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Re: True Orient (again)

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  • ted.wrinch
    This is sweet on Buddha and Asita: In the twenty-ninth year of his life, after having abandoned the path of asceticism, there dawned upon Buddha during his
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 31, 2011
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      This is sweet on Buddha and Asita:

      In the twenty-ninth year of his life, after having abandoned the path of asceticism, there dawned upon Buddha during his seven days of meditation under the `Bodhi-tree' the great Truths that can flash up in a man when, in deep contemplation, he strives to discover what his own faculties can impart to him. There dawned upon Buddha the great teachings he then proclaimed as the Four Truths and the doctrine of compassion and love presented as the Eightfold Path. We shall be considering these teachings of Buddha later on. At the moment it will be sufficient to say that they are a kind of portrayal of the moral sense and of the purest doctrine of compassion and love. They arose when, under the `Bodhi-tree', the Bodhisattva of India became Buddha. The teaching of compassion and love came into existence then for the first time in the history of mankind in the form of human faculties which man has since been able to develop from his own very self. That is the essential point. Therefore shortly before his death Buddha said to his disciples: `Grieve not that the Master is departing. I am leaving with you the Law of Wisdom and the Law of Discipline. For the future they will serve as substitutes for the Master.' These words mean simply: Hitherto the Bodhisattva has taught you what is expressed in the Law; now, having fulfilled his incarnation on Earth, he may withdraw. For men will absorb into their own hearts the teaching of the Bodhisattva and from their own hearts will be able to develop this teaching as the religion of compassion and love. That was what came to pass in India when, after seven days of inner contemplation, the Bodhisattva became Buddha; and that was what he taught in diverse forms to the pupils who were around him. The actual forms in which he gave his teaching will still have to be considered.
      It was necessary for us to-day to look back to what happened six hundred years before our era because we shall neither understand the path of Christianity nor what is indicated about that path, above all by the writer of the Gospel of St. Luke, unless we follow evolution backwards from the events in Palestine to the Sermon at Benares. Since Buddha attained that rank there was no need for him to return to the Earth; since then he has been a spiritual Being, living in the spiritual world and participating in everything that has transpired on Earth. When the greatest of all happenings on the Earth was about to come to pass, there appeared to the shepherds in the fields a Being from spiritual heights who made the proclamation recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke. Then, together with the Angel, there suddenly appeared a `heavenly host'. The `heavenly host' was the picture of the glorified Buddha, seen by the shepherds in vision; he was the Bodhisattva of ancient times, the Being in his spiritual form who for thousands and thousands of years had brought to men the message of compassion and love. Now, after his last incarnation on the Earth, he soared in spiritual heights and appeared to the shepherds together with the Angel who had announced to them the Event of Palestine.
      These are the findings of spiritual investigation. It was the Bodhisattva of old who now, in the glory of Buddhahood, appeared to the shepherds. From the Akashic Chronicle we learn that in Palestine, in the `City of David', a child was born to parents descended from the priestly line of the House of David. This child — I say it with emphasis — born of parents of whom the father at any rate was descended from the priestly line of the House of David, was to be shone upon from the very day of birth by the power radiating from Buddha in the spiritual world. We look with the shepherds into the manger where `Jesus of Nazareth', as he is usually called, was born, and see the radiance above the little child; we know that in this picture is expressed the power of the Bodhisattva who became Buddha — the power that had formerly streamed to men and, working now upon humanity from the spiritual world, accomplished its greatest deed by shedding its lustre upon the child born at Bethlehem.
      When the Individuality whose power now rayed down from spiritual heights upon the child of parents belonging to David's line was born in India long ago — when the Buddha to be was born as Bodhisattva — the whole momentous significance of the events described to-day was revealed to a sage living at that time, and what he beheld in the spiritual world caused that sage — Asita was his name — to go to the royal palace to look for the little Bodhisattva-child. When he saw the babe he foretold his mighty mission as Buddha, predicting, to the father's dismay, that the child would not rule over his kingdom, but would become a Buddha. Then Asita began to weep, and when asked whether misfortune threatened the child, he answered: `No, I am weeping because I am so old that I shall not live to see the day when this Saviour, the Bodhisattva, will walk the Earth as Buddha!' Asita did not live to see the Bodhisattva become Buddha and there was good reason for his grief at that time. But the same Asita who had seen the Bodhisattva as a babe in the palace of King Suddhodana, was born again as the personality who, in the Gospel of St. Luke, is referred to as Simeon in the scene of the presentation in the temple. We are told that Simeon was inspired by the Spirit to go into the temple where the child was brought to him (Luke II, 25–32). Simeon was the same being who, as Asita, had wept because in that incarnation he would not be able to see the Bodhisattva attaining Buddhahood. But it was granted to him to witness the further stage in the development of this Individuality, and having `the Holy Spirit upon him' he was able to perceive, at the presentation in the temple, the radiance of the glorified Bodhisattva above the head of the Jesus-child of the House of David. Then he could say to himself: `Now you need no longer grieve, for what you did not live to see at that earlier time, you now behold: the glory of the Saviour shining above this babe. Lord, now let thy servant die in peace!'

