Author Topic: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...  (Read 22183 times)

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Offline 88Devin12

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What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« on: July 31, 2011, 07:53:26 PM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Offline Severian

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 07:55:54 PM »
Let's say this, if the EO really revered Buddha, that would be another stumbling towards the EO-OO unity. ;)
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 07:58:40 PM »
Let's say this, if the EO really revered Buddha, that would be another stumbling towards the EO-OO unity. ;)
Well, apparently it was due to an account that regarded them as Christians. So if it is true, it was understood that St. Josaphat was a Christian, so his canonization was based upon that. I really doubt the Buddha would have been canonized otherwise.

If you think about it, if they understood him to have been a Christian, we would have been OO by default, so they were essentially canonizing someone they thought was a saintly OO Christian. ;)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 07:59:38 PM by 88Devin12 »

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 08:04:40 PM »
Well, this thread is interesting...
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 08:08:05 PM »
Hmm... I guess it is modern scholars who believe it is the story of Buddha due to the similarities between the life of St. Josaphat and Buddha. So you could reject the modern scholarly opinion.

Icon of St. Josaphat:


There is apparently St. Barlaam, St. Abenner (father of Josaphat) and St. Josaphat.

Offline biro

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 08:09:24 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 08:11:18 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life. Geography could also be considered, as St. Abenner and St. Josaphat were both kings/emperors of India.

Catholic Encyclopedia (1913):
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Barlaam_and_Josaphat
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02297a.htm

http://www.monachos.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-4401.html
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 08:14:46 PM by 88Devin12 »

Offline Jason.Wike

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 08:19:50 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life. Geography could also be considered, as St. Abenner and St. Josaphat were both kings/emperors of India.

There's been a topic on this before. Supposedly "Josaphat" is a mutation of "Bodhisattva" via Arabic. While completely plausible it also ignores that Josaphat is also actually a Hebrew name in the OT; which makes me iffy about this whole deal, because I know in the past people assumed a lot of similar names were related that weren't at all because they sound the same. I'm not sure the proponents of the Buddha theory actually took that into account at all.

Offline biro

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 08:26:39 PM »
Hmmm. Interesting. Still, the concept, and the fact, of leaving one's high-status life to go practice poverty and the quest for spiritual betterment, is certainly not only part of Buddhism.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 08:31:12 PM »
Indeed, in my Church the names of Sts Maximus and Dometius are read in the diptychs of every liturgy. They were the sons of a Roman emperor, they left their Father's palace and sought to live an austere monastic life.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 08:57:22 PM by Severian »
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 08:33:51 PM »
Hmmm. Interesting. Still, the concept, and the fact, of leaving one's high-status life to go practice poverty and the quest for spiritual betterment, is certainly not only part of Buddhism.

Not to mention this Saint is said to have lived 900-1000 years after the Buddha. I think it was mentioned on another site that this St. Josaphat could have consciously made a decision similar to Buddha, in the way that many other Christian Saints have made conscious decisions that mirrored Christ's life.

St. Josaphat probably would have known the story of Buddha well, and while a Christian, he could have consciously made the decision to abandon his kingly life like Buddha. (not to mention that Christianity doesn't speak too highly of kings either)

Offline ativan

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 08:46:48 PM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?
I suggest you read the book. I think you will enjoy it. I've read 1-st part of it (in Georgian) and it was very nice reading. The teachings in it is entirely Orthodox. In it you won't see Buddhism's teaching. There's some resemblance between the stories of Buddha's life and Iodasaph's (Josaphat) life though but there are also differences. Barlaam (who is a Christian ascetic and who will become the teacher of Iodasaph) for example goes in the prince's house hidden as a beggar. This is the time when Christians are persecuted by Iodasaph's father. In Buddhism there's no story like it. As I said though some of the life details of Iodasaph resembles to that of Buddha (e.g. he is predicted by a sage to become great spiritual leader; his father decides to put him away from the difficulties of life and keep him in a environment full of luxury)

Offline Nero

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 09:17:44 PM »
In my opinion, this looks like another game of "The Virgin Mary is a reproduction of the Pagan Mother Goddess."

Modern Scholars have so many kooky opinions of Christianity. I wouldn't take too much stock in it.

Offline biro

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 09:22:35 PM »
In my opinion, this looks like another game of "The Virgin Mary is a reproduction of the Pagan Mother Goddess."

Modern Scholars have so many kooky opinions of Christianity. I wouldn't take too much stock in it.

Well said.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 10:01:18 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life. Geography could also be considered, as St. Abenner and St. Josaphat were both kings/emperors of India.

