bette one badewanne 180x80
siddhartha by hermann hessechapter 1. the son of the brahman in the shade of the house, in the sunshineof the riverbank near the boats, in the shade of the sal-wood forest, in the shadeof the fig tree is where siddhartha grew up, the handsome son of the brahman, the young falcon, together with his friendgovinda, son of a brahman. the sun tanned his light shoulders by thebanks of the river when bathing, performing the sacred ablutions, the sacred offerings. in the mango grove, shade poured into hisblack eyes, when playing as a boy, when his
mother sang, when the sacred offerings weremade, when his father, the scholar, taught him, when the wise men talked. for a long time, siddhartha had beenpartaking in the discussions of the wise men, practising debate with govinda,practising with govinda the art of reflection, the service of meditation. he already knew how to speak the omsilently, the word of words, to speak it silently into himself while inhaling, tospeak it silently out of himself while exhaling, with all the concentration of his soul, the forehead surrounded by the glowof the clear-thinking spirit.
he already knew to feel atman in the depthsof his being, indestructible, one with the universe. joy leapt in his father's heart for his sonwho was quick to learn, thirsty for knowledge; he saw him growing up to becomegreat wise man and priest, a prince among the brahmans. bliss leapt in his mother's breast when shesaw him, when she saw him walking, when she saw him sit down and get up, siddhartha,strong, handsome, he who was walking on slender legs, greeting her with perfectrespect. love touched the hearts of the brahmans'young daughters when siddhartha walked
through the lanes of the town with theluminous forehead, with the eye of a king, with his slim hips. but more than all the others he was lovedby govinda, his friend, the son of a brahman. he loved siddhartha's eye and sweet voice,he loved his walk and the perfect decency of his movements, he loved everythingsiddhartha did and said and what he loved most was his spirit, his transcendent, fiery thoughts, his ardent will, his highcalling. govinda knew: he would not become a commonbrahman, not a lazy official in charge of
offerings; not a greedy merchant with magicspells; not a vain, vacuous speaker; not a mean, deceitful priest; and also not a decent, stupid sheep in the herd of themany. no, and he, govinda, as well did not wantto become one of those, not one of those tens of thousands of brahmans. he wanted to follow siddhartha, thebeloved, the splendid. and in days to come, when siddhartha wouldbecome a god, when he would join the glorious, then govinda wanted to follow himas his friend, his companion, his servant, his spear-carrier, his shadow.
siddhartha was thus loved by everyone.he was a source of joy for everybody, he was a delight for them all. but he, siddhartha, was not a source of joyfor himself, he found no delight in himself. walking the rosy paths of the fig treegarden, sitting in the bluish shade of the grove of contemplation, washing his limbsdaily in the bath of repentance, sacrificing in the dim shade of the mango forest, his gestures of perfect decency,everyone's love and joy, he still lacked all joy in his heart.
dreams and restless thoughts came into hismind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night,melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forthfrom the verses of the rig-veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from theteachings of the old brahmans. siddhartha had started to nurse discontentin himself, he had started to feel that the love of his father and the love of hismother, and also the love of his friend, govinda, would not bring him joy for ever and ever, would not nurse him, feed him,satisfy him.
he had started to suspect that hisvenerable father and his other teachers, that the wise brahmans had already revealedto him the most and best of their wisdom, that they had already filled his expecting vessel with their richness, and the vesselwas not full, the spirit was not content, the soul was not calm, the heart was notsatisfied. the ablutions were good, but they werewater, they did not wash off the sin, they did not heal the spirit's thirst, they didnot relieve the fear in his heart. the sacrifices and the invocation of thegods were excellent--but was that all? did the sacrifices give a happy fortune?and what about the gods?
