Friday, September 17, 2010
Dharma as penance
Rudolf Steiner, lecture five of According to Luke, September 19, 1909:
"If the bodhisattva had not appeared completely in the body of the great Gautama Buddha, individual human souls would not have been able to receive the lawfulness known as dharma, which human beings develop from within only by eliminating the astral content of their souls in order to free themselves from all the harmful effects of karma. The Buddha legend points to this fact in a wonderful way when it says that the Buddha had succeeded in "setting the wheel of the law rolling." That is, when the bodhisattva was enlightened and became the Buddha, a wave flowed over all of humankind, and as a consequence individuals gradually learned to develop dharma from within their own souls....
Through the Buddha, humankind acquired the lawfulness that each soul discovers for itself and uses to purify itself and rise to the highest possible level of earthly morality. As proclaimed by the Buddha, dharma, the law of the soul, is accessible to individual human souls at the highest level of development; the Buddha was the first to derive it from within."