There's been a topic on this before. Supposedly "Josaphat" is a mutation of "Bodhisattva" via Arabic. While completely plausible it also ignores that Josaphat is also actually a Hebrew name in the OT; which makes me iffy about this whole deal, because I know in the past people assumed a lot of similar names were related that weren't at all because they sound the same. I'm not sure the proponents of the Buddha theory actually took that into account at all.
Apparently, the Georgian version (one of the earlier versions) has "Iodasaph"; and the Arabic, "Yudhasaf" or "Budhasaf". Only later did it become "Josaphat", likely due to its similarity to the Hebrew.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 10:13:17 PM »
Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?
No:

St Isaac of Syria
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2011, 10:21:40 PM »
Hmm... I guess it is modern scholars who believe it is the story of Buddha due to the similarities between the life of St. Josaphat and Buddha. So you could reject the modern scholarly opinion.

Icon of St. Josaphat:


There is apparently St. Barlaam, St. Abenner (father of Josaphat) and St. Josaphat.
The icon says "Ioasaph" not Josaphat.

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2011, 10:28:39 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life.
There are a few other similarities as well. There are a lot of other accounts of people leaving their royal inheritance for a life of renunciation, but not many of those involve the king bringing seers or astrologers, who then make certain predictions that are not to the king's liking, leading the king to make sure that his son is given every pleasure, and is not told about the sufferings of life, especially about death. The St. John of Damascus version includes the distinctively Buddhist account of Josaphat, escaping from his father's control, encountering three types of sufferings: disease, old age, and death.

Personally, my avatar notwithstanding, I think the Barlaam/Josaphat story is an example of a "righteous gentile", an honorary Christian-before-Christ (as Justin Martyr described Socrates). So the Buddha may be described as a honorary Christian? What's so strange about that?
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2011, 10:29:05 PM »
Hmm... I guess it is modern scholars who believe it is the story of Buddha due to the similarities between the life of St. Josaphat and Buddha. So you could reject the modern scholarly opinion.

Icon of St. Josaphat:


There is apparently St. Barlaam, St. Abenner (father of Josaphat) and St. Josaphat.
The icon says "Ioasaph" not Josaphat.

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That icon is on the page for St. Josaphat

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2011, 10:30:45 PM »
Hmm... I guess it is modern scholars who believe it is the story of Buddha due to the similarities between the life of St. Josaphat and Buddha. So you could reject the modern scholarly opinion.

Icon of St. Josaphat:


There is apparently St. Barlaam, St. Abenner (father of Josaphat) and St. Josaphat.
The icon says "Ioasaph" not Josaphat.

In Christ,
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"Ioasaph" is an apparently earlier version of the name, as seen in St. John of Damascus' version of the story. Later, it became "Josaphat".
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Offline jckstraw72

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 12:36:28 AM »
"scholars" have too much time on their hands, and we should have more faith in the Church than this ...

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 01:00:49 AM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life.
There are a few other similarities as well. There are a lot of other accounts of people leaving their royal inheritance for a life of renunciation, but not many of those involve the king bringing seers or astrologers, who then make certain predictions that are not to the king's liking, leading the king to make sure that his son is given every pleasure, and is not told about the sufferings of life, especially about death. The St. John of Damascus version includes the distinctively Buddhist account of Josaphat, escaping from his father's control, encountering three types of sufferings: disease, old age, and death.

Personally, my avatar notwithstanding, I think the Barlaam/Josaphat story is an example of a "righteous gentile", an honorary Christian-before-Christ (as Justin Martyr described Socrates). So the Buddha may be described as a honorary Christian? What's so strange about that?
I was waiting for someone to say it's awesome.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 06:53:58 AM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Elisha, Elijah, Moses...

Isaac the Syrian, maybe yes and maybe no.

Also, ROCOR glorified a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran. Though they may be trying to figure out how to fix that :angel:
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Offline recent convert

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2011, 08:50:52 AM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Elisha, Elijah, Moses...

Isaac the Syrian, maybe yes and maybe no.

Also, ROCOR glorified a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran. Though they may be trying to figure out how to fix that :angel:
Who would they have glorified that were Roman Catholic or Lutheran? (
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Offline jckstraw72

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2011, 09:07:20 AM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Elisha, Elijah, Moses...

Isaac the Syrian, maybe yes and maybe no.

