BUDDHA THE ISRAELITE
the late Isabel Hill Elder, N. Ireland
IN almost startling confirmation of the Israelitish origin of Buddhism many references are to be found in ancient writings, symbols and rock inscriptions which compel us to the conclusion that the original Buddhism was none other than the Israel religion. When the prophet Ezekiel was carried captive to Babylon at the age of 25 both he and his father, Buzi, as Aaronites had the missionary urge to see their kinsfolk of Israel cleansed from their idolatry and return to the worship of the one true God, the God of Israel.
In the book of Ezekiel we have the missionary prophets denunciation of the sins of the House of Judah with whose King (Jehoiachin) , and Court officials Ezekiel was carried captive to Babylon. (II Kings XXIV, 14 -16, Ezekiel 1, 2)
The prophet covers a wide field for he sees in a vision the whole House of Israel, twelve tribed Israel, revived and restored to God's favour. The home training of Ezekiel in the house of his father, Buzi, had one object and that was missions to Israel.
Buzi, the Aaronite, with the prophetic eye, saw disaster rapidly approaching for the unfaithful House of Judah, and a like punishment to that which had overtaken the House of Israel,100 years earlier, when the King of Assyria had carried them captive in the reign of Hoshea and placed them in " the cities of the Medes" (II Kings XVII). During a revolt in Assyria the Israelite captives made their escape and, for the most part, turned south-east to the shores of the Caspian Sea. These tidings having reached Buzi his missionary spirit was aroused to go forth to these escaped captives, his kinsfolk. Taking with him five disciples, probably trained in the schools of the prophets, Buzi came to these outcast Israelites with a message of hope and forgiveness; he would make a supreme effort to turn them from idolatry to the worship of the one true God. As he journeyed towards their camping places his name Buzi became Buddha; this change is easily understood when we realise that in the Semitic languages the "Z" and "D" sounds are related, e.g., in Hebrew Zahab and Dahab both mean "gold" and so Buddha would be a natural alternative for Buzi. It is then as Buddha that we first hear of Buzi, the father of Ezekiel, between Media and the Caspian Sea and his followers as Budii.
It was from the region of Media that the "wise men" came to Bethlehem at the time of the birth of our Lord (Budh, in some oriental languages meaning "wise ") probably descendants of some of these Israelites who had been taught by " Buzi the Wise."
These escaped Israelites are mentioned by Herodotus (Book I, Chapter 1) as belonging to the nation formed by Deioces and as revolting from Assyria and asserting their independence not many years after Israel's deportation to Media in the reign of Hoshea. (II Kings, XVII 6). Here amongst these Israelites Buzi (Buddha) began his mission and in this region Buddhism was found in its most ancient form and which began to spread about 600 B.C., not as now professed and practised nor even altogether as it was established in India under King Asoka 300 years after its first propagation. As Dr. Moore (" Lost Ten Tribes ") observes
"it has been corrupted by various pagan additions and has assumed shapes according to the various idolatries it has encountered till at length but little of the original remains in a pure form, e.g., the celibacy of priests is now universal, but according to its own records its founder married twice if not thrice and gave his disciples precepts as to the choice of.a wife."
The Israelitish character and origin of Buddhism is seen in many ways. It was a monotheistic reformation of the outcast tribes of Israel and its symbolism, that of
the" Wheel" on the top's of Sanchi correspond exactly with that described in I Kings VII 33 as in Solomon's temple. There is so close resemblance between
Ezekiel's writings and the earliest Buddhist records and inscriptions as to prove that the prophet himself, the son of Buzzi, had for his father the original Buddha.
The story of the rock inscriptions at Girnar, Delhi and other places is one uniform lament of a nation overwhelmed by fire and sword, scattered and afflicted, and that as a purification from its sins and that in order to future cleansing and peace.
If early Buddhism is shown by Dr. Moore ("Lost Ten Tribes") to be of Israelitish derivation, its Saxon origin and affinities are none the less clear. "Sakya" or "The
Saxon" was the founder of Buddhism; the claim for an Israelitish origin for the original Buddha through the name "Sakya" or "The Saxon," son of Isaac, is further
strengthened by the fact that Buddha was also known as Jakku, son of Jacob (Commander Roberts "British History Traced" p. 83).The early Buddhists looked upon themselves as men with a Divine mission and corrupted as has their religion been by Asiatic nations-just as new Testament teaching has been by the Latins-their influence is still widely felt in India, Ceylon, Burmah , Siam, China and Japan. They broke down caste and destroyed brute worship demanding thought as the foundation of belief, and by teaching equality and goodwill as the foundation of moral excellence. Their disciples still profess to be open to new truths and they are expecting another Messiah.
Buddhism was introduced into India as Christianity is now, by the Saxon race. The religion which King Asoka established. as the state religion was that of a people who had issued from the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea and carried their religion with them until it was established in India. The Tibetans themselves assert that the fair, high nosed people who came from the West and taught them their religion were the Sacae (Moore "Lost Tribes").The Purana Vahrana record that the White Island ( Britain) Sacam or Saxum was early possessed by Sacae who founded Buddhism in the East.