was it really prajapati who had created theworld? was it not the atman, he, the only one, thesingular one? were the gods not creations, created likeme and you, subject to time, mortal? was it therefore good, was it right, was itmeaningful and the highest occupation to make offerings to the gods? for whom else were offerings to be made,who else was to be worshipped but him, the only one, the atman? and where was atman to be found, where didhe reside, where did his eternal heart beat, where else but in one's own self, inits innermost part, in its indestructible
part, which everyone had in himself? but where, where was this self, thisinnermost part, this ultimate part? it was not flesh and bone, it was neitherthought nor consciousness, thus the wisest ones taught. so, where, where was it?to reach this place, the self, myself, the atman, there was another way, which wasworthwhile looking for? alas, and nobody showed this way, nobodyknew it, not the father, and not the teachers and wise men, not the holysacrificial songs! they knew everything, the brahmans andtheir holy books, they knew everything,
they had taken care of everything and ofmore than everything, the creation of the world, the origin of speech, of food, of inhaling, of exhaling, the arrangement ofthe senses, the acts of the gods, they knew infinitely much--but was it valuable toknow all of this, not knowing that one and only thing, the most important thing, thesolely important thing? surely, many verses of the holy books,particularly in the upanishades of samaveda, spoke of this innermost andultimate thing, wonderful verses. "your soul is the whole world", was writtenthere, and it was written that man in his sleep, in his deep sleep, would meet withhis innermost part and would reside in the
atman. marvellous wisdom was in these verses, allknowledge of the wisest ones had been collected here in magic words, pure ashoney collected by bees. no, not to be looked down upon was thetremendous amount of enlightenment which lay here collected and preserved byinnumerable generations of wise brahmans.-- but where were the brahmans, where the priests, where the wise men or penitents,who had succeeded in not just knowing this deepest of all knowledge but also to liveit? where was the knowledgeable one who wovehis spell to bring his familiarity with the
atman out of the sleep into the state ofbeing awake, into the life, into every step of the way, into word and deed? siddhartha knew many venerable brahmans,chiefly his father, the pure one, the scholar, the most venerable one. his father was to be admired, quiet andnoble were his manners, pure his life, wise his words, delicate and noble thoughtslived behind its brow --but even he, who knew so much, did he live in blissfulness, did he have peace, was he not also just asearching man, a thirsty man? did he not, again and again, have to drinkfrom holy sources, as a thirsty man, from
the offerings, from the books, from thedisputes of the brahmans? why did he, the irreproachable one, have towash off sins every day, strive for a cleansing every day, over and over everyday? was not atman in him, did not the pristinesource spring from his heart? it had to be found, the pristine source inone's own self, it had to be possessed! everything else was searching, was adetour, was getting lost. thus were siddhartha's thoughts, this washis thirst, this was his suffering. often he spoke to himself from a chandogya-upanishad the words: "truly, the name of the brahman is satyam--verily, he who knowssuch a thing, will enter the heavenly world
every day." often, it seemed near, the heavenly world,but never he had reached it completely, never he had quenched the ultimate thirst. and among all the wise and wisest men, heknew and whose instructions he had received, among all of them there was noone, who had reached it completely, the heavenly world, who had quenched itcompletely, the eternal thirst. "govinda," siddhartha spoke to his friend,"govinda, my dear, come with me under the banyan tree, let's practise meditation." they went to the banyan tree, they satdown, siddhartha right here, govinda twenty
paces away. while putting himself down, ready to speakthe om, siddhartha repeated murmuring the verse: om is the bow, the arrow is soul, thebrahman is the arrow's target, that one should incessantly hit.after the usual time of the exercise in meditation had passed, govinda rose. the evening had come, it was time toperform the evening's ablution. he called siddhartha's name.siddhartha did not answer. siddhartha sat there lost in thought, hiseyes were rigidly focused towards a very
distant target, the tip of his tongue wasprotruding a little between the teeth, he seemed not to breathe. thus sat he, wrapped up in contemplation,thinking om, his soul sent after the brahman as an arrow. once, samanas had travelled throughsiddhartha's town, ascetics on a pilgrimage, three skinny, withered men,neither old nor young, with dusty and bloody shoulders, almost naked, scorched by the sun, surrounded by loneliness,strangers and enemies to the world, strangers and lank jackals in the realm ofhumans.
behind them blew a hot scent of quietpassion, of destructive service, of merciless self-denial. in the evening, after the hour ofcontemplation, siddhartha spoke to govinda: "early tomorrow morning, my friend,siddhartha will go to the samanas. he will become a samana." govinda turned pale, when he heard thesewords and read the decision in the motionless face of his friend, unstoppablelike the arrow shot from the bow. soon and with the first glance, govindarealized: now it is beginning, now siddhartha is taking his own way, now hisfate is beginning to sprout, and with his,
my own. and he turned pale like a dry banana-skin."o siddhartha," he exclaimed, "will your father permit you to do that?"siddhartha looked over as if he was just waking up. arrow-fast he read in govinda's soul, readthe fear, read the submission. "o govinda," he spoke quietly, "let's notwaste words. tomorrow, at daybreak i will begin the lifeof the samanas. speak no more of it." siddhartha entered the chamber, where hisfather was sitting on a mat of bast, and
stepped behind his father and remainedstanding there, until his father felt that someone was standing behind him. quoth the brahman: "is that you,siddhartha? then say what you came to say."quoth siddhartha: "with your permission, my father. i came to tell you that it is my longing toleave your house tomorrow and go to the ascetics.my desire is to become a samana. may my father not oppose this." the brahman fell silent, and remainedsilent for so long that the stars in the
small window wandered and changed theirrelative positions, 'ere the silence was broken. silent and motionless stood the son withhis arms folded, silent and motionless sat the father on the mat, and the stars tracedtheir paths in the sky. then spoke the father: "not proper it isfor a brahman to speak harsh and angry words.but indignation is in my heart. i wish not to hear this request for asecond time from your mouth." slowly, the brahman rose; siddhartha stoodsilently, his arms folded. "what are you waiting for?" asked thefather.
