The "crucifixion" of Buddha?
I would like to add that Lindtner is one of the most cited modern scholars I've ever come across in my research using Google books. He began asking me years ago to present papers at his conferences - indeed, he is one of the only scholars of this caliber to have the courage to jump into this field with both feet and make such a challenge. I'm calling it "Lindtner's Challenge
In my "Origins" article, I quote Lindtner concerning the purported crucifixion of Buddha:
The Sanskrit manuscripts prove without a shadow of doubt:
Everything that Jesus says or does was already said or done by the Buddha.
Jesus, therefore, is a mere literary fiction.
• The Last Supper was the Last Supper of the Buddha.
• Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was baptism in the name of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Samgha.
• All the miracles performed by Jesus had already been performed by the Buddha.
• The twelve disciples of Jesus were, in fact, the twelve disciples of the Buddha.
• It was king Gautama—not Jesus—who was crucified.79
• It was Tathâgata—not Jesus—who was resurrected....
• There is nothing in the Gospels, no person, no event, that cannot be traced back to cognate persons, events or circumstances in the Buddhist gospels.
• ...Jesus is a Buddha disguised as a new Jewish legislator, teacher, Messiah and king of Israel.
The Gospels, forming the foundation of Christianity, are, therefore, typical Buddhist literature, fiction, designed for missionaries whose language was Greek.
I next remark:
Concerning this purported "crucifixion" of Buddha, related in, among others, a Buddhist text dating to the first century BCE - the Samghabhedavastu/Mahâparinirvâna sutra - Ken Humphreys states:
In this story of "Gautama, a holy man" our hero is wrongfully condemned to die on the cross for murdering the courtesan Bhadra. Gautama is impaled on a cross, and his mentor Krishna Dvapayana visits him and enters into a long dialogue, at the end of which Gautama dies at the place of skulls after engendering two offspring—the progenitors of the Ikshavaku Dynasty.
In a footnote, I say, "In private correspondence, Dr. Lindtner informed me that there were three sources for the crucifixion story of Buddha: the Lotus sutra, the Mahaparinirvana sutra and the Samghabhedavastu, of which the MPS is a part."
Lindtner has further commented about this issue, which has evidently created some furor elsewhere.
What I am saying is, quite precisely, that the MSV, which also contains one of the many recensions - the most influential - of the Mahâparinirvânasûtram (ed. Waldschmidt, Tib; Pâli, translation from the Chinese, San. fragments etc.) ALSO contains the episode where Gautamas, king of Iksvâku, etc., progenitor of our Sâkyamunis, is impaled on the place of skulls, etc.
I have mentioned that in my Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, pp. 87-97.
I am, to repeat, NOT saying that the Mahâparinirvânasûtram [MPS] contains that episode.
I am also saying that the NT crucifixion narrative is a mosaic fabricated by combining at least 3 different Buddhist sources: two from the MSV, one from the Lotus (which is later than the MSV as far as I can judge at present)
Yes, I do maintain that the MPS version in the MSV recension is pre-Christian.
The MSV refers to the Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya, which has been published in the following text:The Gilgit Manuscript
According to Lindtner, this text has never been translated into English. A "recension" is "an editorial revision of a literary work, esp. on the basis of critical examination of the text and the sources used." So, Lindtner is saying here that only in the MSV recension of the MPS is the above crucifixion episode mentioned.
Lindtner also stated the following:
I discovered that the main Sanskrit source of the NT crucifixion legend appears in the Samghabhedavastu (Raniero Gnoli (ed.) The Gilgit Manuscript of the Sanghabhedavastu, Part 1, Roma 1977, pp.21-25.)...
The story is combined with two other Buddhist sources in Sanskrit. The êlei êlei lema sabakhthanei, the saints emerging from the openings in the ground, etc., can be identified. This again is combined with words and sentences from the OT - and then we end up with our famous Gospels.
The result is a mosaic, and the person a pure fabrication....
