The Buddha came to Alara and Uddaka, two renowned teachers. He learned from them the successive degrees of ecstatic meditation (samapatti) but, soon discovering it was not the way to enlightenment, he resolved to apply himself to the "Great Effort." See Buddha's own account of the two teachers in Majjhima Nikaya N.I., page 80. See also description of the Great Effort in Childers' Pali Dictionary, s.v.
-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 2: India > # 295