The inscriptions on the Newton and Logie Stones of Scotland have undoubted Buddhist symbols upon them-the Lotus, the Wheel, the Lion and Unicorn, etc., corresponding with those of Eastern Buddhism.
There is a curious family sympathy and similarity between Scandanavian Mythology. and Buddhism which had its rise in the same neighbourhood, whence, according to tradition and history our northern forefathers came (Roberts "British History Traced," P. 62) .
The Rock Temple inscription at Kanari reads :-
"And Sakyas mouth unkindling them
Brought the serim together
From the race of Harari."
The influence of Sakya Buddha, the founder of Buddhism is thus recorded. The serim in Hebrew signifies "the scattered and dispersed like seed" Jeremiah XVL.13, or "one who has taken root in a country where he lives and is spreading abroad his branches " as in Exodus 1.7.And 'the race of Harari' were the dwellers
in the hill-country of Ephraim, (the name Ephraim being a general term for ten-tribed Israel 'Ephraim' the leader and holder of the birthright) as so frequently instanced in Scripture.
Buzi, or Sakya Buddha, met with considerable success in turning many of his fellow Israelites to the worship of the one true God, and with his five disciples trained many of his people for mission work among scattered Israel wherever they might be found, his followers were known as Budii in Persia and the region of the Caspian Sea.
The teaching of Buzi (Buddha) was strictly Scriptural as may be seen from a study of early Buddhist symbols; Buddha gave his followers their own Scriptures
embodying these symbols which were formally authenticated B.C. 543 after his death. In the third century B.C. these Scriptures with other books on Buddhism were taken to Ceylon which has ever since been the headquarters of Buddhism. The professors of this religion called themselves Sakyas of the Argas, probably from the fact that it was from the Sacae (Saxons) they received their religion, and while they remained separate they appear to have driven all before them, and to have maintained the joy in life reflected in the Vedas, which much resemble the North-Western Eddas. But as they became mingled with the heathen people they lost hope. A revival, however, was soon to follow for the son of a North Indian Chief, Prince Siddartha Gautama, determined on revival, and choosing five disciples after the example of Sakya Buddha, he became to all intents and purposes a begging friar and with his disciples a teacher of Buddhism; his wife became the head of the first Buddhist nunnery of female recluses.
According to Dr. D.B. Spooner, Siddartha Gautama's mother, the Lady Maya, was of Iranian or Persian descent, the country where Buzi (Buddha) laid the foundation of his system, and from whom Siddartha Gautama would undoubtedly receive his knowledge of Buddhism.
On attaining to Buddhahood under the Bhopal Tree at Bhisa (the desired end of much study and contemplation) Prince Gautama assumed the name of the founder, Sakya Buddha, and here he took up his abode with his five disciples. It is self evident that as Prince Gautama attained to Buddhahood he could not have been the original founder of Buddhism. Gautama died after forty-five years labour from eating too much rice and pork, a most ignoble ending for a reformer, but supplying further evidence that he was not actually Sakya., for no Saxon of those days would touch pork. It was one of the identifying marks of Israel as they trekked across Europe that all branches of the Sakya were known to abhor pork, this was the one Mosaic law to which they gave unswerving obedience.
The original sources of our knowledge of Prince Gautama and his system are the Sanscrit Buddhistic literature of Nepal (first discovered by Mr.Brian Hodge) and the Pali Buddhistic, ie literature of Ceylon. In Hebrew "Pali" means "wonderful" and in Greek "ancient" both of which meanings it has to the Hindoo mind.
As we have had in history two characters named St. Patrick 400 years apart; two named St. George 50 years apart, so we have had two Buddhas; in each case
the original character was the true one.
When Siddartha Gautama, the second Buddha and great reformer of a decadent Buddhism, died his body was burned and his charred bones were distributed over the whole country, to cover which, in after times, gave rise to the stupas, topes or relic mounds which have been discovered in so many places between Gabul and Madras. Asoka, one of their kings, established Buddhism as the state religion of India B.C. 250 and was the great engraver of rocks, pillars and topes, many of the words in which are Chaldaic-Hebrew.The best known topes or domes are at Sanchi, near Bhopal. One was discovered by General Cunningham at Bharut, 100 miles south-west of Allahabad. Each of the four Torans or gateways at Sanchi is formed by two upright pillars nearly six yards high and ten feet apart surmounted by pinnacles of the usual Buddhist emblems of the Wheel and Trident while the ground plan forms their gigantic mystic cross. The cast, of one is to he seen in the court of the South Kensington Museum.
Buddhist legends form the basis of the old nursery tales and rhymes all over Europe as well as the lives of Roman Catholic saints, who have much other-wise in
common with Buddhism (see" Bhilsa Tones" and "The Stupa of Bharut" by Major-General Cunningham, C.S.I.,G.I.E.,R.E., Director of the Archaeological Survey
of India) .