Also, ROCOR glorified a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran. Though they may be trying to figure out how to fix that :angel:
Who would they have glorified that were Roman Catholic or Lutheran? (

he's referring to the servants of the Romanovs, the Royal Martyrs, who were also killed with the Royal family. They were willing to go to their deaths for Russia and the Tsar, which was an Orthodox position, and so they were baptized in their own blood, just as so many other Saints we have in the Church, such as the 40th martyr of Sebaste who never actually joined the Church.

Offline recent convert

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2011, 09:09:20 AM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Elisha, Elijah, Moses...

Isaac the Syrian, maybe yes and maybe no.

Also, ROCOR glorified a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran. Though they may be trying to figure out how to fix that :angel:
Who would they have glorified that were Roman Catholic or Lutheran? (

he's referring to the servants of the Romanovs, the Royal Martyrs, who were also killed with the Royal family. They were willing to go to their deaths for Russia and the Tsar, which was an Orthodox position, and so they were baptized in their own blood, just as so many other Saints we have in the Church, such as the 40th martyr of Sebaste who never actually joined the Church.
OK, thank you.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2011, 12:55:09 PM »
Assuming a Buddhist origin of St. Josaphat, would "Josaphat" continue to be a saint name that converts could choose for themselves?
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2011, 01:23:22 PM »
I think it's just cynism. The assumption is that if you find similar stories, even if separated by many years, one must be the copy of the other.

A king who receives astrologers, who raises his "little prince" in a golden cage is nothing that difficult to occur many times in history. Neither is adolescent rebelion to rules set by fathers and escapades. That at least two of these young persons in 10,000 years of human history would actually learn from this experience instead of getting in trouble is not only expectable, but really impossible not to occur.
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Offline jah777

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2011, 03:20:12 PM »
In my opinion, this looks like another game of "The Virgin Mary is a reproduction of the Pagan Mother Goddess."

Modern Scholars have so many kooky opinions of Christianity. I wouldn't take too much stock in it.

Most of them are just trying to get attention, recognition, sell books, etc.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 04:37:59 PM »
From what I recall of the scholarly version of this story, in particular the history of the name, the Sanskrit "Bodhisattva" was interpreted in a Manichean version of the story, written in I think Pahlavi (an Iranian language close to Persian), as "Bodisav". From the Pahlavi it received a Muslim Arabic version originally as "Budhasaf", but a typographical error resulted in "Yudhasaf" in later versions, since the Arabic letter for "b" is very similar to "y" (the difference being in whether or not two dots are written above the character). The first Christian version was the Georgian "Iodasaph" in the 10th century, later rendered in Greek in the 11th century as "Ioasaph", and finally when it got its Latin version the name was changed to the similar-sounding, originally Hebrew "Iosaphat". I'm not sure if Ioasaph is originally Hebrew, or if it were chosen just because it sounded like "Iodasaph". If the latter, I don't understand what happened to the Georgian "d", since Greek has a sound similar to "d". Why delete that sound? Perhaps someone with the time to read the original scholarly literature can tell me.

I have to say overall the scholarly story sounds pretty plausible, when the dates of the various versions are lined up after one another and you can trace the slight developments in the name and the story elements over time. I still would not feel too comfortable just accepting the account without any personal expertise in the matter, since I know how easy it can be to manipulate this kind of historical evidence to make a plausible and coherent story, when in fact the original raw evidence may be less compelling. Plus there's the awkward fact that the veneration of SS Barlaam and Ioasaph is now pretty well established in the Church, and story as we have it is rather different from the original story about Buddha. I guess it's kind of like creation and evolution and other cases where Tradition just doesn't fit with modern scientific or historical scholarship. I don't think there's much to do but try to give the Church the benefit of the doubt, while acknowledging that there are difficulties in reconciling the Tradition with our attempts at reasoning.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2011, 04:50:00 PM »
We do realize that anybody can monkey around with Wikipedia, so who knows what's going to wind up there, right?  ;) Some of their articles on cities and countries have reasonably good content, but anytime you get into things where there are personal differences- religion and politics, especially- look out.  :laugh:

Googling it, it apparently has had books and other reports done on it, it's not just on Wikipedia.

Apparently the only part of the story that is similar is that St. Josaphat rejected his kingship and left it to live a more spiritual life.
There are a few other similarities as well. There are a lot of other accounts of people leaving their royal inheritance for a life of renunciation, but not many of those involve the king bringing seers or astrologers, who then make certain predictions that are not to the king's liking, leading the king to make sure that his son is given every pleasure, and is not told about the sufferings of life, especially about death. The St. John of Damascus version includes the distinctively Buddhist account of Josaphat, escaping from his father's control, encountering three types of sufferings: disease, old age, and death.

