The story starts in the royal court at Kapilavastu.
Living a life of luxury, though he is not necessarily to be described as bad, but “carefree”, Siddharta, the Prince, of the royal lineage of Gautama at Kapilavastu, is thrust from his home and throne by his enemies, and then has to descend to the lowest caste in India, the pariah class. Slowly but surely, he rises through all the castes, ending in the Brahmin caste. He wanders the dusty streets and byways of India, a mendicant, and unknown; he gradually learns humility and through a loving yet strict guidance by a higher hand, he is helped step by step like a child, to gain spiritual recognitions, ending in enlightenment and recognition of the Supreme One, the Lord of All the Worlds.
He finds “enlightenment”, not in the sense described as the “age of reason” or “age of enlightenment”, as took place during the age of enlightenment in Western thought and ideas, but enlightenment through being granted higher recognition. While he is sitting under the Bodhi tree, at a moment of inner quiescence and receptivity – which has been captured in the “Buddha pose” – he experiences his first vision.
Many visions are to follow; he learns to listen to and follow his inner voice, and in one of his visions, the lotus plant is revealed to him, and he is directed that this shall be the symbol of the new teaching he brings to India.
He founds a monastery, to be followed later by many others, all of them established along the same principles, in order not only to disseminate his teachings, but also to teach his followers who come to live there and learn and then go out into the world, how to turn these teachings into right action in joyful activity in their daily lives.
On the occasion of the dedication to the Lord of All the Worlds, of the first school in the settlement he had established, he reveals what he has been given, encapsulated in the “Noble Eightfold Path”.
The steps of this path are:
- Right Belief
- The Word. The Eternal One does not want loquacious servants. … Do not lie. …
- The Deed
- Life: …To live does not mean merely satisfying the natural requirements, like animals or plants. It means bestirring oneself and moving, to show that one is alive. …
- Striving. … But once we have succeeded in making our whole life a striving in the right way, then it becomes
- Gratitude … to Him Who gave it. …The last stage is open only to those who have faithfully passed through, lived through, all the others. It is called:
- Inner Absorption.
He explained further: “… but what you have gained during one stage must have become so much your own that it goes with you into the ensuing stages as your inalienable property.”
Thus, the stages are not mutually exclusive, but each grows out of the preceding one, in which the previous ones are embedded.
Siddharta is later reunited with his family after many years. His son has succeeded to his lost throne. His teaching has spread vigorously across the land between the great plains of the Ganges and Indus Rivers and running north to the foothills of the Himalayas, and revitalized, renewed, and uplifted the people of India in their spiritual development and in their manners and mores. At his passing he gains enlightenment and is given the byname: BUDDHA: the one who has awakened –who has passed on fully conscious and awakened and can continue his activities without transition on that plane at which he awakens or awakened.
He is succeeded in the spiritual leadership by his grandson, Gautama, who proves to be even more advanced than his grandfather had been.
He, too, carries on the work which he has undertaken to continue in the footsteps of his illustrious grandfather, and the teachings of the Buddhas bring great blessings to India. He, likewise, at his passing, is called BUDDHA.
The two personalities have been confused and blended into one in history, though they were two distinct personalities. The kernel of their teaching and revelation, embedded in the simplicity of pure Truth has undergone much human tweaking and distortion, and today is not as lustrous and pure and simple as it once was in its childlike clarity.
Coda: … And in just the same way as the steps of the Noble Eightfold Path or Way become integrated into one whole flight of steps, for the wholesome development of the personality, so the teachings of the two Buddhas also were and are meant to be an important step, though not the final one, in a series of revelations to end with the final Truth given to mankind. …
(published in the “Forerunner” series of the Stiftung Gralsbotschaft, Stuttgart)