Gautama Buddha (also referred to as Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) or Śākyamuni (Sanskrit: शाक्यमुनि) "Sage of the Śākyas") was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.
In The Mahatma Letters it is said that Gautama Buddha's evolution corresponds to the "Sixth Round". However, his incarnation during the Fourth Round is said to be an exception because the law of cyclic evolution does not allow human beings who are more than one round ahead of the rest of humanity to take physical birth:
Our Lord Buddha — a 6th r. man — would not have appeared in our epoch, great as were his accumulated merits in previous rebirths but for a mystery. . . . Individuals cannot outstrip the humanity of their round any further than by one remove, for it is mathematically impossible.
The Buddha is traditionally regarded as having the "Thirty-two Characteristics of a Great Man" (Skt. mahāpuruṣa lakṣaṇa). The Digha Nikaya, in the "Discourse of the Marks" (Pali: Lakkhaṇa Sutta) enumerates and explains the 32 characteristics, among which are: "Hands reaching below the knees", "Height and stretch of arms equal", "Forty teeth", "Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head", among others.
Whether these characteristics are true or not, there is a reference in the Mahatma Letter No. 61 to his physical peculiarity. Master K.H. wrote: "He differed from other men as much in his physical appearance as in spirituality and knowledge".
- Gautama Buddha at Theosopedia
- The Wonderful World of Gautama the Buddha by Richard Brooks
- The Buddha's Birthday: The Miracle of Being Awake by John Cianciosi
- Vicente Hao Chin, Jr. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 67 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 186.
- Ronald Epstein, Buddhist Text Translation Society's Buddhism A to Z. (2003), 200.
- Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 61 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), ???.