The Way of the Bodhisattva
Bodhi in Sanskrit means awakened or enlightened and sattva means purity. Let’s take a closer look at the life of the bodhisattva for it is important and has not been clearly defined.
Most who claim to follow the path of a bodhisattva are in fact, bodhasadhus. They have only begun in their awakening and are not qualified with the wisdom of the bodhisattva, or to teach. Yet, some in Buddhism suggest that they should take a vow to do so.
The Buddha never taught this, but it was brought down through the ages to serve the ego within the soul that wants to feel superiority over others.
This has been a problem with all religions, not just Buddhism. It’s sad that whatever high states are declared, everyone wants to say they’ve experienced it also.
The ego defiles God’s truths just as it blocks the Atman’s voice within the soul. What served the soul for physical survival in the world is the enemy of the soul regarding spiritual growth.
Due to the ego, their interpretations become muddied and watered-down versions that end up misleading others, and this is the reason why they should not teach.
An example of Christianity is Paul’s words that faith is all one needs to be a Christian, not works. That’s an incorrect teaching because good works are what produce growth within the soul.
Faith is a feel-good interpretation for the ego while works are a real manifestation in the world for the soul. After all, God is a God of Action. If He were a feel-good God, then there would be no karma.
The feel-good God forgives and yet, the God of Action says, nay, you must show true repentance by changing your ways or you will suffer the consequences.
There are consequences for we can look at the world and see it all around us. This is from the Holy Spirit as well as the Atman of all souls manifesting action in the world. There would be no consequences if it were not so.
The bodhisattva doesn’t need 37 steps because he or she has already lived 37,000 steps.
They move in the direction of where the world is while gently lifting society to a higher or more virtuous way of living through their love and devotion. All their missteps are manifestations of where the world is, though it can cause deep anguish and contrition when they do so.
Their evolution is not their own but for society’s growth, or they would have already ascended. This is the essence of the Buddha’s meaning of the bodhisattva and the same universal love that flows into all the worlds that have life.
It’s unlikely to meet a bodhisattva though it’s possible there might be a few aghorisadhus in one’s church. Yet, never let it be one’s part to persecute the one who seems strange or different. Sometimes, the differences come from a higher vision and purity of being.
It’s true there are not enough steps in one lifetime to be a bodhisattva. It comes through evolving across many past lives of samadhi and work which involved much more than a spoken vow. Just as Jesus said, “All are called but few are chosen.”
Everyone is called, but the bodhisattva represents a very small percentage of the population and a priceless portion of the world.
As the Holy Spirit leads society into greater ways of being, the bodhisattva joins in this activity because of his or her love for the Creator and the universal love of His creation.
A bodhisattva is born into the world with love for the Lord and they see all their physical actions from a spiritual perspective that surpasses even the recently illumined. They are unaware of it while the earliest of years are spent in ecstatic bliss.
As they age, their chakras open much faster which produces an awkwardness among the other echelons. Most times, they are ostracized and rejected and carry this crucible throughout their lives.
They always feel like they are on the outside, looking in, whereas those within the echelons are better able to relate to one another.
These difficulties follow them into adulthood for they view materialism as empty and find they are not happy with acquiring more than what they need.
They may go through periods of divine madness while looking toward moksha or final liberation and may even be confused about their identity.
Da Free John is one example of the recently illumined who was nearing but not yet to the stage of divine madness as he proclaimed himself to be the Avatar. He is still evolving and will need more lives to reach the divine wisdom of the buddhisattva for his teaching is not yet at that level.
It is because of universal love that the bodhisattva is driven into divine madness and ends up living on the fringes of society, rejected, and despised by the world. This condition may last for a long period of time or a lifetime as was the case of Nichola Tesla.
Today, he is revered as the greatest inventor of the twentieth century, and yet, some of his predictions about the future of technology are still coming to pass.
Once, he was quoted as saying, “Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future for which I have really worked is mine.”
He saw his visions of future technology as a means of spreading universal love in the world, not for fame or fortune, which was what he viewed in his contemporaries. His divine musings were for the highest purpose of love, which is the happiness and spiritual prosperity of all.
Tesla’s personal life was fraught with rejection from the public and fellow inventors, and he was often friendless, destitute, and penniless. It may be one of the reasons why he said, “If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”
Another example is Edgar Cayce. Like Tesla, an inventor, who dreamed of his inventions first, Edgar Cayce, dreamed of cures that healed many people.
He astounded the world with cures for ailments that were unheard of, and he was later dubbed, the sleeping prophet.
He was considered unusual as a child and an enigma to the world. He had the ability of sleeping on his schoolbooks and dreaming of their content, without opening and reading a single page.
Later, he would go into altered states of consciousness with many cures for ailments that he refused to charge money for.
One time he was asked by friends and family how they could become psychic too. He replied, “The purpose of life is not to become psychic, but to become a more spiritually aware and loving person.” No truer words were ever spoken, for that is the way of the bodhisattva.
His altered states took a different twist than his Christian background allowed, and he spoke often of reincarnation and the afterlife.
What started first with giving solutions to ailments blossomed years later into a spiritual teaching and thus began his transition into the stage of a buddhisattva.
The scientist, Emmanuel Swedenborg, was a bodhisattva who later, at the age of 53 had an awakening when he dreamed a man appeared who said he was the Lord.
He said, “I am appointing you to reveal the spiritual meanings of the Bible and I will guide your hand in what to write.”
For the next fourteen years, he wrote volumes of remarkable and timeless spiritual works that are still in print three hundred years later and will remain so for much longer.
Some of the greatest poems that were ever written are from Shakespeare and William Blake. Neither brought spiritual teachings, though Blake produced some spiritual writings, outside of his poetic works.
Their poems, too, are cosmic and timeless, along with Leonardo Da Vinci, whose paintings will forever be memorable to the world. This is what Tesla meant when he said, “The present is theirs and the future is mine.”
All the bodhisattvas are torchbearers and some like St. Thérèse of Lisieux become more prominent than others. The bodhisattvas never seek fame but sometimes, it happens.
The buddhisattvas are trailblazers by bringing new teachings that inspire the world. Their path is fraught with more difficulties as they pierce the darkness within and without.
Their personal difficulties may be like Swedenborg’s, who suffered a speech impediment, or Cayce’s, who had great difficulty concentrating.
The bodhisattvas dwell in all walks of life, supporting humanity in God’s great project. They are the rising souls, the torchbearers, and trailblazers, the enigmas of society who “dance to the beat of a different drummer.”
With one foot in Heaven, they leave their divine imprint in the world. With the other, they scrape the rooftops of sadhana, bringing truth and light, and peace.
When their liberation is complete, they land with both feet on the other side, and that is the way of the bodhisattva.