that, in the Biblical account, the father slaughters the fatted calf in order to celebrate his homecoming. In The Teachings, The father dressed himself in rough cloth and put dust on himself just to go about into the field where his son was working.5 He just wanted to be near him. It was like a father painfully watching his son be homeless and volunteering at a homeless shelter just to have interaction with him. Similarly, in the Biblical account, the father goes to his son—but in this case the father has physical contact and gets to hug his own son. “[The father] ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”6 There is something powerful about the relationship of the father and son that is evidenced through both of these very insightful, endearing readings. V. Conclusion Of course, no love can match that of a parent’s love for his or her child—except possibly that of a lover for his or her partner. However, what is amazing is that both of these accounts of the ...Show more


Comparison of Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha and The Parable of the Lost Son Word Count: 1,040 (4 pages) I. Introduction In The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, as well as the passage in Luke 15:11-32, there are definitely similarities in the story of the prodigal son, told from both the Buddhist and the Christian perspectives…
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Comparison of Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha and the Parable of the Lost Son
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