quoth siddhartha: "you know what."indignant, the father left the chamber; indignant, he went to his bed and lay down. after an hour, since no sleep had come overhis eyes, the brahman stood up, paced to and fro, and left the house. through the small window of the chamber helooked back inside, and there he saw siddhartha standing, his arms folded, notmoving from his spot. pale shimmered his bright robe. with anxiety in his heart, the fatherreturned to his bed. after another hour, since no sleep had comeover his eyes, the brahman stood up again,
paced to and fro, walked out of the houseand saw that the moon had risen. through the window of the chamber he lookedback inside; there stood siddhartha, not moving from his spot, his arms folded,moonlight reflecting from his bare shins. with worry in his heart, the father wentback to bed. and he came back after an hour, he cameback after two hours, looked through the small window, saw siddhartha standing, inthe moon light, by the light of the stars, in the darkness. and he came back hour after hour, silently,he looked into the chamber, saw him standing in the same place, filled hisheart with anger, filled his heart with
unrest, filled his heart with anguish,filled it with sadness. and in the night's last hour, before theday began, he returned, stepped into the room, saw the young man standing there, whoseemed tall and like a stranger to him. "siddhartha," he spoke, "what are youwaiting for?" "you know what." "will you always stand that way and wait,until it'll becomes morning, noon, and evening?""i will stand and wait. "you will become tired, siddhartha." "i will become tired.""you will fall asleep, siddhartha."
"i will not fall asleep.""you will die, siddhartha." "i will die." "and would you rather die, than obey yourfather?" "siddhartha has always obeyed his father.""so will you abandon your plan?" "siddhartha will do what his father willtell him to do." the first light of day shone into the room.the brahman saw that siddhartha was trembling softly in his knees. in siddhartha's face he saw no trembling,his eyes were fixed on a distant spot. then his father realized that even nowsiddhartha no longer dwelt with him in his
home, that he had already left him. the father touched siddhartha's shoulder."you will," he spoke, "go into the forest and be a samana. when you'll have found blissfulness in theforest, then come back and teach me to be blissful. if you'll find disappointment, then returnand let us once again make offerings to the gods together.go now and kiss your mother, tell her where you are going to. but for me it is time to go to the riverand to perform the first ablution."
he took his hand from the shoulder of hisson and went outside. siddhartha wavered to the side, as he triedto walk. he put his limbs back under control, bowedto his father, and went to his mother to do as his father had said. as he slowly left on stiff legs in thefirst light of day the still quiet town, a shadow rose near the last hut, who hadcrouched there, and joined the pilgrim-- govinda. "you have come," said siddhartha andsmiled. "i have come," said govinda.
> siddhartha by hermann hessechapter 2. with the samanas in the evening of this day they caught upwith the ascetics, the skinny samanas, and offered them their companionship and--obedience. they were accepted. siddhartha gave his garments to a poorbrahman in the street. he wore nothing more than the loincloth andthe earth-coloured, unsown cloak. he ate only once a day, and never somethingcooked.
he fasted for fifteen days.he fasted for twenty-eight days. the flesh waned from his thighs and cheeks. feverish dreams flickered from his enlargedeyes, long nails grew slowly on his parched fingers and a dry, shaggy beard grew on hischin. his glance turned to ice when heencountered women; his mouth twitched with contempt, when he walked through a city ofnicely dressed people. he saw merchants trading, princes hunting,mourners wailing for their dead, whores offering themselves, physicians trying tohelp the sick, priests determining the most suitable day for seeding, lovers loving,
mothers nursing their children--and all ofthis was not worthy of one look from his eye, it all lied, it all stank, it allstank of lies, it all pretended to be meaningful and joyful and beautiful, and itall was just concealed putrefaction. the world tasted bitter.life was torture. a goal stood before siddhartha, a singlegoal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty ofjoy and sorrow. dead to himself, not to be a self any more,to find tranquility with an emptied heard, to be open to miracles in unselfishthoughts, that was his goal. once all of my self was overcome and haddied, once every desire and every urge was
silent in the heart, then the ultimate partof me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, thegreat secret. silently, siddhartha exposed himself toburning rays of the sun directly above, glowing with pain, glowing with thirst, andstood there, until he neither felt any pain nor thirst any more. silently, he stood there in the rainyseason, from his hair the water was dripping over freezing shoulders, overfreezing hips and legs, and the penitent stood there, until he could not feel the cold in his shoulders and legs any more,until they were silent, until they were
quiet. silently, he cowered in the thorny bushes,blood dripped from the burning skin, from festering wounds dripped pus, andsiddhartha stayed rigidly, stayed motionless, until no blood flowed any more, until nothing stung any more, until nothingburned any more. siddhartha sat upright and learned tobreathe sparingly, learned to get along with only few breathes, learned to stopbreathing. he learned, beginning with the breath, tocalm the beat of his heart, leaned to reduce the beats of his heart, until theywere only a few and almost none.
