Buddha (Sanskrit: m., बुद्ध, literally "awakened one, enlightened one", from budh "awakening"; Chinese: 佛 fó) generally is named an initiate who has reached the state of enlightenment, also called bodhi in Buddhism. In particular, this refers to the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. However, Buddhist tradition also names Buddhas who worked in earlier epochs. In the future, according to Rudolf Steiner, in the 6th post-Atlantean cultural epoch, the coming Buddha Maitreya will have important tasks to fulfil.
Before an initiate ascends to Buddha-dignity, he has functioned as a Bodhisattva in many previous incarnations. A Bodhisattva is animated by an Archangel up to the physical body, often only up to the etheric body, and his consciousness rises up to the Buddhi plane, i.e. up to the world of providence. The name Buddha indicates this connection with the life spirit Buddhi. A Buddha has already developed not only the spirit self but also Buddhi to a high degree.
The mission of a bodhisattva is fulfilled when what he has to give has become completely his own human ability. Out of his own human strength he has developed perfect wisdom (prajna) and infinite compassion (karuna) for all living things. He has thus become a Buddha whose consciousness reaches up to the Nirvana plane and whose body has been transformed into the Sambhoakaya, the body of perfection. Still during his life on Earth, he has experienced Nirvana and finally steps out of the wheel of rebirths (Samsara) and no longer needs an earthly incarnation in the future. After his death in this last earthly life, a Buddha only has an effect on earthly events in ethereal or astral form through the so-called Nirmanakaya.
- Rudolf Steiner: Das Lukas-Evangelium, GA 114 (2001) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English (by Steiner Online Library).
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steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.