The ascended masters once walked the earth the same as we do. They had lifetimes in which they perfected various soul and character qualities. A study of specific lifetimes of the master s helps us to understand what is required for true self-mastery. One of the more well-known lifetimes of the ascended master Serapis Bey is that of King Leonidas of Sparta.
King Leonidas is believed to have been born around 540 BC. Although little is known of his early life, the battle of Thermopylae that he waged against the Persians is one of the most famous battles of all time. In August, 480 BC, Leonidas received a request from the Greeks to defend them against an invasion by the Persians. Leonidas set out to meet the army of Xerxes, the Persian commander, with three hundred of his personal body guards. Due to the danger of the mission, only men with sons to carry on their names were included in this small force.
An army of four to seven thousand Greeks joined Leonidas and operated for awhile under his command. This army was set against a massive army of Persians estimated to be between 80,000 and 290,000 strong. On the third day, the Spartans and Greeks were trapped from behind when a traitor led the Persians to a mountains track at the rear of the forces under Leonidas’ command. At that point, Leonidas sent away the Greeks and remained in the pass with his 300 body guards and 1600 other Spartans (Helots and Thesbians) who had joined them.
The Spartans fought until every man, including Leonidas, had been killed. In return, they destroyed approximately 20,000 of the Persian troops. Their sacrifice gave the Greek naval fleet the time they needed to retreat and later defeat the Persians in a battle at sea.
At one point in the battle, the Persians asked the Spartans to put down their weapons. The response of the Spartans: “Come and get them!” has been immortalized on a monument and statue erected at the site of the battle in honor of Leonidas and his men.
King Leonidas himself is believed by many spiritual devotees to have attained immortality through a series of incarnations both before and after his lifetime as King Leonidas. He is now known to spiritual seekers as Serapis Bey, an example of dedication to both discipline and purity.