Gautama Buddha was a Jivanmukta, the first man who reached Nirvana. When our great Buddha — the patron of all the adepts, the reformer and the codifier of the occult system, reached first Nirvana 1 on earth, he became a Planetary Spirit; i.e., his spirit could at one and the same time rove the interstellar spaces in full consciousness, and continue at will on Earth in his original and individual body. For the divine Self had so completely disfranchised itself from matter that it could create at will an inner substitute for itself, and leaving it in the human form for days, weeks, sometimes years, affect in no wise by the change either the vital principle or the physical mind of its body. By the way, that is the highest form of adeptship man can hope for on our planet. . . . The planetary Spirit of that kind (the Buddha like) can pass at will into other bodies — of more or less etherealised matter, inhabiting other regions of the Universe.
There is a great difference between an Avatara and a Jivanmukta: one is an illusive appearance, Karmaless, and having never before incarnated; the other, is one who obtains Nirvana by his own merit. Gautama BUDDHA was born an Avatara in one sense. But this, in view of unavoidable objections on dogmatic grounds, necessitates explanation. . . . An Avatara is; a Jivanmukta becomes one. If the state of the two is identical, not so are the causes which lead to it. An Avatara is a descent of a God into an illusive form; a Jivanmukta, who may have passed through numberless incarnations and may have accumulated merit in them, certainly does not become a Nirvani because of that merit, but only because of the Karma generated by it, which leads and guides him in the direction of the Guru who will initiate him into the mystery of Nirvana and who alone can help him to reach this abode.
Prince Siddhartha descended from the Solar dynasty. He belonged to the family of the Shakyas, who were descendants of Ikshvaku and formed one of the numerous branches of the Solar dynasty; the race which entered India about 2,300 years B.C. “according to the epic poems of India. Muni means a saint or ascetic, hence — Shakyamuni.”
His first incarnation after enlightenment was the result of Karman; the following three were “out of pity” for future generations. The great conqueror of pains and sorrows arose and proceeded back to his birthplace. . . . “Shakya [the Mighty] is in Nirvana . . . He has given the Science to the Shuddhas [Shudra],” said they of Damze Yul [the country of Brahmans: India]. . . . It was for that, born of pity, that the All-Glorious One had to retire to * * * , and then appear [karmically] as Maha Shankara; and out of pity as * * * , and again as * * * , and again as Tsong-kha-pa. For, he who chooses in humiliation 2 must go down, and he who loves not allows Karma to raise him.
The secret meaning of this sentence is that Karma exercises its sway over the Adept as much as over any other man; “Gods” can escape it as little as simple mortals. The Adept who, having reached the Path and won His Dharmakaya — the Nirvana from which there is no return until the new grand Kalpa — prefers to use His right of choosing a condition inferior to that which belongs to Him, but that will leave him free to return whenever he thinks it advisable and under whatever personality He may select, must be prepared to take all the chances of failure — possibly — and a lower condition than was His lot — for a certainty — as it is an occult law. Karma alone is absolute justice and infallible in its selections. He who uses his rights with it (Karma) must bear the consequences — if any. Thus Buddha’s first reincarnation was produced by Karma — and it led Him higher than ever; the two following were “out of pity” and * * *
For, he refused to abandon the world and men for ever, 1 The Dharmakaya body is that of a complete Buddha, i.e., no body at all, but an ideal breath: Consciousness merged in the Universal Consciousness, or Soul devoid of every attribute. Once a Dharmakaya, an Adept or Buddha leaves behind every possible relation with, or thought for this earth. Thus, to be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvana, “renounces the Dharmakaya body” in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakaya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmanakaya body. The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmanakaya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.
Even “man afflicting man,” DIVINE MAN par excellence. 3 . . . the “Merciful and the Blessed One” could not go out entirely from this world of illusion and created causes without atoning for the sin of all . . . If “man afflicted by man” found safe refuge with the Tathagata, “man afflicting man” had also his share in His self-sacrificing, all-embracing and forgiving love. It is stated that He desired to atone for the sin of His enemies. Then only was he willing to become a full Dharmakaya, a Jivanmukta “without remains.”
By locking the whole mankind within one embrace, . . . Gautama, the “Merciful,” the “Pure,” and the “Just,” was the first found in the Eastern Hierarchy of historical Adepts, if not in the world-annals of divine mortals, who was moved by that generous feeling which locks the whole mankind within one embrace, with no petty differences of race, birth, or caste. It was He who first enunciated that grand and noble principle, and He again who first put it into practice.
He renounced bliss for woe, When mortals shall have become sufficiently spiritualised, there will be no more need of forcing them into a correct comprehension of ancient Wisdom. Men will know then, that there never yet was a great World-reformer, whose name has passed into our generation, who
(a) was not a direct emanation of the LOGOS (under whatever name known to us), i.e., an essential incarnation of one of the “seven,” of the “divine Spirit who is sevenfold”; and
(b) who had not appeared before, during the past Cycles. . . .
The esoteric doctrine explains it by saying that each of these [divine incarnations] . . . had first appeared on earth as one of the seven powers of the LOGOS, individualised as a God or “Angel” (messenger); then, mixed with matter, they had reappeared in turn as great sages and instructors who “taught the Fifth Race,” after having instructed the two preceding races, had ruled during the Divine Dynasties, and had finally sacrificed themselves, to be reborn under various circumstances for the good of mankind, and for its salvation at certain critical periods; until in their last incarnations they had become truly only “the parts of a part” on earth, though de facto the One Supreme in Nature.
By a process that is one of the greatest mysteries of the Secret Doctrine. One of the greatest mysteries of speculative and philosophical Mysticism — and it is one of the mysteries now to be disclosed — is the modus operandi in the degrees of hypostatic transferences. As a matter of course, divine as well as human incarnations must remain a closed book to the theologian as much as to the physiologist, unless the esoteric teachings be accepted and become the religion of the world. This teaching may never be fully explained to an unprepared public;
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