Let’s go back in time to find out about the birth of Buddha — is it like the Christmas story in any way?
As usual, the full script is below.
John: I’ve been looking into the history of how Jesus was born.
Sarah D.: And what did you found out?
John: They borrowed bits of other stories, and incorporated them into the Christmas story.
Dan: Like what other stories?
Greg: Some scholars think there are bits of Buddha’s birth story in the Christmas story.
Sarah K.: You know what this means.
Emma: Greg is going to take us in the time machine back to see the birth of Buddha.
Greg: You’re right! Here we go….
King Suddhodana: And how are you this morning, my queen?
Queen Maya: I had this dream last night. Four angels came and flew me up into the Himalayan mountains. Then I went inside a house made of gold. Before long, a white elephant showed up, and handed me a lotus flower.
King: Hmm. I’ll ask the sixty-four wise brahmins to explain this dream.
Brahmin 1: It’s very simple, your majesty.
Brhamin 2: It means that the queen is about to have a child.
Brahmin 3: And that child will become a great king.
Brahmin 4: Either that, or he’ll forsake home life to become a great religious teacher.
King: Well, I hope he becomes king. The salary is better.
Queen: King, it’s time for me to give birth. I’m going home to my parents.
King: I’m not sure that is a good idea. But I’ll send many followers to help you.
Brahmin 1: Uh oh, we’re stopping again.
Brahmin 2: The queen is getting out and sitting under a tree.
Brahmin 3: Look at that, she just gave birth to a baby boy.
Brahmin 4: Whoa, check this out. Four godlike beings showed up, and told her that her son is going to be great.
Brahmin 1: Wait a minute, that newborn baby is actually walking!
Brahmin 2: Look, he’s taking seven steps to the north!
Brahmin 3: And listen to the voices in the air, saying how great he’s going to be.
Dan: So just like the Christmas story, the story of Buddha’s birth also has angels and miracles.
Sarah K.: And gentle animals.
Emma: And wise men.
Sarah D.: But the gentle animal was an elephant. And Buddha’s story doesn’t have shepherds, or an innkeeper, or a manger.
Greg: Even so, you can see how the Christmas story might have borrowed from the story of Buddha’s birth.
Narrator: As every religion borrows from others….
British police box image: CC BY SA 2.0 Immanuel Burton