Personally, my avatar notwithstanding, I think the Barlaam/Josaphat story is an example of a "righteous gentile", an honorary Christian-before-Christ (as Justin Martyr described Socrates). So the Buddha may be described as a honorary Christian? What's so strange about that?

Yes, this is what I understand. Thanks!  :)
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Offline samkim

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2011, 05:15:04 PM »
St. Josapha/Ioasaph is technically a Catholic saint as well.

According to Fr. Thomas Hopko, he is the Buddha.

Source provided by Samkim: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/ask_fr_thomas_hopko2 - LizaSymonenko (FI co-mod)

« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 09:39:02 AM by LizaSymonenko »
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2011, 05:57:32 PM »
Well if some modern scholars and Fr. Thomas Hopko agree, then it's true!  All hail, St. Buddha.

Here's a helpful thread to show how to Venerate your St. Buddha statues.

I'm not knocking either Fr. Thomas or Samkim, for that matter, for posting that.  Still, that's just a priest's private opinion, which the Church probably believes is wrong.  Talk for thousands of hours and your bound to be off on some stuff; he'll readily admit that.  

All of the similarities and parallel origins aside, the story of St. Josaphat is fundamentally different than that of Buddha, as St. Josaphat becomes a Christian ( legendarily or not).  Just running away from home and being "wise" doesn't merit sainthood.  


« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 05:58:25 PM by Cognomen »
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2012, 01:16:15 AM »
Are there anymore "legendary" saints like St. Josaphat that the Orthodox acknowledge?
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2012, 03:45:06 AM »
Quote
Barlaam and Josaphat is a Christianized version of the story of Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha. In the Middle Ages the two were treated as Christian saints, being entered in the Greek Orthodox calendar on 26 August, and in the Roman Martyrology in the Western Church as "Barlaam and Josaphat" on the date of 27 November.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat

Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?

Elisha, Elijah, Moses...

Isaac the Syrian, maybe yes and maybe no.

Also, ROCOR glorified a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran. Though they may be trying to figure out how to fix that :angel:

« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 03:46:07 AM by Ortho_cat »

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2012, 04:32:03 PM »
All of the similarities and parallel origins aside, the story of St. Josaphat is fundamentally different than that of Buddha, as St. Josaphat becomes a Christian ( legendarily or not).  Just running away from home and being "wise" doesn't merit sainthood.  
There are more similarities than that, as I have outlined on this very thread.

Perhaps St. Josaphat being a saint is the Church acknowledging that, yes, one could have lived in India before Christ, and still be accepted by God.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2012, 05:09:20 PM »

How dare you compare the Sayings of the Venerable Internet Fathers with mere unsubstantiated "rumors"! And again I say: how dare you!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 05:09:40 PM by Asteriktos »
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Offline tweety234

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2012, 04:42:34 PM »
"scholars" have too much time on their hands, and we should have more faith in the Church than this ...

someone has to inform us about reality though. no?
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2012, 07:16:05 AM »
Is there really anything wrong with canonizing Buddha as a Saint? I mean, sure, he may not have been an Orthodox Christian, but he lived before God even became Incarnate and was probably never even exposed to Judaism either. But given his ignorance on God, he was probably as holy as a human could be in his circumstances. He rejected the vanity of the world and may have even experienced God on a spiritual level--even if he did not explicitely know who he was. Why not canonize him?

Oh, and for the record. Constantine is a Saint even though he was NOT Orthodox but an Arian who was Baptised by an Arian and supported the Arian view of God.

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2012, 08:03:27 AM »
"scholars" have too much time on their hands, and we should have more faith in the Church than this ...

someone has to inform us about reality though. no?
Another one?  Seriously tweety, you must stop buddy!  Here and there is fine, but this is too much!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 08:04:52 AM by Kerdy »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2012, 01:28:40 AM »
Is there really anything wrong with canonizing Buddha as a Saint? I mean, sure, he may not have been an Orthodox Christian, but he lived before God even became Incarnate and was probably never even exposed to Judaism either. But given his ignorance on God, he was probably as holy as a human could be in his circumstances. He rejected the vanity of the world and may have even experienced God on a spiritual level--even if he did not explicitely know who he was. Why not canonize him?

Oh, and for the record. Constantine is a Saint even though he was NOT Orthodox but an Arian who was Baptised by an Arian and supported the Arian view of God.