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospLuke/19090916p01.html

      THE great hermit Asita, whose austerities were pleasing to the Gods, heard of the birth of him who was to save mankind from the torment of rebirth. In his thirst for the true law, he came to the palace of King Suddhodana and gravely approached the women's quarters. His years and his learning lent him great dignity.
      The king showed him the courtesies that custom prescribed and addressed him in a seemly manner:
      "Happy, indeed, am I! Truly, this child of mine will enjoy distinguished favor, for the venerable Asita has come purposely to see me. Command me. What must I do? I am your disciple, your servant."
      The hermit, his eyes shining with the light of joy, gravely spoke these words:
      "This has happened to you, O noble, generous and hospitable king, because you love duty and because you are ever kind to those who are wise and to those who are full of years. This has happened to you because your ancestors, though rich in land
      p. 17
      and rich in gold, were above all rich in virtue. Know the reason for my coming, O king, and rejoice. In the air I heard a divine voice speaking and it said: 'A son has been born to the king of the Sakyas, a son who will have the true knowledge.' I heard these words, and I came, and my eyes shall now behold the glory of the Sakyas."
      Overwhelmed with joy, the king went to fetch the child. Taking him from his nurse's breast, he showed him to the aged Asita.
      The hermit noticed that the king's son bore the marks of omnipotence. His gaze hovered over the child, and presently his lashes were wet with tears. Then he sighed and turned his eyes to the sky.
      The king saw that Asita was weeping, and he began to fear for his son. He questioned the old man:
      "You say, O venerable roan, that my son's body differs little from that of a God. You say that his birth was a wondrous thing, that in the future his glory will be supreme, yet you look at him with eyes that are filled with tears. Is his life, then, to be a fragile thing? Was he born only to bring me sorrow? Must this new branch wither before it has burst into flower? Speak, O saintly man, speak quickly; you know the great love a father bears his son."
      "Be not distressed, O king," replied the hermit.
      p. 18
      [paragraph continues]
      "What I have told you is true: this child will know great glory. If I weep, it is for myself. My life draws to a close and he is born, he who will destroy the evil of rebirth. He will surrender sovereign power, he will master his passions, he will understand truth, and error will disappear in the world before the light of his knowledge, even as night flees before the spears of the sun. From the sea of evil, from the stinging spray of sickness, from the surge and swell of old age, from the angry waves of death, from these will he rescue the suffering world, and together they will sail away in the great ship of knowledge. He will know where it takes its rise, that swift, wonderful, beneficent river, the river of duty; he will reveal its course, and those who are tortured by thirst will come and drink of its waters. To those tormented by sorrow, to those enslaved by the senses, to those wandering in the forest of existences like travellers who have lost their way, he will point out the road to salvation. To those burning with the fire of passion, he will be the cloud that brings refreshing rain; armed with the true law, he will go to the prison of desires where all creatures languish, and he will break down the evil gates. For he who will have perfect understanding will set the world free. Therefore do not grieve, O king. He alone is to be pitied who will not hear the voice of your son, and that is why
      p. 19
      [paragraph continues]
      I weep, I who, in spite of my austerities, in spite of my meditations, will never know his message and his law. Yes, even he is to be pitied who ascends to the loftiest gardens of the sky."


      http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lob/lob06.htm

      T.

