Mission of the Buddha on Mars

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The Mission of the Buddha on Mars, which came true in 1604, was of great importance for the further development of humanity.

In the life between death and a new birth, man wanders through the individual planetary spheres and, in the process, inhabits Mars for a certain time, not as a physical being, of course, but as a spiritual being, and here becomes a Martian. But until about the 16th century Mars was in a state of descending development and ever stronger materialistic impulses emanated from here. The impulses that Mars was able to give to the Earth and humanity up to that time gave rise in particular to modern materialistic natural science. After the Buddha had gone through his last earthly incarnation, he ascended to Mars in order to fulfil his new mission here. At the beginning of the 17th century, he performed an act here that has a similar significance for Mars as the Mystery of Golgotha has for Earth. He succeeded in appeasing the Martian forces and thus began an ascending development of Mars.

„The Martian culture, which people live through between death and new birth, went through a great crisis in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on Earth. So drastic, so catastrophic was it on Mars in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as it was on Earth at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. As at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha the real I of man was born, so on Mars was born that direction of the spirit which, when it implanted itself in man, showed itself in Copernicanism. After these conditions had prevailed on Mars, it would have been the quite natural consequence that Mars would always have sent men to Earth who would only have brought with them ideas such as Copernicus, which are actually Maya. So we are looking at a decadence, a decline of Martian culture. Before, it had been good forces that had emanated from Mars. Now, however, more and more forces were emanating from there that would have led man deeper and deeper into the Maya. The achievements that came from Mars at that time were indeed ingenious, but they were still Maya.

So you see that in the fifteenth century one could say: The salvation of Mars, and therefore of the Earth, depends on the fact that on Mars the declining culture receives again an upward impulse. So it was on Mars, as it had been on Earth up to the Mystery of Golgotha, where humanity had sunk from spiritual heights into the depths of the material and the Christ-impulse then meant an ascent for it. On Mars, in the fifteenth century, the need had arisen to give an upward impulse to Martian culture. That was the great question before Christian Rosenkreutz and his disciples, how to give the Martian culture this impulse to ascend, for the salvation of the Earth also depended on the Martian culture. The great task before Rosicrucianism was to answer the question: What is to be done so that the Martian culture can ascend for the salvation of the Earth? The Martian beings could not have known what could serve their salvation, for only on Earth could one know what the state of Mars was. On Mars, the decline was not felt at all. It was therefore for the sake of a practical answer that the conference of which we have spoken met at the end of the sixteenth century. This conference was well prepared by Christian Rosenkreutz because his most intimate disciple and friend was Gautama Buddha, who lived in the spirit body. And at this conference it was announced that the being who had once incarnated on Earth as Gautama Buddha would now, as a spiritual being, as he had been since he became "Buddha", move the scene of his activity to Mars. The individuality of Gautama Buddha was sent, as it were, from Earth to Mars by Christian Rosenkreutz. Gautama Buddha left the scene of his activity and went to Mars, and in 1604 the individuality of Gautama Buddha performed a similar deed for Mars as the Mystery of Golgotha did for the Earth.

Christian Rosenkreutz had recognised what it would mean for the whole universe if Buddha worked there, and what Buddha's teaching of Nirvana, the teaching that man should detach himself from the Earth, would mean there on Mars. The doctrine of Nirvana was unsuitable for promoting the practical culture on Earth. This was shown by the disciple of the Buddha, Francis of Assisi, that this doctrine turned its adepts into unworldly people. But what was unsuitable in Buddhism for promoting man's practical life between birth and death was of great importance for promoting his soul between death and a new birth. Christian Rosenkreutz saw that the teaching of the Buddha was the most suitable for what had to happen on Mars as purification. Just as the divine being of love, Christ, once dwelt on Earth at a time and among a people who were not exactly close to this being of love, so the Prince of Peace Buddha ascended to Mars in the seventeenth century, where war and struggle prevailed, in order to fulfil his mission there. There, the souls were primarily warlike. A great sacrificial act was performed by the Buddha, like that of the bearer of the divine love being in the Mystery of Golgotha. It was a cosmic sacrificial act to be Buddha on Mars. There he was, as it were, the sacrificial lamb, and one can call it a kind of crucifixion for the Buddha that he allowed himself to be placed in this warlike environment. Buddha performed this deed on Mars in the service of Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus the great leading beings work together in the universe, not only on Earth, but from one planet to another.

Since the time when the mystery of Mars was accomplished by Gautama Buddha, man has received other forces from Mars in the time between death and new birth than he did earlier, at the time of the decline of the Martian culture. And not only does man bring quite different forces with him from Mars into the new birth, but through the influence exerted by the spiritual deed of the Buddha, forces also flow to man from Mars when he is here engaged in meditation in order to come into the spiritual world. When the modern spiritual disciple meditates in the sense indicated by Christian Rosenkreutz, forces also flow in which the Buddha sends into the Earth as the Martian Redeemer.“ (Lit.:GA 130, p. 319ff)