Give it a rest, James.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2013, 02:51:56 PM »
Yea, the Buddha could be considered a saint.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2013, 02:53:43 PM »
Funny that this thread was bumped just when I was re-reading Barlaam and Ioasaph.

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2013, 05:22:37 PM »
I just re-read the whole thread and I wonder if anyone who says it's not the Buddha has scientific arguments.

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2013, 05:54:21 PM »
I just re-read the whole thread and I wonder if anyone who says it's not the Buddha has scientific arguments.

Doesn't the burden of proof rest on those attempting to prove (not suggest) that saints Barlaam and Ioasaph are actually Buddha, and not merely representative of or inspired from a somewhat similar story? 

If we were discussing St. Siddhartha, this would all be a moot point.  Nevertheless, I'll look into the scholarly treatment when I get a chance.
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Offline WPM

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2013, 06:14:42 PM »
I just re-read the whole thread and I wonder if anyone who says it's not the Buddha has scientific arguments.

When studying Buddhism, one could say the philosophical discourses of Buddha are scientific.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 06:17:10 PM by WPM »
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2013, 06:22:43 PM »
Doesn't the burden of proof rest on those attempting to prove (not suggest) that saints Barlaam and Ioasaph are actually Buddha, and not merely representative of or inspired from a somewhat similar story? 

They have provided reasonable plausibility, such as the intermediate Manichaean version, the development of the name and so on. Another strong argument is that there was no such thing as a Christian king of India...

Offline Kerdy

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2013, 06:42:44 PM »
Yea, the Buddha could be considered a saint.

To be a saint, one must first be a Christian (specifically Orthodox), unless something has changed to which I am unaware, eliminating any possibility of Buddha being a saint.

Quote
What is required is a virtuous life of obvious holiness. And a saint’s writings and preaching must be "fully Orthodox," in agreement with the pure faith that we have received from Christ and the Apostles and taught by the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.

http://oca.org/FS.NA-Document.asp?ID=83

Offline Cognomen

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2013, 08:13:01 PM »
Doesn't the burden of proof rest on those attempting to prove (not suggest) that saints Barlaam and Ioasaph are actually Buddha, and not merely representative of or inspired from a somewhat similar story? 

They have provided reasonable plausibility, such as the intermediate Manichaean version, the development of the name and so on. Another strong argument is that there was no such thing as a Christian king of India...

I agree.  Providing reasonable plausibility for the origin of their hagiographies, however, is different from proclaiming that Buddha is a saint in the Orthodox Church.   

Also, the reasonable probability was provided for the stories of Barlaam and Josaphat being derived from Buddha's life, not that the Church has explicitly canonized Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.
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Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2013, 01:59:23 PM »
In my opinion, this looks like another game of "The Virgin Mary is a reproduction of the Pagan Mother Goddess."
Modern Scholars have so many kooky opinions of Christianity. I wouldn't take too much stock in it.

Well said.
>second


Is he the only non-Orthodox Saint we have?
No:

St Isaac of Syria

If one questions the claim that Saint Isaac of Syria was allegedly Nestorian, that claim will not withstand an objective knowledgeable scrutiny.
The same applies to the feeble theory that Saint Gregory of Nyssa was neoplatonist.

Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2013, 02:28:36 PM »
Another strong argument is that there was no such thing as a Christian king of India...
That opinion is rubbish.  The Life of Saints Barlaam and Joasaph is historical verification of a Christian king of India. 
I perceive that preservation of ancient Christian tradition in India was more extensive under the long Islamic rule which the British ended.
 
Fr. Asterios Gerostergios of the Institute of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, translator of an English edition of the Lives of Saints Barlaam and Joasaph, includes bibliographical reference to Indian sources of information that confirm this story including a historical Christian tradition in India.  The non-Chalcedonian Churches have a particularly strong presence in states like Kerala in the south of India.  I personally went to India myself and purchased an informative reference by a Indian priest of the Frankist church entitled the 'Thomapedia' By George Menachery ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Menachery ) which might be available from this website.  This particular book had loads of intriguing historical information. 
http://www.indianchristianity.com


That is but one Frankist website.  Many non-chalcedonian sources for Indian Christian history written by Indians also exist online. 
I remember visiting a non-Chalcedonian seminary bookstore and purchasing patristic books by a press in Trivandrum in Kerala.  These books included atrilingual edition of the Ladder of Divine Ascent in English, Greek, and Malalayam.  The preface indicated that the publisher had connections with Holy Tranfiguration Monastery in Boston. 

