Did you, " so he asked him at one time, "did you too learn that secret from the river: that there is no time?" Vasudeva's face was filled with a bright smile. "Yes, Siddhartha, " he spoke. "It is this what you mean, isn't it: that the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future?" "This it is, " said Siddhartha. "And when I had learned it, I looked at my life, and it was also a river, and the boy Siddhartha was only separated from the man Siddhartha and from the old man Siddhartha by a shadow, not by something real. Also, Siddhartha's previous births were no past, and his death and his return to Brahma was no future. Nothing was, nothing will be; everything is, everything has existence and is present." Siddhartha spoke with ecstasy; deeply, this enlightenment had delighted him. Oh, was not all suffering time, were not all forms of tormenting oneself and being afraid time, was not everything hard, everything hostile in the world gone and overcome as soon as one had overcome time, as soon as time would have been put out of existence by one's thoughts?
Siddhartha embarked on a mission that human civilization has been on since its inception - How to overcome pain and suffering in human life. Siddhartha was perhaps the first scientist on the planet who wanted to address pain and suffering at their roots. While every other thinker from every other religious traditions speculated on the goals of life and afterlife, such speculative queries were nonsensical for Siddhartha for in the mold of a true scientist, he saw no evidential basis for them. Siddhartha didn't even query what is pain, and where does it come from. He directed his query on how can pain and suffering be removed, an enquiry no speculative philosopher had undertaken before.
Ajit Kumar Jha
The many-voiced song of the river echoed softly. Siddhartha looked into the river and saw many pictures in the flowing water. The river's voice was sorrowful. It sang with yearning and sadness, flowing towards its goal ... Siddhartha was now listening intently...to this song of a thousand voices ... then the great song of a thousand voices consisted of one word: Om - Perfection ... From that hour Siddhartha ceased to fight against his destiny.
If man has nothing to eat, fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. If, for instance, Siddhartha had not learned to fast, he would have had to seek some kind of work today, either with you, or elsewhere, for hunger would have driven him. But as it is, Siddhartha can wait calmly. He is not impatient, he is not in need, he can ward off hunger for a long time and laugh at it. Therefore, fasting is useful, sir.
What a wonderful sleep it had been! Never had sleep so refreshed him, so renewed him, so rejuvenated him! Perhaps he had really died, perhaps he had been drowned and was reborn in another form. No, he recognized himself, he recognized his hands and feet, the place where he lay and the Self in his breast, Siddhartha, self-willed, individualistic. But this Siddhartha was somewhat changed, renewed. He had slept wonderfully. He was remarkably awake, happy and curious.
He lost his Self a thousand times and for days on end he dwelt in non-being. But although the paths took him away from Self, in the end they always led back to it. Although Siddhartha fled from the Self a thousand times, dwelt in nothing, dwelt in animal and stone, the return was inevitable; the hour was inevitable when he would again find himself in sunshine or in moonlight, in shadow or in rain, and was again Self and Siddhartha, again felt the torment of the onerous life cycle.
Thinking, he walked ever more slowly and asked himself, What is it now that you were hoping to learn from doctrines and teachers, and what is it that they-who taught you so much-were unable to teach you? And, he decided, It was the Self whose meaning and nature I wished to learn. It was the Self I wished to escape from, wished to overcome. But I was unable to overcome it, I could only trick it, could only run away from it and hide. Truly, not a single thing in all the world has so occupied my thoughts as this Self of mine, this riddle: that I am alive and that I am One, am different and separate from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And there is not a thing in the world about which I know less than about myself, about Siddhartha!
Once he traveled to a village to purchase a large rice harvest, but when he arrived the rice had already been sold to another tradesman. Nevertheless, Siddhartha remained in this village for several days; he arranged a feast for the peasants, distributed copper coins among their children, helped celebrate a marriage, and returned from his trip in the best of spirits. Kamaswami reproached him for not having returned home at once, saying he had wasted money and time. Siddhartha answered, "Do not scold me, dear friend! Never has anything been achieved by scolding. If there are losses, let me bear them. I am very pleased with this journey I made the acquaintance of many different people, a Brahmin befriended me, children rode on my knees, peasants showed me their fields, and no one took me for a tradesman." "How very lovely!" Kamaswami cried out indignantly. "But in fact a tradesman is just what you are! Or did you undertake this journey solely for your own pleasure?" "Certainly." Siddhartha laughed. "Certainly I undertook the journey for my pleasure. Why else? I got to know new people and regions, enjoyed kindness and trust, found friendship. You see, dear friend, had I been Kamaswami, I'd have hurried home in bad spirits the moment I saw my purchase foiled, and indeed money and time would have been lost. But by staying on as I did, I had some agreeable days, learned things, and enjoyed pleasures, harming neither myself nor others with haste and bad spirits. And if ever I should return to this place, perhaps to buy some future harvest or for whatever other purpose, I shall be greeted happily and in friendship by friendly people and I shall praise myself for not having displayed haste and displeasure on my first visit. So be content, friend, and do not harm yourself by scolding! When the day arrives when you see that this Siddhartha is bringing you harm, just say the word and Siddhartha will be on his way. But until that day, let us be satisfied with each other.
On a strange and devious way, Siddhartha had gotten into this final and most base of all dependencies, by means of the game of dice. It was since that time, when he had stopped being a Samana in his heart, that Siddhartha began to play the game for money and precious things, which he at other times only joined with a smile and casually as a custom of the childlike people, with an increasing rage and passion. He was a feared gambler, few dared to take him on, so high and audacious were his stakes. He played the game due to a pain of his heart, losing and wasting his wretched money in the game brought him an angry joy, in no other way he could demonstrate his disdain for wealth, the merchants' false god, more clearly and more mockingly.