      Ted Wrinch

      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@...> wrote:
      >
      > This is nice too:
      >
      >
      > Buddha felt impelled to leave the palace. The story is that on one occasion he escaped from his royal prison and came across an aged man. Hitherto he had been surrounded only by the spectacle of exuberant youth, in order to induce him to believe that nothing else existed. Now, in the old man, he encountered the phenomenon of advanced age on the physical plane. Then he came across a sick man; then he saw a corpse — the manifestation of death on the physical plane. All this came before him. The legend — here once again truer than any external account — goes on to relate something very indicative of Buddha's essential nature: that when he left the palace, the horse by which he was drawn was so saddened by his decision to forsake everything that had surrounded him since his birth that it died of grief and was transported as a spiritual being into the spiritual world. [ 2 ] — A profound truth is expressed here. It would lead too far for me to explain why a horse is taken as a symbol for a spiritual power of man. I will only remind you of Plato, who speaks of a horse led by a bridle when he is using a symbol for certain human capacities that are still bestowed from above and have not been developed by man from his own inmost self. When Buddha departed from the palace he relinquished these faculties, left them in the spiritual world whence they had always guided him. This is indicated in the picture of the horse which dies of grief and is transported into the spiritual world. But it was only gradually that Buddha could attain the rank he was destined to reach in his final incarnation on the Earth. He had first to learn on the physical plane everything that as Bodhisattva he had known only through spiritual vision.
      >
      >
      > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospLuke/19090916p01.html
      >
      > Kanthaka ( in Pali and Sanskrit) (6th century BC, in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, India) was a favourite white horse of length eighteen cubits that was a royal servant of Prince Siddhartha, who later became Gautama Buddha. Siddhartha used Kanthaka in all major events described in Buddhist texts prior to his renunciation of the world. Following the departure of Siddhartha, Kanthaka died of a broken heart.[1]
      > …
      > According to Buddhist texts, Kanthaka was reborn as a brahmin and went on to attend dharma talks by Gautama Buddha and achieve enlightenment. The death is variously described as occurring either at the banks of the Anoma or upon returning to Kapilavastu.[1]
      > The description of Kanthaka is also widely observed in Buddhist art, such as carvings on stupas. The depiction of Siddhartha leaving Kapilavastu aboard Kanthaka found at the main stupa in Amaravathi is the oldest depiction currently existing. Such depictions are also displayed in museums in London and Calcutta.
      >
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanthaka
      >
      > T.
      >
      > Ted Wrinch
      >
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Isn't the internet great? Many years ago it was sometimes hard to confirm the historico-legendary-cultural references Steiner gave. Now, at the click of a mouse: voila! This one's on the Buddha's 40,000 dancing girls:
      > >
      > > Buddha Purnima Legends
      > >
      > > Buddhism was originally a sect within the Hindu way of life. Its originator had the personal name of Siddharta, and the surname Gautama. He belonged to the Sakya clan of the Kshatriya or warrior caste. He married and had a son, Rahula. But after some years he left his parents, wife and child. The king, his father, had three palaces built for him, and at the age of sixteen gave him forty thousand dancing girls.
      > >
      > > http://festivals.iloveindia.com/buddha-purnima/buddha-purnima-legends.html
      > >
      > > It must seem strange to Orientalists and others who study the life of Buddha to read that he was surrounded in the palace by `forty thousand dancing-girls and eighty-four thousand women'. That statement is to be found in books sold to-day for a few shillings and the writers are obviously not particularly astonished at the existence of such a harem! What is the explanation? It is not realized that this points to the intensity of the experiences that arose in Buddha through his astral visions. Guarded from childhood against all knowledge of sorrow and suffering in the world of physical humanity, he perceived everything as spiritual forces in the spiritual world. He saw all this because he was born into a body such as could be produced at that time; but from the outset he was proof against the delusive pictures around him, having in his previous incarnations risen to the height of a Bodhisattva. Because in this incarnation he was living as the Bodhisattva he felt impelled to go out into the world in order to see the things indicated by the pictures appearing in the astral world around him in the palace. Every picture kindled within him an urge to go out and see the world, to leave his prison. That was the impelling urge in his soul, for as Bodhisattva there was in him the lofty spiritual power connected with the mission of imparting to mankind the teaching of compassion and love, with all its implications. Hence it was necessary for him to become acquainted with humanity in the world in which man can assimilate this teaching through moral insight. Buddha was to acquire knowledge of the life of humanity in the physical world. From Bodhisattva he was to become Buddha — as a man among men. The only possibility of achieving this was to abandon all the faculties that had remained to him from his former incarnations and to turn outwards to the physical plane in order to live there among men as a model, an ideal, an example to humanity of the development of these qualities.
      > >
      > > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospLuke/19090916p01.html
      > >
      > > T.
      > >
      > > Ted Wrinch
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch" <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Still working with 'Orientalism' and still haven't found any evidence Steiner suffered from it, quite the contrary. There's a nice story he tells in his Bhagavad Gita lectures of Krishna and the snake Kalia. He talks of the old etheric clairvoyance as being snake like: once awareness was lifted from the physical body it stretched down through the feet into the earth in the form of a snake (Are: does this make sense to you?). The Bhagavad Gita was an epic marking the transition into Kali Yuga, when this clairvoyant ability was to be lost. The legend (not in the Mahabarata) of Krishna and Kali depicts this transition (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliya). I actually find Steiner's grasp of Indian culture to be very good and it's really quite easy to read him and then look at today's culture and imagine oneself perhaps being born into it. Whereas to a usual Western consciousness, like that of Der Staudi, the idea of creating a 5 headed snake, putting it on a plate and worshipping it must seem at best a peculiar and quaint ritual and at worst utter nonsense, and I find his claims to value and understand such religious customs hollow and hypocritical in the extreme.