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2013, 02:34:10 PM »
Fr. Asterios Gerostergios of the Institute of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, translator of an English edition of the Lives of Saints Barlaam and Joasaph

Leaving aside the general argument here, I wanted to make an observation about this translation. While the commentary/ footnotes are valuable, and the illustrations are nice, the translation itself was rather sloppily done- it seems Fr Asterios basically took the old Loeb classic library translation and attempted to update it to modern English (e.g. replace all the "thou's" with "you's"). They also say they made some corrections in the translation, but in any case the revision is very haphazard and the archaic language of the old translation pokes through in many places (for example, the use of the word "leech" for "doctor"). It's a shame because the book is beautifully made otherwise.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2013, 04:57:54 PM »
There is an OO tradition in India, but I am not aware that they ever formed a kingdom. Also it seems that they themselves do not have a local tradition of saints Barlaam and Joasaph/Josaphat. Rather, the Christian version of the story first appeared in Georgia.

I am not saying anyone "canonised" (i.e. glorified) Siddharta Gautama. But a manichaeanised, then christianised version of his life story came up, was considered authentic and thus added to the calendar.

Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2013, 07:07:41 PM »
There is an OO tradition in India
?
Apologize, but I do not follow you.  What does this mean?

I am not aware that they ever formed a kingdom.
"In the Greek listing of Saints, Barlaam is not mentioned, though Joasaph is honored on August 26th. His title is "Saint Joasaph, Son of Abener, King of India."


Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2013, 07:25:08 PM »
Found the following which is interesting:

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/11/note-concerning-saints-barlaam-and.html

In various Slavic calendars of feasts today, November 19th is listed as the feast of Sts. Barlaam and Joasaph. A few notes are listed below just for consideration and to clear up some possible misconceptions.

1. In the Greek listing of Saints, Barlaam is not mentioned, though Joasaph is honored on August 26th. His title is "Saint Joasaph, Son of Abener, King of India."

2. Icons of the two Saints are rare, but where they are both depicted they both have halos.too long quote editted - MK
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 02:32:46 PM by Michał Kalina »

Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2013, 08:00:50 PM »
it seems that they themselves do not have a local tradition of saints Barlaam and Joasaph/Josaphat.

I confess that I have not investigated this particular story's historical background in India very deeply.
I am convinced in any case that the desert of Sennaritis from which the monk Barlaam came is Shinar or Babylonnia - modern Iraq unless someone can prove that it is something else like the monastic desert of Egypt.

I distinctly remember once reading in an old Greek Synaxarion (nineteenth century edition from Athos) of Symeon Metaphrastes that listed a sixth century Saint of Aethiopia as a Saint of India.   I specifically knew exactly whch figure was under discussion as he was a friend of the Roman Emperor Justinian with whom he cooperated in an effort to reconvert people in the Arabian peninsula in the regions around Yemen who had apostasized into Judaism.

Possibly the story pertains to historical events in Aethiopia which does have a history of medieval Christian kings all the way back to King Ezana who was king of Aethiopia during the fourth century after Christ.  Verification of Saint Joasaph as an historical king of Aethiopia or other kingdom in its vicinity would be a matter of painstakingly sifting through the history of early medieval Aethiopian kingdoms.  The Christian Melkite kingdom of Makuria located in Sudan is an example of something that would have to taken into consideration.  My priest told me that Melkite is a name which non-Chalcedonians used to refer to Chalcedonian Christians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Makuria

It seems to me that the dark skinned (non-Aryan) Dravidian peoples indigenous to southern India are Hamitic brothers of the indigenous peoples of Aethiopia anyway.

Although the ruling class Tigrayans of northern Aethiopia can be traced to a Semitic origin, they belong to the same Church (non-Chalcedonian) as most Thomast Christians in India.  
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 08:20:29 PM by Dionysii »

Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #56 on: April 21, 2013, 10:02:56 PM »
Barlaam and Ioasaph

'According to an international best-seller of the Middle Ages, Ioasaph (also rendered Josaphat or Yudasaf) was the philosophically inclined crown-prince of "Inner Ethiopia, called India", whom the desert hermit Barlaam of Senaar or Balahvar of Serendip converted to faith in the True God. Versions of the story were written in nearly every widely-spoken European and Middle Eastern language and in the Ge'ez tongue of Ethiopia; the True Faith was variously identified as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Manichæism. The most influential retelling was the Greek version by "John the Monk", identified by tradition with St. John of Damascus but by several modern scholars with St. Euthymius the Georgian. The Greek text skillfully interweaves narrative action in exotic "Ethiopian" locales, entertaining fables (some later to re-appear as Sufi stories), and a detailed exposition of Orthodox Christianity based in part on the writings of John of Damascus and in part on an apologetical work of the second century, the original of which was rediscovered in the 1800s.'

