"And the Tathagata's body appeared like a flame, and he was beautiful above all expression.
"And venerable Ananda said to the blessed one: 'How wonderful thing is it, Lord, and how marvellous that the colour of the skin of the blessed one should be so clear, so exceedingly bright! When I placed this robe of burnished cloth of gold on the body of the blessed one, lo! it seemed as if it had lost its splendour!'"
"The blessed one said, 'There are two occasions on which a Tathagata's appearance becomes clear and exceedingly bright. In the night, Ananda, in which a Tathagata attains to the supreme and perfect insight, and in the night iiii which he passes finally a'way in that utter passing which leaves nothing whatever of his earthly existence to remain.'" (The Gospel of Buddha by Carus P. 214)
From the above quoted words of the Buddha Gautama we have the following 6 criteria for indentifying a Buddha:-
(1) A Buddha attains to supreme and perfect insight at night time.
If Jesus was the Buddha Maitreya these six criteria should hold good in his case.
(1) Jesus attained to supreme insight after being baptised of John the Baptist -"And Jesus, when he was baptised, went up straightway out of water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."(Matt. 3 :16-7) This was "day" time(John 1:29) and not night time. Therefore Jesus cannot be the Buddha Maitreya.
(2) There is no record in the gospels to show that us looked exceedingly bright at the time of his baptism. The gospel version of his life again fails to support him.
(3) According to the gospels Jesus did not die a natural death but was deprived of his life by his enemies in the prime of life. This is impossible according to the Buddha's words:- "This, O Bhikkhus, this is an impossible thing, one that cannot occur that one should deprive a Tathagata of life by violence. The Tathagatas, O Bhikkhus, are extinguished (in death) in due and natural course.........." (Vinaya Text Part Ill, by Max Muller PP. 246-7)
(4) According to the gospels Jesus was killed not at night time but at day time:- "It was the third hour that they crucified him, (Mark 15:25) 'that is, 9 o'clock in the morning. Thus the whole cruciflxion occupied 6 hours, as our Lord died at 3 o'clock,' 'the Jews reckoning the hours from 6 in the morning." (The Four Gospels by Right Rev. W. W. How. D. D.)
(5) The four gospels very clearly and minutely depict the scenes of the night preceding the crucifixion day of Jesus. There is no mention that Jesus. looked "exceedingly bright" and "beautiful above expression in this night. Thus the gospels again fail to support the claim of Jesus for 'the Buddhahood. in question.
(6) It is a settled doctrine of Christians that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death on the cross. The four gospels are unanimous on the point.(Matt. 28: 6; Mark 16 : 6, Luke 24: 6; John 20: 9) According to the gospels his resurrection was no vision (Luke 24: 39) but a reality. They touched him (Matt, 28 : 9) He dined with them. (Luke 24: 30: John 21: 12) Jesus "shewed himself alive after his passion by many infalliable proofs, being seen of them for forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God";(Acts, 1: 3) "he rose again the third day and he was seen of Cephas, then one of the twelve: after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep; after that he was seen of James, then of all the disciples. And last of all he was seen of me also." (1 Cor. 18 : 4.6)
There is another settled doctrine of Christians that the very same Jesus is again coming upon earth. It is based on the following words of Jesus.
(1) "A little while, and ye shall not see me': and again, a little while, and ye shall see me.(John. 16:16)
(2) "But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice." (John.16:22)
(3) "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John. 14:18)
(4) "I will come again, and receive you unto myself." (Jonn. 14: 3)
(5) "I said unto you, I go away, and come again umnto you." (John. 14: 28)
(6) "The son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels." (Matt. 16: 27)
(7) "They shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matt. 24: 30)
According to the Buddhist scriptures quoted above the Buddhas are extinguished in death. They do not remain on earth after their death. If the Christian world wants a Buddhist to consider the claim of Jesus as the Buddha Maitreya, they should deny the story of the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross, and also the doctrine of his second advent upon earth. Therefore Jesus cannot be the Buddha Maitreya.
The six criteria do not hold in the case of Shankaracharya as in the case of Jesus, but they hold remarkably in the case of Mohammed:-
1. Mohammed attained to supreme insight at night time. We quote the Koran
(a) "By the perspicuous book (of the Koran); verily We have sent down the same on a blessed night." (XLIV. P. 478)
(b) "Verily We sent down (the Koran) in the night of Alkadra." (XCVII: P. 586.)