      > > >
      > > > "At such times of transition from one form of human experience into another, that which comes, as it were, from the old epoch, comes into conflict with that which is coming in the new epoch; for these things are still really contemporaneous. The father is still in existence long after the son's life has begun; although the son is descended from the father. The attributes of the fourth epoch, the Graeco-Latin were there, but those of the third, the Egyptian-Chaldean epoch, still stirred and moved in men and in nations. These attributes naturally became intermingled in the course of evolution, but that which thus appears as the newly-arisen, and that which comes, as it were, out of the olden times, continue to live contemporaneously, but can no longer understand each other properly. The old does not understand the new. The new must protect itself against the old, must defend its life against it; that is to say, the new is there, but the ancestors with their attributes belonging to the old epoch, still work in their descendants, the ancestors who have taken no part in the new. Thus we may describe the transition from the third epoch of humanity to the fourth. There had therefore to be a hero, as we might say — a leader of humanity who, in a significant manner, first represents this process of the killing of the serpent, of being wounded by it; while he had at the same time to struggle against that which was certainly related to him, but which with its attributes still shone into the new age from the old. In the advance of mankind, one person must first experience the whole greatness of that which later all generations experience. Who was the hero who crushed the head of the serpent, who struggled against that which was important in the third epoch? Who was he who guided mankind out of the old Sattva-time into the new Tamas-time? That was Krishna-and how could this be more clearly shown than by the Eastern legend in which Krishna is represented as being a son of the Gods, a son of Mahadeva and Devaki, who entered the world surrounded by miracles (that betokens that he brings in something new), and who, if I may carry my example further, leads men to look for wisdom in their everyday body, and who crushes their Sunday body — the serpent; who has to defend himself against that which projects into the new age from his kindred. Such a one is something new, something miraculous. Hence the legend relates how the child Krishna, even at his birth, was surrounded by miracles, and that Kansa, the brother of his mother, wished to take the life of the child. In the uncle of the child Krishna we see the continuance of the old, and Krishna has to defend himself against him; for Krishna had to bring in the new, that which kills the third epoch and does away with the old conditions for the external evolution of mankind. He had to defend himself against Kansa, the inhabitant of the old Sattva age; and amongst the most remarkable of the miracles with which Krishna is surrounded, the legend relates that the mighty serpent Kali twined round him, but that he was able to tread the head of the serpent under foot, though it wounded his heel. Here we have something of which we may say the legend directly reproduces an occult fact. That is what legends do; only we ought not to seek an external explanation, but should grasp the legend aright, in the true light of knowledge, in order to understand it."
      > > >
      > > > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA142/English/AP1971/19121231p01.html
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > There is a kids cartoon where the snake has 1000 heads:
      > > >
      > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB9kLToEb1o
      > > >
      > > > There is a festival around the legend that is still current in the Hindu calendar:
      > > >
      > > > Nag Panchami
      > > >
      > > > August 24, 2011
      > > > When is Nag Panchami 2012 – Well the Date for Nag Panchami in 2012 isTuesday 24th July.
      > > > On this occasion, which happens to be the 5th day of the brighter half of Shravan or Shraavana month the snake "Nag" is worshipped and is known as Nag Panchami(नाग पंचमी). It is the festival of snakes. The festival occurs during the rainy season and is supposed to counter the snake bite.
      > > >
      > > > Legend of Nag Panchami
      > > >
      > > > Another legend tells us that Krishna was playing with some cowboys and the ball they were playing with got entangled in a tree. Krishna agreed to fetch the ball by climbing the tree. Yamuna(यमुना) River was flowing, in which the scary snake Kaliya was living. People were frightened of the snake. Krishna fell into the river and the ferocious snake came out. Krishna was prepared and just jumped onto the head of the snake and grabbed it by the neck. Kaliya pleaded to Krishna not to kill it. Krishna said he would do so if he did not trouble the people. The snake agreed and Krishna let it go free. On the Nag Panchami day the celebration happens for the victory of Krishna over Kaliya.
      > > >
      > > > Celebration of Nag Panchami

      > > >
      > > > Devotees visit temples which are dedicated to snakes to worship them. The temples of Lord Shiva are much preferred as he had a liking for snakes. In South India, snake images are carved out of cow dung and pasted near doors to welcome the snake god. Some of the devotees visit the holes of the anthills since they feel snakes are found in them.
      > > >
      > > > Rituals of Nag Panchami

      > > >
      > > > A five-hood image of the snake is prepared by mixing "gandh"( pigment which is full of fragrance),"chandan" (sandal), halad-kumkum (turmeric powder) and "keshar"(saffron) and then placing it on a plate made of metal and worshipping it. In South India, the images of snakes are made in sandalwood paste that is red on wooden boards. On some parts clay images of snakes are worshiped which is either colored or is completely black.
      > > > People worship snakes to ward of evil and to seek protection from calamities. Nag Panchami is a festival of snakes
      > > >
      > > > http://www.whenisdate.com/page/8/
      > > >
      > > > T.
      > > >
      > > > Ted Wrinch
      > > >
      > >
      >
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