Ruchi Dutta, a graduate from the Tarot for Women Academy has kindfully shared with us her Tarot Project for her Diploma in Tarot – The Buddha’s Life Journey through the 22 Major Arcana Cards.
Siddhartha Gautama, would one day become known throughout the world as Buddha or the Enlightened one and he lived in Nepal during 6th to 4th Century.
A boy Siddhartha was born to King Suddhodana and Queen Maya Devi of the Shakya Clan in Lumbini (now in Nepal) and began his life’s journey. The heights he was to reach and to be remembered for today was not known then. Not only was he to live a beautiful life but he was also born to lead and guide even after all these years. The Fool had started his journey. Stumbling, at times, but full of excitement for what lay ahead. A journey into the unknown with the potential for greatness to unfold.
As a kid, Siddhartha being born into a royal family had all the comforts, luxuries and education provided to him. He could create and become what he wanted with it. He could be a great king, a tyrant or anything he wanted, the choice was his. The opportunities to go wrong were unlimited. He had to create the biggest masterpiece of all – himself!
The High Priestess:
But Siddhartha deep down was a simple boy. He was different from others. Always kind to everybody- the animals and people. He held within him a lot of empathy. A kind soul, a gentle soul with deep inherent knowledge, always on the right path.
Siddhartha held his mother Maya Devi in very high regard. For him she was the epitome of generosity and femininity. He would run to her for every little thing, and she in turn would fulfill all his wishes. A Queen, A Mother and A Guide.
His father, King Suddhodana was a strict disciplinarian. He had high ideals and would hold his esteem and knowledge in high regards. Respectful towards his Guru’s and always mindful of knowledge, this is what he tried to imbibe in Siddhartha: knowledge, respect and regard. He knew of the suffering in life and he wanted to protect Siddhartha from it.
Siddhartha was sent to a Gurukul, an Ashram for his education. Over there, his guru taught him the scriptures of the time. The knowledge was traditional and passed on from generation to generation. It was the base which formed Siddhartha’s learning and formatted his early years.
When the time came, Siddhartha, now a young boy was married to Yashodhara. The union was blessed by gods, the royal families and the people of his kingdom. It was a union made in heaven and she was to be his support and consort in life. She may have had to go alone without him after he went on his spiritual journey but she was great by virtue of being his wife, partner and love.
Young Siddhartha was meant to move onto his life’s path. He was torn however, between his family life and his deep knowing. The conscious and the unconscious . Torn between which ways to go. It was at this time that he saw the various stages in life- first a young boy, then a man, a married man, an old man suffering from old age and pain and the final journey of a dead man. He was moved beyond belief by what he saw and he realized that life’s journey was not only all this but a deeper knowledge to experience before we pass on.
For Siddhartha, who was married and whose wife was then pregnant these were difficult choices to make, and it was only by tapping into his inner strength, resolve and knowledge that he could make up his mind as to what he wanted to do. His leaning towards spirituality were becoming stronger.
Siddhartha spent many days in seclusion trying to figure out what lifes’ journey was all about. The sight of the old man and the sight of a dead body had moved him to dark despair. The spark of his inner knowing was lighted and was not to be extinguished or diminished. He was to be pushed deeper and deeper into his knowledge to find the meaning of life.
Wheels of Fortune:
Time waits for no one and Siddhartha’s son was born. There was much happiness and celebration in the kingdom but the fates had already decided what was to happen. Siddhartha had already decided that he was going to leave the kingdom and move in search of the meanings his heart desired to know. The Fates had spoken and it was not in his hand anymore.
Was it a very just act in leaving his wife behind? We would say no. She was left alone to bring up their son Rahul and to teach him to be a great King. A just and true king to the people of the land. Even maybe a far better king than Siddhartha would have become because along with being just comes true knowledge of controlling power, not letting it go to your head. To be impartial and fair in all the judgment’s that you do, to weigh all options fairly, to have a clear mind and to be just above all true to yourself.
The Hanged Man:
Siddhartha left to begin his journey one quiet night and was to travel far and wide finally to come to Gaya, where he sat under the “Bodhi” tree to meditate. He sat there immobile meditating on life’s answers. Contemplating the life’s truth, he meditated till he found enlightenment, till he found the knowledge he desired. He remained there meditating for several days, purifying his mind, seeing his entire life, and previous lives in his thoughts.
During this time he had to overcome threats from Mara, an evil demon, who challenged his right to finding the truth. He emerged from this time and Siddhartha was dead and in his place was Buddha, the enlightened one. He was reborn knowing that he had to spread his knowledge to the people. To live the life of an Ascetic and to help the people.
As an ascetic, Buddha had to practice balance in his life. He would beg for alms and what he got he would share with others. He started living a simple & pure life. Spreading his thoughts among the people who gave him food. This was his balance between give & take.
The attachment that the Demon Mara showed to finding enlightenment, to be used for wrong purposes, showed Buddha the path. Buddha`s teaching were called the Four Noble Truths. The first was that the cause of suffering was Selfishness, Greed, Desire and Ignorance. Attachments to desires would cause suffering and to avoid it we should let go of the addictions and attachments.
The second Noble Truth was that everybody suffers. On our karmic evolution, suffering is as much part of life as a part of joy. While joy will not teach us anything, it is the suffering, which will teach us invaluable lessons in life.
The third Noble Path tells us that suffering can be dispelled by abandonment of all desires, thereby giving us hope and comfort for a better life. If we renounce greed and ignorance and light our inner knowledge, we can hope for a better life.
The last Noble Truth tells us the correct way of living and following the eight fold path will end the suffering. This is a difficult path to take and the desires and attachments will try to pull us back but if we keep on our path, we shall succeed. To achieve success we need to let go of fear.
The Eight fold Path further enunciated that the path to our happiness lies in Right Knowledge, Right Attitude, Right Speech, Right Action, Right means of Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Awareness and Right Meditation. To shine like the sun, we have to follow this path and happiness will be ours. Following this path can free us from our vices, make us like children again, innocent and secure in our love and happiness and in our knowledge. The warmth spreading through us.
Buddha spread his gospels far and wide and with his simple teachings he collected a number of followers. They would give up their worries to him and he in turn would guide them to the right path. It was finally in the state of Nirvana that the soul reunites to its pure state and stops wandering in the cycle of Karma and Incarnation. Our maker has judged our deeds and set us free.
Many eons & centuries have passed since Siddhartha took birth and passed on. First to become Buddha, the enlightened one and then to meet his maker. We now pay obeisance to Buddha as God, as a Guide himself. His teachings spread far and wide and almost everyone knows of Buddha today. The world had come to a circle and what started in this world, stayed in this world and spread far and wide. This infinite cycle is continuous. Buddhas teachings are still of relevance today and as spiritual people, it is our duty to light not only our own candle but another person’s candle too. To not only follow the path but to show the path to others and then in the end there will not be one candle, but two, three, infinite Candles illuminating The World!!
Author: Ruchi Dutta from New Delhi, India has a Graduate Diploma from the Tarot for Women academy. She is a home maker, certified Oracle card reader, certified Tarot Reader and psychic. She also paints and takes care of her pets.