instructed by the oldest if the samanas,siddhartha practised self-denial, practised meditation, according to a new samanarules. a heron flew over the bamboo forest--andsiddhartha accepted the heron into his soul, flew over forest and mountains, was aheron, ate fish, felt the pangs of a heron's hunger, spoke the heron's croak,died a heron's death. a dead jackal was lying on the sandy bank,and siddhartha's soul slipped inside the body, was the dead jackal, lay on thebanks, got bloated, stank, decayed, was dismembered by hyaenas, was skinned by vultures, turned into a skeleton, turned todust, was blown across the fields.
and siddhartha's soul returned, had died,had decayed, was scattered as dust, had tasted the gloomy intoxication of thecycle, awaited in new thirst like a hunter in the gap, where he could escape from the cycle, where the end of the causes, wherean eternity without suffering began. he killed his senses, he killed his memory,he slipped out of his self into thousands of other forms, was an animal, was carrion,was stone, was wood, was water, and awoke every time to find his old self again, sun shone or moon, was his self again, turnedround in the cycle, felt thirst, overcame the thirst, felt new thirst.
siddhartha learned a lot when he was withthe samanas, many ways leading away from the self he learned to go. he went the way of self-denial by means ofpain, through voluntarily suffering and overcoming pain, hunger, thirst, tiredness. he went the way of self-denial by means ofmeditation, through imagining the mind to be void of all conceptions. these and other ways he learned to go, athousand times he left his self, for hours and days he remained in the non-self. but though the ways led away from the self,their end nevertheless always led back to
the self. though siddhartha fled from the self athousand times, stayed in nothingness, stayed in the animal, in the stone, thereturn was inevitable, inescapable was the hour, when he found himself back in the sunshine or in the moonlight, in the shadeor in the rain, and was once again his self and siddhartha, and again felt the agony ofthe cycle which had been forced upon him. by his side lived govinda, his shadow,walked the same paths, undertook the same efforts.they rarely spoke to one another, than the service and the exercises required.
occasionally the two of them went throughthe villages, to beg for food for themselves and their teachers. "how do you think, govinda," siddharthaspoke one day while begging this way, "how do you think did we progress?did we reach any goals?" govinda answered: "we have learned, andwe'll continue learning. you'll be a great samana, siddhartha.quickly, you've learned every exercise, often the old samanas have admired you. one day, you'll be a holy man, ohsiddhartha." quoth siddhartha: "i can't help but feelthat it is not like this, my friend.
what i've learned, being among the samanas,up to this day, this, oh govinda, i could have learned more quickly and by simplermeans. in every tavern of that part of a townwhere the whorehouses are, my friend, among carters and gamblers i could have learnedit." quoth govinda: "siddhartha is putting meon. how could you have learned meditation,holding your breath, insensitivity against hunger and pain there among these wretchedpeople?" and siddhartha said quietly, as if he wastalking to himself: "what is meditation? what is leaving one's body?what is fasting?
what is holding one's breath? it is fleeing from the self, it is a shortescape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against thepain and the pointlessness of life. the same escape, the same short numbing iswhat the driver of an ox-cart finds in the inn, drinking a few bowls of rice-wine orfermented coconut-milk. then he won't feel his self any more, thenhe won't feel the pains of life any more, then he finds a short numbing of thesenses. when he falls asleep over his bowl of rice-wine, he'll find the same what siddhartha and govinda find when they escape theirbodies through long exercises, staying in
the non-self. this is how it is, oh govinda."quoth govinda: "you say so, oh friend, and yet you know that siddhartha is no driverof an ox-cart and a samana is no drunkard. it's true that a drinker numbs his senses,it's true that he briefly escapes and rests, but he'll return from the delusion,finds everything to be unchanged, has not become wiser, has gathered no enlightenment,--has not risen severalsteps." and siddhartha spoke with a smile: "i donot know, i've never been a drunkard. but that i, siddhartha, find only a shortnumbing of the senses in my exercises and
meditations and that i am just as farremoved from wisdom, from salvation, as a child in the mother's womb, this i know, ohgovinda, this i know." and once again, another time, whensiddhartha left the forest together with govinda, to beg for some food in thevillage for their brothers and teachers, siddhartha began to speak and said: "what now, oh govinda, might we be on the rightpath? might we get closer to enlightenment?might we get closer to salvation? or do we perhaps live in a circle-- we, whohave thought we were escaping the cycle?" quoth govinda: "we have learned a lot,siddhartha, there is still much to learn.