'According to all versions of the story, Ioasaph's father was warned by an astrologer that his son would join an illegal religion and become a monk after experiencing sorrow; to forestall this, the king imprisoned his son from birth in a pleasure-palace. Ioasaph's quest for truth began when he managed to leave the palace briefly and observed old age, poverty, and disease in the city. A very similar story is, of course, told of Gautama Buddha, and the name "Yudasaf" bears an obvious resemblance to "Budhasaf", the standard Persian transcription of "Bodhisattva"; some scholars hear echoes of Sanskrit in other proper names as well. It is therefore frequently asserted that the story of Barlaam and Ioasaph originated as a Persian, probably Manichæan, retelling of the the life of Buddha, whom Mani numbered among the prophets. On the other hand, the most famous and central episode in Gautama's life, his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, is entirely lacking, and there is an equally complete absence of distinctively Buddhist theology or doctrine. It seems not impossible that the story may simply have been Sanskritized in the East in the same way that it was Hebræized in the Latin West where the names of the protagonists were conflated with "Balaam" and "Jehosaphat". Curiously, in spite of the existence of an Ethiopic version, the occurrence of at least one Nubian place name in the Greek, and the marked resemblance of the setting to the Axumite Empire, scholars do not seem to have suggested that the story might have roots in the African as well as the Indian "Æthiopia".'

- Norman Hugh Redington
http://ecole.evansville.edu/glossary/barlaam.html

Offline Dionysii

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #57 on: April 21, 2013, 10:32:10 PM »
'It is therefore frequently asserted that the story of Barlaam and Ioasaph originated as a Persian, probably Manichæan, retelling of the the life of Buddha, whom Mani numbered among the prophets. On the other hand, the most famous and central episode in Gautama's life, his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, is entirely lacking, and there is an equally complete absence of distinctively Buddhist theology or doctrine. ... Curiously, in spite of the existence of an Ethiopic version, the occurrence of at least one Nubian place name in the Greek, and the marked resemblance of the setting to the Axumite Empire, scholars do not seem to have suggested that the story might have roots in the African as well as the Indian "Æthiopia".'
http://ecole.evansville.edu/glossary/barlaam.html

I have noticed that Sir Henry Yule, translator and editor of a nineteenth century edition of the Travels of Marco Polo published circa 1900 takes the same opinion about the Buddhist origin of the story of Saints Joasaph and Barlaam.  The Buddhist theory is not new, but it seems to have originated with agnostics in protestant countries - not from Orthodox Christians who take the story at its word.


Funny how those who do not believe the story and argue for a non-Christian origin just so much ignore the black African Christian evidence.
Aside from the disqualifications of the buddhist theory mentioned above is that to argue that the story is in fact based on Buddha and not what it says internally is to make a liar out of the canonical Orthodox calendar of Saints and the holy synods who canonized them.
It is to say that the Orthodox Church does not have clue about the history of the saints whom it canonizes.  The Buddhist theory about Saint Joasaph can be found in books by nineteenth century european and american agnostics.  IS it not reasonable to suggest that this nineteenth century theory about Buddhism ignores the possibility of an African Christian historical setting because due to crude racism?

The fact that an African Christian historicity of this story would not barbarically violate its internal cohesiveness as the theories of agnostic intellectuals with no faith that dig through ancient Christian manuscripts and then issue their opinions about it as taken from Buddhism.  


My theory about the theory:  Modern atheists are biased towards the Buddhist religion because it closely identifies with their own faith.
That is the essence of Blavatsky and theosophy, and that is kind of spirit which I discern in such a theory.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 10:37:19 PM by Dionysii »

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #58 on: April 21, 2013, 10:49:13 PM »

The Buddhist theory is not new, but it seems to have originated with agnostics in protestant countries - not from Orthodox Christians who take the story at its word.


I think this is the heart of the matter. 

In response to the question in the thread title, whatever the origin of the tales of Sts. Barlaam and Josaphet, Buddha is not an Orthodox Saint. 

Modern attempts, scholarly or not, to trace the connection do not somehow prove that, despite the Church's lack of knowledge, he actually is. 

Sorry.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2013, 01:37:06 AM »
Buddhism is not close at all to the Western Atheist mindset. In fact, Buddhism aims at nirvana, whereas Western Atheists want self-realisation.

