According to the teachings of Buddhism, a man is his own saviour, and is to work out his salvation:-
"You yourself must make an effort, The Tathagatas (Buddhas) are only preachers, The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Mara." (The Dhammspada. S.B.E. Vol. X. P. 67.)
The last words of the Buddha Gautama to his followers were:-
"Work out your salvation with deligence."(Carus. p. 211. Narasu p. 22.)
The Koran very clearly gives out the same plan of salvation as taught by the Buddha Gautama:-
(1) "Dread the day wherein (one) soul shall not make satisfaction for (another) soul, neither shall any compensation be accepted from them, nor shall any intercession avail, neither shall they be helped." (II. p. 18.)
(2) "By the soul, and Him who completely formed it, and inspired into the same its (faculty of distinguishing, and power of choosing,) wickedness and piety; now is he who purifies the same, happy; but he who hath corrupted the same, is miserable." (XCI. p. 582.)
The explanation of the above as given in Mohammed Ali's translation of the Koran :-"Note the Quranic law of salvation; it is the purification of the soul from all dross that makes the man attain the goal, and its corruption by indulging in evil that makes him fail in attaining the true object of his life." (Foot Note. 2746.)
(3) "And whosoever shall have wrought good of the the weight of an ant, shall behold the same. And whosoever shall have wrought evil of the weight of an ant, shall behold the same." (XCIX. p. 587.)
A number of traditions from the prophet point to the same plan of salvation, the prophet being only a warner:-
(1) "Abu Hurera relates:- When this verse was revealed, Warn your relations, the apostle of God sent for the Koreish, and they all gathered (to hear him). He warned them in general, and (then) in particular, and said, '0 children of Kaab bin-Looee, deliver yourself from hell, O children of Morrah-bin-Kaab, deliver yourself from hell,O children of Abd-Shams, deliver yourself from hell, O children of Abd Manaf, deliver yourself from hell, O children of Abd-al-Mottalib, deliver yourself from hell, O Fatema deliver thyself from hell, for I have no authority before God (if He wants to punish you). Certainly I have relationship with you, and I shall try to maintain it (by doing good to you).'" (M. Vol. I. p. 354.)
(2) "Aisha relates:- When this verse was sent down, Warn your relations, the apostle of God stood up on the mount Safa and said, O Fatema, the daughter of Mohammed, O Safiah, the daughter of Abd-al-Mottallib, and O ye children of Abd-al-Mottalib, I cannot save you from (being punished by) God, (if He wants to punish you). Certainly if you like you can take any thing from my property.'" (M. Vol. I. p. 355.)
(3) "Abu Hurera relates;- When this verse was sent down upon the apostle of God, Warn your near relations, he said, 'O Koreish, purchase your lives from God (in return of good actions); before God I cannot be of any use to you. O children of Abd-al-Mottalib, I cannot be of any use to you'........." (Ibid.)
According to Christian divines the following is the plan of salvation:-
"Christ came into the world to offer himself a sacrifice for sin." (Eadie. p. 133)
"It has been well said that the sum and substance of the Bible is, 'Jesus Christ crucified to save lost sinners'.........Its great theme is salvation by the 'woman's seed', and its great object is to summon attention to the 'lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.'" (Ibid. p. 134.)
This Christian view of salvation is based upon some such passages of the Bible:-
(1) "Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Is 43: 6.)
(2) "Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1: 29.)
It being plain from the above that according to Christian divines every individual is not his own saviour, but Jesus is the saviour of all humanity. Therefore Jesus cannot be the Buddha Maitreya.
Shankaracharya, according to majority of Hindus, was not an inspired teacher, and had not taught a plan of salvation of his own, different from what the Hindus believed to be correct, and therefore we leave him out of consideration.
Mohammed is the Buddha Maitreya, for he preached the same plan of salvation as the Buddha 'Gautama.
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