we are not going around in circles, we aremoving up, the circle is a spiral, we have already ascended many a level." siddhartha answered: "how old, would youthink, is our oldest samana, our venerable teacher?"quoth govinda: "our oldest one might be about sixty years of age." and siddhartha: "he has lived for sixtyyears and has not reached the nirvana. he'll turn seventy and eighty, and you andme, we will grow just as old and will do our exercises, and will fast, and willmeditate. but we will not reach the nirvana, he won'tand we won't.
oh govinda, i believe out of all thesamanas out there, perhaps not a single one, not a single one, will reach thenirvana. we find comfort, we find numbness, we learnfeats, to deceive others. but the most important thing, the path ofpaths, we will not find." "if you only," spoke govinda, "wouldn'tspeak such terrible words, siddhartha! how could it be that among so many learnedmen, among so many brahmans, among so many austere and venerable samanas, among somany who are searching, so many who are eagerly trying, so many holy men, no onewill find the path of paths?" but siddhartha said in a voice whichcontained just as much sadness as mockery,
with a quiet, a slightly sad, a slightlymocking voice: "soon, govinda, your friend will leave the path of the samanas, he haswalked along your side for so long. i'm suffering of thirst, oh govinda, and onthis long path of a samana, my thirst has remained as strong as ever. i always thirsted for knowledge, i havealways been full of questions. i have asked the brahmans, year after year,and i have asked the holy vedas, year after year, and i have asked the devote samanas,year after year. perhaps, oh govinda, it had been just aswell, had been just as smart and just as profitable, if i had asked the hornbill-bird or the chimpanzee.
it took me a long time and am not finishedlearning this yet, oh govinda: that there is nothing to be learned!there is indeed no such thing, so i believe, as what we refer to as `learning'. there is, oh my friend, just one knowledge,this is everywhere, this is atman, this is within me and within you and within everycreature. and so i'm starting to believe that thisknowledge has no worser enemy than the desire to know it, than learning." at this, govinda stopped on the path, rosehis hands, and spoke: "if you, siddhartha, only would not bother your friend with thiskind of talk!
truly, you words stir up fear in my heart. and just consider: what would become of thesanctity of prayer, what of the venerability of the brahmans' caste, whatof the holiness of the samanas, if it was as you say, if there was no learning?! what, oh siddhartha, what would then becomeof all of this what is holy, what is precious, what is venerable on earth?!"and govinda mumbled a verse to himself, a verse from an upanishad: he who ponderingly, of a purified spirit,loses himself in the meditation of atman, unexpressable by words is his blissfulnessof his heart.
but siddhartha remained silent. he thought about the words which govindahad said to him and thought the words through to their end. yes, he thought, standing there with hishead low, what would remain of all that which seemed to us to be holy?what remains? what can stand the test? and he shook his head. at one time, when the two young men hadlived among the samanas for about three years and had shared their exercises, somenews, a rumour, a myth reached them after
being retold many times: a man had appeared, gotama by name, the exalted one,the buddha, he had overcome the suffering of the world in himself and had halted thecycle of rebirths. he was said to wander through the land,teaching, surrounded by disciples, without possession, without home, without a wife,in the yellow cloak of an ascetic, but with a cheerful brow, a man of bliss, and brahmans and princes would bow down beforehim and would become his students. this myth, this rumour, this legendresounded, its fragrants rose up, here and there; in the towns, the brahmans spoke ofit and in the forest, the samanas; again
and again, the name of gotama, the buddha reached the ears of the young men, withgood and with bad talk, with praise and with defamation. it was as if the plague had broken out in acountry and news had been spreading around that in one or another place there was aman, a wise man, a knowledgeable one, whose word and breath was enough to heal everyone who had been infected with the pestilence,and as such news would go through the land and everyone would talk about it, manywould believe, many would doubt, but many would get on their way as soon as possible,
to seek the wise man, the helper, just likethis this myth ran through the land, that fragrant myth of gotama, the buddha, thewise man of the family of sakya. he possessed, so the believers said, thehighest enlightenment, he remembered his previous lives, he had reached the nirvanaand never returned into the cycle, was never again submerged in the murky river ofphysical forms. many wonderful and unbelievable things werereported of him, he had performed miracles, had overcome the devil, had spoken to thegods. but his enemies and disbelievers said, thisgotama was a vain seducer, he would spent his days in luxury, scorned the offerings,was without learning, and knew neither
exercises nor self-castigation. the myth of buddha sounded sweet.the scent of magic flowed from these reports. after all, the world was sick, life washard to bear--and behold, here a source seemed to spring forth, here a messengerseemed to call out, comforting, mild, full of noble promises. everywhere where the rumour of buddha washeard, everywhere in the lands of india, the young men listened up, felt a longing,felt hope, and among the brahmans' sons of the towns and villages every pilgrim and
stranger was welcome, when he brought newsof him, the exalted one, the sakyamuni. the myth had also reached the samanas inthe forest, and also siddhartha, and also govinda, slowly, drop by drop, every dropladen with hope, every drop laden with doubt. they rarely talked about it, because theoldest one of the samanas did not like this myth. he had heard that this alleged buddha usedto be an ascetic before and had lived in the forest, but had then turned back toluxury and worldly pleasures, and he had no high opinion of this gotama.