We shall now consider the emblems of Buddhism, all of which are of Hebrew origin and significance introduced by Buzi, the first, and original Buddha. The Union Jack or Union of Jacob with the cross known in a later age as the cross of St. George may be seen on the large tope or tumulus at Sanchi, with the Star Banner of
the United States and Britannia's Trident and Shield, while the Lion and Unicorn may be seen crouching in peace at Buddha's feet, as he sits on his marble throne at the entrance to the vast rock temple at Ajanta.
The Trident, the conventionalized flesh fork of the Levitical sacrifices, was retained as an emblem by the tribe of Levi and Buzi (Buddha), being of that tribe it is
natural that this emblem should be found with the other Israel emblems, wherever Buddhism was set up.
From Dr.George Moore's "Ancient Pillar Stones of Scotland" we learn of the death of Aittie or Iatti, a Buddhist missionary with a Benjamite name (II.Samuel
XXII 29, and I. Chronicles XI 31). The Ogham inscription round whose Newton tombstone in Aberdeenshire reads thus:
" When Baal ruled Jutland and the coast before thee Aittie was smitten,"
and in the centre:
"In the tomb with the dead is Aittie The light of the darkness of a perverted people.
Who shall be pure priest of the people consecrated to God?
Like the vessel of prayer my glory covers me."
The Sanscrit monogram "Zeus" added is said to mean "it is well." This monument must have been erected more than two thousand years ago. The inscriptions on the Newton and Logie Stones have undoubted Hebrew symbols upon them, "The Lotus, the Wheel, the Lion and the Unicorn corresponding with that of Eastern Buddhism."
From the teaching of Buddha there emerged what became known as "The Enlightened Way". This "Way" comprised: Right Thought; Right Speech; Right Behaviour; Right Doctrine; Right Purity;Right Humility; Right Purpose; Right Concentration. This righthfold way finds its origin in the Hebrew Ten Commandments.
The Karen tradition of the Buddhist brotherhood with a western nation are to the same effect.
Students of ancient history do not need to be told that two thousand years ago communication between East and West was comparatively easy, as regular caravans were established and no passports were required.
The inscription on the Newton Stone - "When Baal ruled Jutland" raises an interesting point in connection with the tribe of Judah, or that portion of the tribe who
when in captivity in Babylon declined the offer of repatriation made by Cyrus and trekked to the shores of the Caspian Sea to join their brethren of the ten tribes, the place known to Ezra as the whereabouts of escaped Israel from whom he requested the return of some Levites for service in the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem (Ezra VIII 17).These Judahites from Babylon became known as Jutes, and eventually as Jutes they trekked across Europe under their tribal flag, the Lion Rampant. On reaching Denmark they settled in the north of that country for some centuries, giving their name Jutland ( Judah's Land) to it. Eventually these people crossed to Britain and essayed to settle in Kent but were pushed north to Scotland. In time they became the dominant people there and their tribal flag, the Lion Rampant, became the national flag of Scotland; their capital, now Edinburgh, was known as Judenberg ( Judah's capital) .
It was to these people the Buddhist missionaries came in B.C. times, most probably from the shores of the Caspian Sea, and it is most significant that on the Newton tombstone inAberdeenshire the name Jutland appears connecting that place with Scotland.
Among the gravestones found in the Crimea, now in the museum at Leningrad there is one to "Bukki" (Buzi) "the son of Isehak the priest." "May he rest in Eden at the time of the salvation of Israel. In the year 702 of our exile." The dates on these tombstones are now doubted, they being hundreds of years apart.
Have we not here the gravestone of Buzi Ezekiel's father who followed after wayward and idolatrous Israel even from Media to the Caspian Sea, and whose monotheistic teaching is now corrupted in modern Buddhism but not without trace of the original Buddha's system founded on Old Testament teaching?
It is not claimed that Buddhism in its present corrupted form, or those who now profess it, are Israelite, any more than that Latin Christianity and the Latin people are truly Christian or of Israel. What modern Romanism is to New Testament Christianity modern Buddhism is to the Israelite teaching of the primitive founder of Buddhism. Both are apostacies adopted or adapted by alien races, through Asoka in one case and Pope Gregory on the other; both when traced to their source prove their indebtedness to the Bible and Israel as the once for all chosen channel of Divine revelation and benediction to mankind.
In Japan the Rissho Association, based on right teaching, aspires to lead a revival of Buddhism. Dr. Charles Iglehart, a leader of the Protestant movement in Japan for fifty years, says:
"Protestantism never really came to grips with the common people of Japan. Protestantism is an urban, middle-class, intellectuals religion.".... "The truth is, Christian Churches do not proclaim the original faith of Jesus, any more than Buddhist temples reproduce the teaching of the historic Buddha."
The Buddhists have never ceased to expect the "Desire of all Nations" to come, and when our Lord returns to this earth, according to His sure promise, there are 500,000,000 Buddhists waiting to acclaim Him as their long expected Messiah. They in turn will be missionaries in many heathen lands, and when purified from error have their part in the great consummation of the ages when Our Lord " shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied." Then also will be fulfilled the prophecy delivered by Him during His ministry "They shall come from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God." Luke XIII.29.
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