To be quite sure: My friend Prof Z. Thundy, who also reads Sanskrit, has accepted my identification.
The resurrection legend is from The Mahâparinirvânasûtra (belongs to the same tradition and corpus as the Sanghabhedavastu). Here, it is the "jewel body", that goes up - in smoke - to the world of Brahmâ, elsewhere described as the "father" of our Buddha. So in the end our hero returns to the place from where he started out.
The legend I submitted to you is available in ancient Tibetan and Chinese versions (from San), but not in Pâli.
Again, he remarks:
There are three main Buddhist sources, see the German book, Geheimnisse, pp. 87 - 97.
Matthew, who was the first, combined OT sources with three different Buddhist sources (Lotus, MPS and SBV, of which MPS is a part).
In general we are in agreement about the personifications of the ubiquitous solar myth.
My focus is on the direct literary sources of Matthew (who, as the ancient church correctly opined, was then followed by Mark , Luke, John). I want to see how Matthew worked, I want to see the books on the table of Matthew. I wish to introduce real NT source criticism = Comparative Gospel Studies. The sources were: OT (Septuaginta as a rule, know already), Lotus, SBV (including MPS), Prajnâpâramitâ. Matthew COMBINED these sources, carefully counting words and syllables, often reproducing exactly the consonants of the original Sanskrit (PuTRaS becoming PeTRoS, etc.) This bizarre method of translation was not unique to Matthew. The fragments of Aquila´s OT from Hebrew into Greek show exactly the same features (N.F.Marcos, The Setpuagint in Context, Leiden 2000, pp. 115-118).
It is, moreover, amazing that I am the first to point out the simple and obvious fact that Matthew imitates the style of the Buddhist sûtras (as is from su-uktam = well said, good saying = eu-aggelion)....
Virtually all parables are not from OT or any other Greek or Jewish source but from Buddhist texts....
The style (genre), the parables and the four major episodes (book, pp. 33 ff) show the priority of the Buddhist source. Episodes from the MPS are known from Buddhist art B.C....
The scope, or overall purpose of the Gospels is to establish a saviour (sôtêr of the coins) who is also a king. In India they fabricated a King of Dharma, the Sâkya king who became a wandering ascetic. Matthew did exactly the same when he fabriocated a dikaiosunê king of the Jews, or of Israel. Both sacrificed their lives for mankind, in the same way, on a cross, in a stûpa, between two trees, or two "robbers". Promise of paradeisos likewise from MPS....
The idea of fabricating a dharma-king for the benefit of mankind - salvation through faith only - is explicitly from the MPS and the Lotus.
All four evangelists can be identified as Buddhists.
The legend of Pantaneus discovering the Gospel of Matthew in India (of which theologians can make no sense) simply means that that there were Indian (= Buddhist) sources for the Greek gospels.
I have pointed this out in my book on p. 74. The entire legend (gospel, sûtram) of the Buddha was narrated by the Great Maudgalyâyanas, sitting in the assembly. Likewise, the Gospel of Matthew was narrated by Matthew, sitting at the place of toll (Matthew 9:9)....
A little later he tells the story of Gautamas who was crucified, or impaled, as king of Iksvâku, etc. The last supper etc. are, of course, also narrated by Maudgalyâyanas, alias Mat(h)thaios.
And finally, Lindtner states:
Right you are about the Buddha being a myth. I argue to that effect in my next book on the Mahâyâna philosopher Nâgârjuna... In my paper on Buddhist Bhagavatism I show that even in early Pâli sources there is a clear concept of the double nature of a Bhagavat (nominative: Bhagavân). Already in the earliest sources the same person is man and god (descending from Brahmaloka) at the same time. He has conversations with Indra, Brahma etc. He can fly, make himself invisible etc. He can also descend to Naraka ("Hell"), just as he can go to heaven. This is clearly a mythical figure. And the Pâli texts also list our Buddha (Siddhârtha) as # 7 in a row.
So, how can our friend here deny that the Buddha is a mythical being?