Would you actually believe that you had committed your foolish acts in order to spare your son from committing them too? And could you in any way protect your son from Sansara? How could you? By means of teachings, prayer, admonition? My dear, have you entirely forgotten that story, that story containing so many lessons, that story about Siddhartha, a Brahman's son, which you once told me here on this very spot? Who has kept the Samana Siddhartha safe from Sansara, from sin, from greed, from foolishness? Were his father's religious devotion, his teachers warnings, his own knowledge, his own search able to keep him safe? Which father, which teacher had been able to protect him from living his life for himself, from soiling himself with life, from burdening himself with guilt, from drinking the bitter drink for himself, from finding his path for himself? Would you think, my dear, anybody might perhaps be spared from taking this path? That perhaps your little son would be spared, because you love him, because you would like to keep him from suffering and pain and disappointment? But even if you would die ten times for him, you would not be able to take the slightest part of his destiny upon yourself.
I shall no longer be instructed by the Yoga Veda or the Aharva Veda, or the ascetics, or any other doctrine whatsoever. I shall learn from myself, be a pupil of myself; I shall get to know myself, the mystery of Siddhartha." He looked around as if he were seeing the world for the first time.
If a transaction in progress appeared threatened with failure, if a shipment of goods seemed to have gone astray, or if a debtor appeared unable to repay his debt, Kamaswami was never able to persuade Siddhartha that it was useful to speak words of worry or of anger, to have a wrinkled brow, or to sleep poorly.
What if somebody came along who could teach me how my world works and how to control it What if I could meet a super-advanced ... what if a Siddhartha or a Jesus came into our time, with power over the illusions of the world because he knew the reality behind them And what if I could meet him in person, if he were flying a biplane, for instance, and landed in the same meadow with me.
I read Herman Hesse's 'Siddhartha' while I was writing 'Lord of Light' along with many other things. It seemed a good time to read it so I could see what he had to say about Buddha. In my first chapter, I was thinking in terms of the big battle scene in the 'Mahabarata.' It helped me in visualizing the battle in my novel.
Slowly blossomed, slowly ripened in Siddhartha the realisation, the knowledge, what wisdom actually was, what the goal of his long search was. It was nothing but a readiness of the soul, an ability, a secret art, to think every moment, while living his life, the thought of oneness, to be able to feel and inhale the oneness.
Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it." - Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha "We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us from.
Every living thing is sacred to me. Compassion and love can heal this world, which is set on fire of violence and hatred. I will teach the world about compassion, and end the suffering by halting these floods of sorrow. Said Prince Siddhartha and began his journey of saving the man kind.' ,
As children, Siddhartha and Jesus both realized that life is filled with suffering. The Buddha became aware at an early age that suffering is pervasive. Jesus must have had the same kind of insight, because they both made every effort to offer a way out. We, too, must learn to live in ways that reduce the world's suffering.
After having been standing by the gate of the garden for a long time, Siddhartha realised that his desire was foolish, which had made him go up to this place, that he could not help his son, that he was not allowed to cling him. Deeply, he felt the love for the run-away in his heart, like a wound, and he felt at the same time that this wound had not been given to him in order to turn the knife in it, that it had to become a blossom and had to shine.
He looked around, as if he was seeing the world for the first time. Beautiful was the world, colorful was the world, strange and mysterious was the world! Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, the sky and the river flowed, the forest and the mountains were rigid, all of it was beautiful, all of it was mysterious and magical, and in its midst was he, Siddhartha, the awakening one, on the path to himself.
In this hour, Siddhartha stopped fighting his fate, stopped suffering. On his face flourished the cheerfulness of a knowledge, which is no longer opposed by any will, which knows perfection, which is in agreement with the flow of events, with the current of life, full of sympathy for the pain of others, full of sympathy for the pleasure of others, devoted to the flow, belonging to the oneness.
One particular aspect of Siddhartha's revelation of the outside world has always struck me. Quite possibly he lived his first thirty years without any knowledge of number. How must he have felt, then, to see crowds of people mingling in the streets? Before that day he would not have believed that so many people existed in all the world. And what wonder it must have been to discover flocks of birds, and piles of stones, leaves on trees and blades of grass! To suddenly realise that, his whole life long, he had been kept at arm's length from multiplicity.
Govinda was standing in front of him, dressed in the yellow robe of an ascetic. Sad was how Govinda looked like, sadly he asked: Why have you forsaken me? At this, he embraced Govinda, wrapped his arms around him, and as he was pulling him close to his chest and kissed him, it was not Govinda any more, but a woman, and a full breast popped out of the woman's dress, at which Siddhartha lay and drank, sweetly and strongly tasted the milk from this breast.
When someone is searching, said Siddhartha, then it might easily happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind, because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are directly in front of your eyes.
When someone seeks," said Siddhartha, "then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.
The reason why I do not know anything about myself, the reason why Siddhartha has remained alien and unknown to myself is due to one thing, to one single thing--I was afraid of myself, I was fleeing from myself. I was seeking Atman, I was seeking Brahman, I was determined to dismember myself and tear away its layers of husk in order to find in its unknown innermost recess the kernel at the heart of those layers, the Atman, life, the divine principle, the ultimate. But in so doing, I was losing myself.
Vasudeva listened with great attention. Listening carefully, he let everything enter his mind, birthplace and childhood, all that learning, all that searching, all joy, all distress. This was among the ferryman's virtues one of the greatest: like only a few, he knew how to listen. Without him having spoken a word, the speaker sensed how Vasudeva let his words enter his mind, quiet, open, waiting, how he did not lose a single one, awaited not a single one with impatience, did not add his praise or rebuke, was just listening. Siddhartha felt, what a happy fortune it is, to confess to such a listener, to burry in his heart his own life, his own search, his own suffering.