Gautam Buddha’s Quest For The Supreme

For 26 years Buddha sought the realization of the Self by studying scriptures, meeting sages and saints and listening to their teachings. He found that by these means He could not experience reality. He realized that the knowledge of the Self has to be gained through an inward search. He stopped the outward quest and gradually experienced knowledge of the Self from within.
- “The Essence of Buddha’s Teachings”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 31, May 11, 1998, Brindavan
Gautam sees the 4 life-changing scenes
Buddha did not attach any importance to Yajnas and Yagas and other religious rituals. The reason is He felt that it was more important to ensure that the five sense organs were pure to begin with. Buddha sought to find out why the mind gets disturbed. He could not bear to see anyone suffering. He was deeply grieved at the sight of persons afflicted with old age. He was intrigued at the sight of a dead body. None of these natural happenings gave Him peace of mind. Buddha considered the movements of the planets and the sun and the stars as natural phenomena. He undertook many spiritual exercises to find out what transcended these natural phenomena. Failing to find the answers by these exercises, He approached many great elders to find the answers. None could give Him satisfactory answers. Ultimately He reached Gaya and sat under a banyan tree to meditate on the problems that worried Him.
- “Purity – The Path to Liberation”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 30, May 15, 1997, Brindavan
Gautam leaves behind home and hearth for His Quest for Truth
Buddha left His home in quest of the secret of Ananda. In His wanderings, He saw a dead body, an old man, and a sick person. These painful sights made Him to enquire deeply. He realised that death could not be avoided. Old age also is inescapable, being the natural culmination of childhood, youth, and middle age. Such changes form part and parcel of the physical world, which itself is ephemeral. These changes are natural, and one must not be perturbed or agitated by them. Buddha asked Himself, “What is the cause of death? Why do old age and sickness come upon humans?” After much pondering, Buddha concluded that the body is just like a water bubble, while the sickness of the body has its origin in the mind. In modern parlance, the psychological attitude of a person determines his actions and behaviour.
- “Buddha’s Message”, Summer Showers in Brindavan 2000, Brindavan

Siddhartha, who came to be known as Gautama Buddha, undertook various spiritual practices in order to realise His true Self. He studied the Vedas and sacred texts. He met many elderly wise men and tried to know the truth from them. But none of these practices could show Him the path to Nirvana. Ultimately, He realised that Nirvana lay in making use of the five senses of speech, touch, vision, taste and smell in a sacred manner. He understood that Japa, Dhyana, Yoga, Yajna, etc., were mere physical activities. These spiritual practices are needed for those who are attached to the body. One who is attached to the Self need not undertake any of these practices.
- “Attain God’s Grace Through Sacrifice and Love”, 
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 34, May 07, 2001, Brindavan
On the journey to become the Buddha
Buddha observed Mounam and became quiet. Every sacred act has manifold rewards. By being quiet, Buddha began to experience Soham within Him. Buddha tried different kinds of Sadhana. He studied sacred texts. But no literature explained clearly the nature of the five senses. Ultimately, He came to the conclusion that there was no other Sadhana superior to sense control. He realised that the control of the five senses was the real spiritual practice.
- “Sense Control is the Highest Sadhana”, 
Summer Showers in Brindavan 2002, Brindavan

During the course of His journey, He once met a holy man. The holy man told him that the cause of His anguish was actually within Him, and it was His anguish that was coming in the way of His self-realisation. So saying, he gave Him a Talisman for protection and asked Him to wear it around His neck. (At this point of time, Bhagavan materialised that Talisman and showed it to the congregation amidst thunderous applause). This was the Talisman given by the sage to Siddhartha. When Siddhartha put it around His neck, all His anguish disap¬peared instantaneously. Till the last moment of His earthly sojourn, Buddha had the Talisman around His neck. When He shed His mortal coil, the Talisman disappeared.

Siddhartha started doing intense penance which went on for a long time. He kept ques-tioning Himself, “Who am I? Am I the body? Am I the mind? Am I the Buddhi (intellect)? Am I the Chitta (mind-stuff)?” He came to the conclusion that He was none of these. Ul-timately, He experienced the truth, “I am I”.
Buddha experienced the unity of all creation. There was total transformation in Him once He attained the vision of Ekatma (oneness of the Atma). He realised that all worldly relations like mother, father, wife, children were false. He transcended body consciousness. That is why He earned the appellation Buddha (the enlightened one).

Buddha had to undergo great hardships to realise this truth. Many noble souls who were the contemporaries of Buddha acknowledged the greatness of Buddha. They said that Buddha had experienced the truth which they were unable to realise. As He gave up all desires, Buddha became an epitome of total renunciation. There was nothing in Him except love. He considered love as His very life-breath. Bereft of love, the world would turn into a void.
- “Attain Enlightenment by Renouncing Desires”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 39, May 13, 2006, Brindavan

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