Here is a new video I've just published, entitled "Birth of the Buddha, Birth of the Christ" -- which explores some of the parallels between the nativity accounts of the Buddha-to-be and the Christ-child.
Although the details of the stories themselves are very different, there are numerous astonishing parallels, many of which are discussed in this new video -- and which can be shown to relate to the fact that the stories of the birth of the Buddha and the birth of the Christ are based on a foundation of celestial metaphor, as are virtually all the other myths and scriptures and sacred stories from around the globe.
In the story of the birth of the Buddha, the mother of the Buddha-to-be, whose name is Queen Maya (also known as MahaMaya) is described in many ancient texts and commentaries as being of impeccable character, giving generous alms and performing the proper holy-day vows, as well as being free from any previous sexual relations or any lustful thoughts, as well as having abstained from taking any life, abstaining from theft, from evil conduct, from lying, and from taking any wine or strong drink -- all of which indicates that the conception of the Buddha-to-be within her womb was a kind of Immaculate Conception with parallels to the gospel accounts and traditions.
See for example the translation of the 123rd sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, which is a canonical Buddhist text dating to perhaps the third century BC.
That ancient text and other accounts of the incarnation of the Buddha declare that when the Boddhisatva decided to incarnate in the womb of his mother Maya, all the heavenly devas rejoiced -- which is another parallel to the descriptions of the birth of the Christ recounted in the gospels.
The video above explores some of the celestial foundations for the distinctive aspects of the story of Maya and her dream of the elephant. It then goes on to explore ways in which both the Buddha and the Christ can be seen to be associated with the constellation Ophiuchus, and ways in which the visit of the revered sage Asita to the parents of the infant Buddha parallel the actions of the aged and holy man Simeon in the gospel accounts of the presentation of Christ at the temple.
I am convinced that the accounts of the birth of the Buddha and of the birth of the Christ have profound meaning for our lives. They point us towards the spiritual birth which takes place after the physical birth, signified in many myths by the great turning-point of the year (at winter solstice), and towards our reconnection with our own divine nature and Higher Self.
They also point us towards the awakening from illusion and the reconnection with truth.
I believe that it is extremely beneficial for us to meditate long and deeply on these stories, and to read them closely, becoming aware of every detail, and to think about what they are trying to convey to us for our own lives.
As Alvin Boyd Kuhn says, in a passage I am fond of quoting, these ancient scriptures are not apprehended in their full force and applicability until every reader discerns himself or herself to be the central figure in them.
I am convinced that when we learn to listen to the myths in the language that they are actually speaking, we are more likely to be able to hear what they are trying to say to us.
And I am also convinced that the best way to hear what they are saying is to go to the ancient myths themselves and converse with them (rather than listening to what I or anyone else tells you that they are saying).
And it is my hope that in this holy season these ancient stories will be a blessing to you in a new and meaningful way.