"On this night Mohammed received his first revelation." (Sale's Translation of the Koran; P. 586 Foot Note.)
"Alkadra signifies, power, and honour, or dignity and also the Divine decree." (Ibid.)
"Lailat-ul-qadra literally means the night of majesty or grandeur or greatness...it is called the blessed night." (Mohammed AU's Translation of the Koran. FootNote. 2777)
According to Badger's English Arabic Lexicon "Grand," "Glorious," and "Beautiful" are synonyms. Therefore Lailat-ul-Qadra expresses the idea of the night of glory or brightness.
2. Mohammed was "the brightest face;" "it was as though the sun-light beamed in his countenance."(The Life of Mohammad by Muir, p. 510.) "There was a glow or radiance in his countenance," "the supernatural light of prophecy." (Irving P. 230) The couplet of Abu Beker, the first Caliph, aptly describes him:-
"As there is no darkness in the moonlit night, So is Mustafa, the well-wisher, the bright." (The Ideal Prophet by Kamal-ud-din P. XXXIV.)
"Monzir-bin-Jareer relates: 'I saw the face of the apostle of God, it was shining like gold..........'" (M. Vol. III P. 35.)
"Abe Is-hak relates: 'A man asked Bara, Was the face of the apostle of God shining as a sword?; he replied, 'Nay (but) like the moon.'" (T. Vol.. ii. p. 552)
In fact the prophet was the brightest of the bright, and we see no exaggeration in the words of Thu Abbas who said.
"The prophet never sat opposite the sun or a light, without outshining them by his own light." (Koelle P. 377)
Well the Buddhist scripture says:-
"The Sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior is bright in his armour; thinkers are bright in their meditation; but among all the brightest with the splendour of day and night is Buddha the Awakened, the Holy, the Blessed." (The Gospel of Buddha by Carus, P. 117. Dhamrnapada quoted.)
No wonder if Mohammed looked "exceedingly bright" and "beautiful above expression in the night of Alkadra when the Divine light burst upon him in a flood:-
'It was the fortieth year of his age when the famous revelation took place. Accounts are given of it by Muslim writers as if received from his own lips, and it is alluded in a certain part of the Koran. It was on the night called by Arabs Alkader............a flood of light broke upon him of............intolerable spIendour.......Mahomet instantly felt his under standing illumined with celestial light." (Irving PP. 36-7)
3. Mohammed died a natural death unlike Jesus.
4. According to the version of Aisha Mohammed died at night time. When he was expiring 'there was no oil in the lamp,"(Maulud by Ghulam Imam Shahid P. 63.) "and his wife had to borrow oil for the lamp." (Mohammed, Buddha, arid Christ by M. Pods D. P. P. 94.)
5. Mohammed looked "exceedingly bright" and "beautiful above expression" in the night of his death. Anas son of Malik was the servitor of the prophet just as Ananda was to the Buddha Gautama. This Ananda of the Buddha Maitreya Mohammed relates:-
"Abu Beker used to conduct prayer during the illness in which the apostle of God died. When it was Monday and people were standing in rows in prayer, he lifted up the curtain of his room and looked towards us while standing, his face being a page of the book (of the Koran), and he smiled as he found people firm in religion and constant in prayer. We got maddened (for joy) even during the prayer in the expectation that he intended to come out. And Abu Beker fell back in order to join the rank, with the idea that the apostle of God was coming out for prayer. In the meanwhile he made a token with his hand for completing the prayer, he then got inside the room and dropped the curtain, and he died the same day.(M.Vol. 2PP. 661.2.)
Comparing the face of a man with "a page of the book of the Koran" is an Arab way of expressing the brightness, beauty, and glory of the person. The Koran is called "glorious".(The Koran L. P.499: LXXXV. P. 578) Another report of Anas makes the matter clear:-
"The apostle of God did not come out for three days. Abu Beker advanced to conduct the prayer. In the meantime the apostle of God lifted up the curtain. When his face was unveiled it appeared to us so very beautiful that throughout our lives we never saw a thing so very beautiful. He made a sign with his hand to Abu Beker to advance (for conducting the prayer of the congregation) and he dropped the curtain. Ever afterwards we did not see him." (M. Vol. II. P. 502.)
6. After his burial, Mohammed, in his bodily form, was never seen of any one upon the earth. Therefore Mohammed is the Buddha Maitreya and not Jesus or Shankaracharya.