The Enlightened One, Gautama Buddha, opens the Western Universal gate of the Holy City and represents the principle of self-realised universal consciousness. Gautama Buddha's initiation comes in the season of the cosmic-spiritual Autumn, at the point when, in the process of involution, spirit and matter are in balance. Appropriately enough the state of Nirväna means calmness, serenity, peace and oneness with the undifferentiated universal mind. There is nothing else except the universal consciousness and everyone who dissolves in it becomes a Buddha (that is, the one who is purified and who has conquered ignorance). The Buddhist path of initiation leads through the gate of the 'microcosmos' of Being. It is based on dharmas – the smallest 'quantums' of consciousness – and from this perspective we can compare the Buddhist approach to the ultimate reality with the view of 'quantum mechanics' in physics. After entry into this microworld, however, the Buddhist followers experience an immensely rich living Universe of ideal-spiritual essences reflected by their 'transparent' consciousness. Therefore, the Buddhist initiation can be defined as contemplation of God. Finally, the Buddhist initiates dissolve into the Great Void (Sünyatä) – the undifferentiated Absolute Origin of Being.

The enlightened Buddhist consciousness is symbolised by the Bodhi Tree. As the legend says, it was under the Bodhi Tree that Buddha attained Enlightenment. In principle, the Bodhi Tree is an ever-present attribute of all Buddhas from all times and all worlds. The term 'Bodhi' itself has seven essential characteristics – it signifies: reflection, study of the dharma, courage, excitement, tranquillity, concentration and imperturbability.

 

All characteristics associated with the Bodhi Tree render it a symbol of the Buddhist way of life and spiritual practice (the Eight –fold path) and of the oneness of Samsära and Nirväna. In fact, the Bodhi Tree symbolises the earthly basis for attaining Nirväna.



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