|Ascetic Siddhattha meeting the great Guruji of the time Alara Kalama|
Crossing the river Anoma thus and changing into a mendicant monk’s robes, determined to face whatever hardships in search of ending suffering for humanity, the Prince, now Ascetic Siddhattha set off on his journey alone in the darkness of the night. He was bear footed and had nothing with Him apart from His bowl and robes. His first resolve was to search out great spiritual masters of the day, and study under them.
He felt that he would gain the knowledge of truth on how to end suffering thereby. First he went to a famous teacher called Alara Kalama and becoming a humble pupil, he soon gained all the knowledge and wisdom of this great Sage. The teacher was delighted to have such a wonderful pupil and once he had passed all the tests and proved himself, he offered all his pupils to Siddhattha, and urged him to stay with him and teach his pupils. The Sage promised to offer his teacher's position to Ascetic Siddhattha. The Prince however, did not wish for such a position, and all he wished for was to find a way out of suffering for people. He realized that the “nēva saññā-nāsañña-yatana”- the mental state of “neither perception nor non perception” the highest blissful state that Alara Kalama teaches his pupils to reach...(this is an extremely high state of Samadhi)......, would never free them totally. He realized that this is not the ultimate. So long as the consciousness was there that could not be the ultimate truth the “un-created”. Thus, he very courteously declined and offer and moved on. He then found out another teacher by the name of Uddaka Ramaputtha. There too he became the best pupil and soon learnt all that he could learn from this master. He taught the way to “ākāsha saññã yatana” where he learnt the “unlimited (infinite) space consciousness”.