Now that Ethiopian theory is certainly worth discussing. Some questions must be clarified though: Which historical king should be meant? Why would Ethiopia have been identified with India? And especially, what do any Ethiopian accounts of these saints say exactly?

And btw, if there was some historical event in Ethiopia at the core of this tradition, how would that exclude heavy borrowing from the Buddha's story in the hagiographical account?

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2013, 09:41:40 AM »
Why would Ethiopia have been identified with India?

It happened quite often in Antiquity, so it wouldn't be strange.


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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2013, 10:21:49 AM »
Why would Ethiopia have been identified with India?

It happened quite often in Antiquity, so it wouldn't be strange.

For instance, the Enlightener of Ethiopia appears in our Synaxarion on the 30th of November as "Saint Phrumentios, Archbishop of Ind(i)a".
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 10:23:49 AM by Romaios »

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2013, 11:58:54 AM »
Why would Ethiopia have been identified with India?

It happened quite often in Antiquity, so it wouldn't be strange.

For instance, the Enlightener of Ethiopia appears in our Synaxarion on the 30th of November as "Saint Phrumentios, Archbishop of Ind(i)a".

Or what about Barlaam and Joasaph itself:   "...ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς τῆς ἐνδοτέρας τῶν Αἰθιόπων χώρας, οὕστινας Ἰνδοὺς οἶδεν ὁ λόγος καλεῖν - ...pious men of the inner lands of the Ethiopians, whom the story knows to call Indians." I don't have access to the Loeb translation right now, but it should say something like that as well.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 12:00:08 PM by Cyrillic »

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #63 on: April 26, 2013, 08:23:00 AM »
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2013, 08:37:52 AM »
Analogy is not proof. By the same logic, scholar like these in the future will say there never was a real rock star in the 20th century, just variant tales of the myth of the malasjusted imature talented musical genius. Far too much historical criticism is based just in the verisimilitude of analogies.
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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2013, 11:06:46 AM »

List of Ancient Kings of Axum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kings_of_Axum

Although not exhaustive, this list does not seem to have any kings by the name of Adenner, Joasaph, or Berechias as mentioned in the story.
 
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/11/note-concerning-saints-barlaam-and.html

The tale of Barlaam and Joasaph takes place in "the interior regions of the Ethiopians called India."

Three Christian kingdoms were located between Axum and Aegypt:
1) Nobatia in the north
2) Makuria in the middle
3) Alodia in the south

All of these are possible Aethiopian settings, but I suspect that Alodia is the most likely since it is geographically located directly inland of Axum which would correspond more than anything else to "inner Aethiopia".

Alodia was also the biggest of all of these African Christian kingdoms and resisted conversion to Islam the longest, until the fifteenth century. 
The Alodians afterwards continued to survive as the Kingdom of Dongola.
The kingdom of Alodia seems to have converted to the Christian faith during the reign of Emperor Justinian.

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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #66 on: April 26, 2013, 01:29:00 PM »

List of Ancient Kings of Axum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kings_of_Axum

Although not exhaustive, this list does not seem to have any kings by the name of Adenner, Joasaph, or Berechias as mentioned in the story.
 
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/11/note-concerning-saints-barlaam-and.html

The tale of Barlaam and Joasaph takes place in "the interior regions of the Ethiopians called India."

Three Christian kingdoms were located between Axum and Aegypt:
1) Nobatia in the north
2) Makuria in the middle
3) Alodia in the south

All of these are possible Aethiopian settings, but I suspect that Alodia is the most likely since it is geographically located directly inland of Axum which would correspond more than anything else to "inner Aethiopia".

Alodia was also the biggest of all of these African Christian kingdoms and resisted conversion to Islam the longest, until the fifteenth century. 
The Alodians afterwards continued to survive as the Kingdom of Dongola.
The kingdom of Alodia seems to have converted to the Christian faith during the reign of Emperor Justinian.


I am deeply shocked to see you using modern cartography to illustrate the locations of ancient kingdoms. Surely you know all modern cartography is based on lies. You should adopt the mind of the Fathers and use maps like these:


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Re: What The? Buddha is an Orthodox Saint...
« Reply #67 on: April 26, 2013, 01:39:02 PM »
I am deeply shocked to see you using modern cartography to illustrate the locations of ancient kingdoms. Surely you know all modern cartography is based on lies. You should adopt the mind of the Fathers and use maps like these:

With this humoristic accent I'm locking this thread. If you want to make some posts related to the topic - PM me. Otherwise, keep discussing maps there.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 01:39:27 PM by Michał Kalina »
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