"oh siddhartha," govinda spoke one day tohis friend. "today, i was in the village, and a brahmaninvited me into his house, and in his house, there was the son of a brahman frommagadha, who has seen the buddha with his own eyes and has heard him teach. verily, this made my chest ache when ibreathed, and thought to myself: if only i would too, if only we both would too,siddhartha and me, live to see the hour when we will hear the teachings from themouth of this perfected man! speak, friend, wouldn't we want to go theretoo and listen to the teachings from the buddha's mouth?"
quoth siddhartha: "always, oh govinda, ihad thought, govinda would stay with the samanas, always i had believed his goal wasto live to be sixty and seventy years of age and to keep on practising those featsand exercises, which are becoming a samana. but behold, i had not known govinda wellenough, i knew little of his heart. so now you, my faithful friend, want totake a new path and go there, where the buddha spreads his teachings."quoth govinda: "you're mocking me. mock me if you like, siddhartha! but have you not also developed a desire,an eagerness, to hear these teachings? and have you not at one time said to me,you would not walk the path of the samanas
for much longer?" at this, siddhartha laughed in his very ownmanner, in which his voice assumed a touch of sadness and a touch of mockery, andsaid: "well, govinda, you've spoken well, you've remembered correctly. if you only remembered the other thing aswell, you've heard from me, which is that i have grown distrustful and tired againstteachings and learning, and that my faith in words, which are brought to us byteachers, is small. but let's do it, my dear, i am willing tolisten to these teachings--though in my heart i believe that we've already tastedthe best fruit of these teachings."
quoth govinda: "your willingness delightsmy heart. but tell me, how should this be possible? how should the gotama's teachings, evenbefore we have heard them, have already revealed their best fruit to us?"quoth siddhartha: "let us eat this fruit and wait for the rest, oh govinda! but this fruit, which we already nowreceived thanks to the gotama, consisted in him calling us away from the samanas! whether he has also other and better thingsto give us, oh friend, let us await with calm hearts."
on this very same day, siddhartha informedthe oldest one of the samanas of his decision, that he wanted to leave him. he informed the oldest one with all thecourtesy and modesty becoming to a younger one and a student. but the samana became angry, because thetwo young men wanted to leave him, and talked loudly and used crude swearwords.govinda was startled and became embarrassed. but siddhartha put his mouth close togovinda's ear and whispered to him: "now, i want to show the old man that i'velearned something from him."
positioning himself closely in front of thesamana, with a concentrated soul, he captured the old man's glance with hisglances, deprived him of his power, made him mute, took away his free will, subdued him under his own will, commanded him, todo silently, whatever he demanded him to do. the old man became mute, his eyes becamemotionless, his will was paralysed, his arms were hanging down; without power, hehad fallen victim to siddhartha's spell. but siddhartha's thoughts brought thesamana under their control, he had to carry out, what they commanded.
and thus, the old man made several bows,performed gestures of blessing, spoke stammeringly a godly wish for a goodjourney. and the young men returned the bows withthanks, returned the wish, went on their way with salutations. on the way, govinda said: "oh siddhartha,you have learned more from the samanas than i knew.it is hard, it is very hard to cast a spell on an old samana. truly, if you had stayed there, you wouldsoon have learned to walk on water." "i do not seek to walk on water," saidsiddhartha.
