Siddhartha

date Nov 10, 2021
authors Hermann Hesse
reading time 10 mins

Awakening

Once all of my self was overcome and had died, once every desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, the great secret.

Buddha’s teachings

Gotama taught the teachings of suffering, of the origin of suffering, of the way to relieve suffering.

Suffering is everywhere

Suffering was life, full of suffering was the world, but salvation from suffering had been found: salvation was obtained by him who would walk the path of the Buddha.

Buddha’s goal

But the teachings, you’ve heard from me, are no opinion, and their goal is not to explain the world to those who seek knowledge. They have a different goal; their goal is salvation from suffering.

Find and learn yourself

one thing no longer existed in him, which had accompanied him throughout his youth and used to be a part of him: the wish to have teachers and to listen to teachings.

I know myself the best!

And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha!”

Afraid of knowing oneself

“That I know nothing about myself, that Siddhartha has remained thus alien and unknown to me, stems from one cause, a single cause: I was afraid of myself, I was fleeing from myself!

Learning from myself

I want to learn from myself, want to be my student, want to get to know myself, the secret of Siddhartha.”

3 useful things: think, wait and fast

“Yesterday, I told you I knew how to think, to wait, and to fast, but you thought this was of no use. But it is useful for many things, Kamala, you’ll see.

No possesion is not the same as a destitude

Surely, I am without possessions. But I am so voluntarily, and therefore I am not destitute.”

Thinking and being patient

Kamaswami read: “Writing is good, thinking is better. Being smart is good, being patient is better.”

How did he acquire new skills?

He soon saw that Siddhartha knew little about rice and wool, shipping and trade, but that he acted in a fortunate manner, and that Siddhartha surpassed him, the merchant, in calmness and equanimity, and in the art of listening and deeply understanding previously unknown people.

Does not attach himself to the success or the failures

He always seems to be merely playing with out business-affairs, they never fully become a part of him, they never rule over him, he is never afraid of failure, he is never upset by a loss.”

Accpeting profits and losses

When he made a profit, he accepted it with equanimity; when he made losses, he laughed and said: “Well, look at this, so this one turned out badly!”

Focussed on achieving a goal

Most people, Kamala, are like a falling leaf, which is blown and is turning around through the air, and wavers, and tumbles to the ground. But others, a few, are like stars, they go on a fixed course, no wind reaches them, in themselves they have their law and their course.

You gotta keep honing your skills, even for the awakened one

That high, bright state of being awake, which he had experienced that one time at the height of his youth, in those days after Gotama’s sermon, after the separation from Govinda, that tense expectation, that proud state of standing alone without teachings and without teachers, that supple willingness to listen to the divine voice in his own heart, had slowly become a memory, had been fleeting; distant and quiet, the holy source murmured, which used to be near, which used to murmur within himself.

Slowly losing his skill

Siddhartha lost his calmness when losses occurred, lost his patience when he was not payed on time, lost his kindness towards beggars, lost his disposition for giving away and loaning money to those who petitioned him.

Start again…

How wondrous is this! Now, that I’m no longer young, that my hair is already half gray, that my strength is fading, now I’m starting again at the beginning and as a child! Again, he had to smile.

Ups and downs of life

Wondrous indeed was my life, so he thought, wondrous detours it has taken.

Learning, unlearning and learning again

I had to spend many years losing my spirit, to unlearn thinking again, to forget the oneness. Isn’t it just as if I had turned slowly and on a long detour from a man into a child, from a thinker into a childlike person?

The only way out of extreme downs of life is up

I’ve had to experience despair, I’ve had to sink down to the most foolish one of all thoughts, to the thought of suicide, in order to be able to experience divine grace, to hear Om again, to be able to sleep properly and awake properly again.

No teacher can walk the path for you

Now he saw it and saw that the secret voice had been right, that no teacher would ever have been able to bring about his salvation. Therefore, he had to go out into the world, lose himself to lust and power, to woman and money, had to become a merchant, a dice-gambler, a drinker, and a greedy person, until the priest and Samana in him was dead.

Mortality

He had died, a new Siddhartha had woken up from the sleep. He would also grow old, he would also eventually have to die, mortal was Siddhartha, mortal was every physical form.

River is impermanent

He saw: this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always at all times the same and yet new in every moment!

Listening

This was among the ferryman’s virtues one of the greatest: like only a few, he knew how to listen.

Confessing to a listener

Siddhartha felt, what a happy fortune it is, to confess to such a listener, to bury in his heart his own life, his own search, his own suffering.

River is everywhere

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?”

Existence

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.”

There is no teacher for someone who’s searching

For a long time he knew that there was nothing standing between Gotama and him any more, though he was still unable to accept his teachings. No, there was no teaching a truly searching person, someone who truly wanted to find, could accept.

Both mortal and eternal

Deeply he felt, more deeply than ever before, in this hour, the indestructibility of every life, the eternity of every moment.

When someone close is not willing

Water wants to join water, youth wants to join youth, your son is not in the place where he can prosper. You too should ask the river; you too should listen to it!”

Why disciplining kids do not work

You don’t force him, don’t beat him, don’t give him orders, because you know that ‘soft’ is stronger than ‘hard’, Water stronger than rocks, love stronger than force.

Patience

He sat lost in thought and waited. This he had learned by the river, this one thing: waiting, having patience, listening attentively.

We are all alike

Worthy of love and admiration were these people in their blind loyalty, their blind strength and tenacity. They lacked nothing, there was nothing the knowledgeable one, the thinker, had to put him above them except for one little thing, a single, tiny, small thing: the consciousness, the conscious thought of the oneness of all life.

Wordly people and wise people are all equal

In all other respects, the worldly people were of equal rank to the wise men, were often far superior to them, just as animals too can, after all, in some moments, seem to be superior to humans in their tough, unrelenting performance of what is necessary.

Oneness

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.

Everyone has different goals, sufferings

each one heading for his goal, each one obsessed by the goal, each one suffering. The river sang with a voice of suffering, longingly it sang, longingly, it flowed towards its goal, lamentingly its voice sang. “Do you hear?” Vasudeva’s

And yet, we are all the same

they all belonged together, the lamentation of yearning and the laughter of the knowledgeable one, the scream of rage and the moaning of the dying ones, everything was one, everything was intertwined and connected, entangled a thousand times.

Searching and finding

“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.

Wisdom is your own journey

wisdom cannot be passed on. Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like foolishness.

knowledge vs wisdom

Knowledge can be conveyed, but not wisdom. It can be found, it can be lived, it is possible to be carried by it, miracles can be performed with it, but it cannot be expressed in words and taught.

What is truth?

The opposite of every truth is just as true! That’s like this: any truth can only be expressed and put into words when it is one-sided.

We are all the same age

all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life.

Everything comes in a cycle

“This here,” he said playing with it, “is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being.

All and everything and one

saw all of these figures and faces in a thousand relationships with one another, each one helping the other, loving it, hating it, destroying it, giving re-birth to it, each one was a will to die, a passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of them died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one and the other face