Home Discussion Forum Would you say that Christian "salvation" is comparable to the Buddhist "satori"?

Would you say that Christian "salvation" is comparable to the Buddhist "satori"?

In that both signify an initial awakening, but not the final goal (“kingdom of heaven” and “nirvana” respectively)


  1. No.
    Nirvana is a state of being, not a supernatural place in the afterlife. Heaven, for example, is described in the Bible as a rather physical place with streets of gold. Nirvana is not a place at all, but a state of luminous consciousness free from all the boundaries of the limited unenlightened consciousness.
    I really don’t think Zen and Christianity are anything alike.

  2. No if you actually figure it out better than the xtians have (which isn’t hard) heaven is the same thing as nirvana… you don’t have to die to go to heaven… it’s a higher state of consciousness, just like Buddhism. If you follow the myths and metaphors like the Christians do though, well then you’ll be stuck in the lower realms of consciousness (hell.)
    Dude up above, the streets of gold and all that represent philosophical/alchemical gold, not physical lol… I know that’s how most xtians interpret that kind of stuff, literally… but I don’t believe that was how it was intended to be read.

  3. No, Satori does not mean nirvana or salvation. There is also salvation in Buddhism which is like Christian salvation where Buddhists can call on one of the Buddhas on their death bed to take them to their heavens which are supposed to be the most beautiful paradises in any galaxy.
    I have to agree with Dionysus — nirvana is very similar to the heaven of other religions …. very interesting analogy. The bottom line is yes nirvana is the final goal as is salvation for Christians but satori if anything is probably similar to being born again to Christians i.e. its a step in the right direction towards the final goal.

  4. It depends on the sect of Buddhism. Theravada doesn’t see it that way. We see nibbana as the final extinguishing of craving (tanha). Theravada doesn’t have a concept of satori, so I’m not sure how it would fit in with the abhidhamma (the Buddhist psychology developed after the death of the Buddha).
    I had a moment of satori myself a while back (they happen from time to time, so I consider myself extra fortunate to have those opportunities to see), and for me, it was much like that. You “see” how something is. You see it for what it is, and once you do, there is no going back. It’s a permanent shift of perspective, and it’s not something that you have to hold on to or try to remember. It’s there, and for me, it’s a definitive change from this way of seeing things to that one.
    That’s how I view salvation and even the concept of grace. You see how it is, and there’s no way to un-see it. There is no going back. Grace arises from that seeing, and it changes how you relate to yourself an the world and people around you. This fits in with Paul’s notion of being made a new creation.
    So I think that the experiences are similar, and I think Paul in particular is describing these experiences in his letters.
    None of what I’m saying is canonical, to my knowledge. I’m speaking purely from my experience.

  5. Interesting.
    I actually do not know, but I have found that many religions are quite similar when you get down to it. One would have to describe the ‘salvation’ that one experiences. I happen to know more or less what a satori is like, so…
    I doubt that they are the same though. Satori’s require a mental state of mind, something that does not fly out of the blue (well, they do actually fly out of the blue… ^_^ They are spontaneous experiences, impossible to predict. But the point is that they take precise, you must build a foundation of mindfulness first in order to experience it). I do not know that christians do this, but from what I know they do not.

  6. Satori is an attempt to describe a real psychological experience. “Salvation” is an imaginary bit of self-comforting involving “Rapture”, and the self-righteous guilty Pigs of the world believing they will live with their “god” anyway…..
    Jesus said “kingdom of heaven”, and he was Eastern. Christians say “salvation”, in the Western sense. Jesus was a Liberal. But the churches started with Paul, a Conservative.

  7. I don’t think the standard understanding of salvation is comparable. However, for some folks, like William Blake, who viewed the struggles outlined in the bible, particularly apocalyptic imagery, as internal within each person’s mind and spirit, who viewed the second coming of the Christ as a private and personal event that could happen for each individual when receptive, the parallel is a lot closer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here