"let old samanas be content with suchfeats!" siddhartha by hermann hessechapter 3. gotama in the town of savathi, every child knewthe name of the exalted buddha, and every house was prepared to fill the alms-dish ofgotama's disciples, the silently begging ones. near the town was gotama's favourite placeto stay, the grove of jetavana, which the rich merchant anathapindika, an obedientworshipper of the exalted one, had given him and his people for a gift.
all tales and answers, which the two youngascetics had received in their search for gotama's abode, had pointed them towardsthis area. and arriving at savathi, in the very firsthouse, before the door of which they stopped to beg, food has been offered tothem, and they accepted the food, and siddhartha asked the woman, who handed themthe food: "we would like to know, oh charitable one,where the buddha dwells, the most venerable one, for we are two samanas from the forestand have come, to see him, the perfected one, and to hear the teachings from hismouth." quoth the woman: "here, you have trulycome to the right place, you samanas from
the forest. you should know, in jetavana, in the gardenof anathapindika is where the exalted one dwells. there you pilgrims shall spent the night,for there is enough space for the innumerable, who flock here, to hear theteachings from his mouth." this made govinda happy, and full of joy heexclaimed: "well so, thus we have reached our destination, and our path has come toan end! but tell us, oh mother of the pilgrims, doyou know him, the buddha, have you seen him with your own eyes?"quoth the woman: "many times i have seen
him, the exalted one. on many days, i have seen him, walkingthrough the alleys in silence, wearing his yellow cloak, presenting his alms-dish insilence at the doors of the houses, leaving with a filled dish." delightedly, govinda listened and wanted toask and hear much more. but siddhartha urged him to walk on. they thanked and left and hardly had to askfor directions, for rather many pilgrims and monks as well from gotama's communitywere on their way to the jetavana. and since they reached it at night, therewere constant arrivals, shouts, and talk of
those who sought shelter and got it. the two samanas, accustomed to life in theforest, found quickly and without making any noise a place to stay and rested thereuntil the morning. at sunrise, they saw with astonishment whata large crowd of believers and curious people had spent the night here. on all paths of the marvellous grove, monkswalked in yellow robes, under the trees they sat here and there, in deepcontemplation--or in a conversation about spiritual matters, the shady gardens looked like a city, full of people, bustling likebees.
the majority of the monks went out withtheir alms-dish, to collect food in town for their lunch, the only meal of the day. the buddha himself, the enlightened one,was also in the habit of taking this walk to beg in the morning. siddhartha saw him, and he instantlyrecognised him, as if a god had pointed him out to him. he saw him, a simple man in a yellow robe,bearing the alms-dish in his hand, walking silently."look here!" siddhartha said quietly to govinda.
"this one is the buddha."attentively, govinda looked at the monk in the yellow robe, who seemed to be in no waydifferent from the hundreds of other monks. and soon, govinda also realized: this isthe one. and they followed him and observed him. the buddha went on his way, modestly anddeep in his thoughts, his calm face was neither happy nor sad, it seemed to smilequietly and inwardly. with a hidden smile, quiet, calm, somewhatresembling a healthy child, the buddha walked, wore the robe and placed his feetjust as all of his monks did, according to a precise rule.
but his face and his walk, his quietlylowered glance, his quietly dangling hand and even every finger of his quietlydangling hand expressed peace, expressed perfection, did not search, did not imitate, breathed softly in an unwhitheringcalm, in an unwhithering light, an untouchable peace. thus gotama walked towards the town, tocollect alms, and the two samanas recognised him solely by the perfection ofhis calm, by the quietness of his appearance, in which there was no searching, no desire, no imitation, noeffort to be seen, only light and peace.
