The early documents depict Gautama’s ascent to Enlightenment in heroic and mythical proportions. Written several centuries after the fact, much of the narrative is no doubt hagiography, embellished by the creative imagination and the hindsight of doctrinal rationalizations. Nonetheless, in sum, the documents chronicle an intensely personal pilgrimage that incorporates and supersedes competing spiritual landscapes. The narrative assumes the primacy of mind and efficacy of mental concentration
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