This is a book (Multnomah Publishers Inc.; October 2001) by Ravi Zacharias, which recounts a conversation between Jesus and Buddha. It is written under the premise that a girl, Pirya, is dying of AIDS, and is taking a boat ride with the two religious men, and the boatsman as well.

The two men then go into a discussion of whose offerings to man has more to help this dying girl. Jesus criticizes Buddha's philosophy of self (I don't completely understand it, but it seems that in Buddhism, self is completely overcome to end suffering, while Jesus says that through denying ones self and offering ones life to God, one can then truly be free and find inner peace), and offers deism and divine forgiveness as the only course which Pirya, and mankind, can turn to for the truth.

Truth is the basic goal that this discourse attempts to find, however, Ravi shows himself to be a staunch apologist for Christianity. Rather than offering inner means of salvation, Buddha here plays the foil for Jesus' criticism of philosophy that denounces Deity as unnecessary or missing entirely. His work is well worth the read, and it took me less than an hour to finish at my local corporate bookstore.

There are many critisisms of the book which arise from misunderstandings on the part of Zacharias of Buddhism, including that Buddha was not allowed to nurse the sick Pirya, because she was female and mistaken ideas on the meaning of the middle path.

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