„We know that Buddha was before a Bodhisattva; he worked on Earth through long periods of time as Bodhisattva. These Bodhisattvas had in them no ordinary human soul. Their case was quite a special one. You must here call to mind the description in Occult Science of the beginning of Earth evolution, — how, after the interval between Moon and Earth, the Sun was re-united with Earth and the other planets, and how they all then separated again, being shed, as it were, like a husk or shell one after the other. (See also my lecture cycle on the Spiritual Hierarchies.) There was, therefore, at one time the condition in which the Earth was united with the Sun. Then Earth and Sun separated, and you know that after that came the separation also of the Moon, and the strengthening of the Earth through souls coming from other planets. Let us now fix our attention on the point of time when the Sun has just separated from the Earth. When this separation took place, the two planets Venus and Mercury — I am giving them their astronomical names — were still within the Sun. The Earth alone separated off, Venus and Mercury remaining within the Sun. We have therefore now Sun and Earth. On Earth, evolution continues. Only a small number of human beings remain behind; others go up to the planets, to return again later on. With the Sun went also Beings; for the world does not consist just of external matter, but of Beings. Beings went with the Sun when it separated from the Earth. And their Leader is the Christ. For at the time in Earth evolution when the Sun separated from the Earth, What one may call the taking precedence by the Christ over Lucifer and the other planetary Spirits had already come to fulfilment. Then later on, Venus separated, and Mercury. Let us consider for a moment the exit of Venus from the Sun. Together with Venus are Beings who had also at first gone with the Sun but were not able to remain there. These break away and inhabit Venus. Among them is the Being who stands behind the later Buddha. He went as a messenger from the Christ to the dwellers on Venus. The Christ sent him to Venus, and here on Venus Buddha passed through all manner of stages of evolution. Later on, souls came back from Venus to Earth. The ordinary human souls were of course but little developed. Buddha, however, who also descended to Earth with the Venus souls, was a highly evolved Being, — so highly evolved that he could at once become a Bodhisattva and afterwards early a Buddha. Thus we have in Buddha one who had long ago been sent out by Christ and had the task of preparing the work of Christ on Earth. For his mission to the Venus men had this meaning, — that he should go to Earth beforehand, as a forerunner of the Sun. And now you will be able to understand that Buddha, having been with Christ for a longer time than the other Earth men — for the Earth separated off earlier — needed only that portion of the Christ Impulse which he still had in him from the Sun, to enable him to follow the Christ Event from the spiritual world. For Buddha that sufficed. Other human beings had to await the Christ Event on Earth. But because Buddha had this special relationship to the Christ, because he had been sent out by the Christ as a forerunner, he did not need to await on Earth the Christ Event. He took with him from Earth the capacity of remembering — even without the help of the Christ, which other men need — what the I means on Earth. Hence he was able also to look down and behold the Christ Event from higher worlds. Thus was preparation made long beforehand in the World All for the remarkable mission that Buddha had undertaken at the behest of Christ. For he was first sent to the Venus men — and compare what I am now telling you with the lectures I gave at Helsingfors [Note 1] — and afterwards to the Earth; then he made his way back to the Mars men, and there has to continue working, carrying out on Mars the mission for which he had so long been preparing. On Mars it is so, that the men who have remained there stand in great peril, even as the Earth men were in peril, from which Christ set them free. The danger for the Mars men is, that their astral body — they have, as you know, not an I to develop as we — their astral body, and thereby indirectly also their ether body, may suffer a very serious diminution of force and become dried up. The whole nature of the Mars men has proved to be of a kind that leads to terrible wars. The men of Mars tend to settle permanently on a certain spot. Men on the Earth are cosmopolitanly inclined; Mars men are wedded to the soil, there are very few cosmopolitans among them. And there is, or rather was, on Mars constant war and strife, due to the astral bodies that are very strong and not tempered and made gentle by an I. If you will think it over you will understand that among men who develop in this way there must inevitably be a terrible amount of strife and conflict. Mars is nothing else than a kind of re-incarnated Moon; what the astral body holds is not tempered with the softening influence of the I, with the result that the men of Mars have quite an exceptional lust for war. The Greeks acted on a true knowledge when they made Mars the God of War. One is indeed filled with wonder and amazement when one finds in the world of legend these echoes of the truth. Unforgettable is the impression one receives when, having discovered that terrible wars took place there, one finds that this occult knowledge is present in the names that were given out of the knowledge contained in the ancient Mysteries.

Think of the continuation of the life of Buddha, this Master of Compassion and Love, this Master in the overcoming of caste-distinctions, and you will understand the mission that Buddha had on Mars, — to introduce something to which the Mars men could never come unaided, something which would seem to them like an exaggerated piety, a kind of monastic attitude to life. For it was the mission of Buddha by means of a conspicuous example of exceeding humility and poverty to quicken the Mars men to life in this direction. I can only just begin to draw for you the picture of Buddha's influence upon Mars. The meaning of his work there for the Mars men who live without the I, is in point of fact entirely similar to the influence of a redeemer and a saviour, one who liberates men to a higher world-conception. And whilst upon Earth universal brotherhood and love of one's neighbour are connected in their deepest impulse with the Christ, cosmopolitanism in its essential character is connected with the Deed of Salvation which Buddha has to fulfil on Mars.“ (Lit.:GA 137, p. 201ff)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
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.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
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.