"today, we'll hear the teachings from hismouth." said govinda. siddhartha did not answer. he felt little curiosity for the teachings,he did not believe that they would teach him anything new, but he had, just asgovinda had, heard the contents of this buddha's teachings again and again, though these reports only represented second- orthird-hand information. but attentively he looked at gotama's head,his shoulders, his feet, his quietly dangling hand, and it seemed to him as ifevery joint of every finger of this hand was of these teachings, spoke of, breathed
of, exhaled the fragrant of, glistened oftruth. this man, this buddha was truthful down tothe gesture of his last finger. this man was holy.never before, siddhartha had venerated a person so much, never before he had loved aperson as much as this one. they both followed the buddha until theyreached the town and then returned in silence, for they themselves intended toabstain from on this day. they saw gotama returning--what he atecould not even have satisfied a bird's appetite, and they saw him retiring intothe shade of the mango-trees. but in the evening, when the heat cooleddown and everyone in the camp started to
bustle about and gathered around, theyheard the buddha teaching. they heard his voice, and it was alsoperfected, was of perfect calmness, was full of peace. gotama taught the teachings of suffering,of the origin of suffering, of the way to relieve suffering.calmly and clearly his quiet speech flowed on. suffering was life, full of suffering wasthe world, but salvation from suffering had been found: salvation was obtained by himwho would walk the path of the buddha. with a soft, yet firm voice the exalted onespoke, taught the four main doctrines,
taught the eightfold path, patiently hewent the usual path of the teachings, of the examples, of the repetitions, brightly and quietly his voice hovered over thelisteners, like a light, like a starry sky. when the buddha--night had already fallen--ended his speech, many a pilgrim stepped forward and asked to accepted into thecommunity, sought refuge in the teachings. and gotama accepted them by speaking: "youhave heard the teachings well, it has come to you well.thus join us and walk in holiness, to put an end to all suffering." behold, then govinda, the shy one, alsostepped forward and spoke: "i also take my
refuge in the exalted one and histeachings," and he asked to accepted into the community of his disciples and wasaccepted. right afterwards, when the buddha hadretired for the night, govinda turned to siddhartha and spoke eagerly: "siddhartha,it is not my place to scold you. we have both heard the exalted one, we haveboth perceived the teachings. govinda has heard the teachings, he hastaken refuge in it. but you, my honoured friend, don't you alsowant to walk the path of salvation? would you want to hesitate, do you want towait any longer?" siddhartha awakened as if he had beenasleep, when he heard govinda's words.
for a long tome, he looked into govinda'sface. then he spoke quietly, in a voice withoutmockery: "govinda, my friend, now you have taken this step, now you have chosen thispath. always, oh govinda, you've been my friend,you've always walked one step behind me. often i have thought: won't govinda foronce also take a step by himself, without me, out of his own soul? behold, now you've turned into a man andare choosing your path for yourself. i wish that you would go it up to its end,oh my friend, that you shall find salvation!"
govinda, not completely understanding ityet, repeated his question in an impatient tone: "speak up, i beg you, my dear! tell me, since it could not be any otherway, that you also, my learned friend, will take your refuge with the exalted buddha!" siddhartha placed his hand on govinda'sshoulder: "you failed to hear my good wish for you, oh govinda. i'm repeating it: i wish that you would gothis path up to its end, that you shall find salvation!" in this moment, govinda realized that hisfriend had left him, and he started to
weep."siddhartha!" he exclaimed lamentingly. siddhartha kindly spoke to him: "don'tforget, govinda, that you are now one of the samanas of the buddha! you have renounced your home and yourparents, renounced your birth and possessions, renounced your free will,renounced all friendship. this is what the teachings require, this iswhat the exalted one wants. this is what you wanted for yourself.tomorrow, oh govinda, i'll leave you." for a long time, the friends continuedwalking in the grove; for a long time, they lay there and found no sleep.
and over and over again, govinda urged hisfriend, he should tell him why he would not want to seek refuge in gotama's teachings,what fault he would find in these teachings. but siddhartha turned him away every timeand said: "be content, govinda! very good are the teachings of the exaltedone, how could i find a fault in them?" very early in the morning, a follower ofbuddha, one of his oldest monks, went through the garden and called all those tohim who had as novices taken their refuge in the teachings, to dress them up in the yellow robe and to instruct them in thefirst teachings and duties of their
position. then govinda broke loose, embraced onceagain his childhood friend and left with the novices.but siddhartha walked through the grove, lost in thought. then he happened to meet gotama, theexalted one, and when he greeted him with respect and the buddha's glance was so fullof kindness and calm, the young man summoned his courage and asked the venerable one for the permission to talk tohim. silently the exalted one nodded hisapproval.
quoth siddhartha: "yesterday, oh exaltedone, i had been privileged to hear your wondrous teachings.together with my friend, i had come from afar, to hear your teachings. and now my friend is going to stay withyour people, he has taken his refuge with you.but i will again start on my pilgrimage." "as you please," the venerable one spokepolitely. "too bold is my speech," siddharthacontinued, "but i do not want to leave the exalted one without having honestly toldhim my thoughts. does it please the venerable one to listento me for one moment longer?"
silently, the buddha nodded his approval. quoth siddhartha: "one thing, oh mostvenerable one, i have admired in your teachings most of all. everything in your teachings is perfectlyclear, is proven; you are presenting the world as a perfect chain, a chain which isnever and nowhere broken, an eternal chain the links of which are causes and effects. never before, this has been seen soclearly; never before, this has been presented so irrefutably; truly, the heartof every brahman has to beat stronger with love, once he has seen the world through
your teachings perfectly connected, withoutgaps, clear as a crystal, not depending on chance, not depending on gods. whether it may be good or bad, whetherliving according to it would be suffering or joy, i do not wish to discuss, possiblythis is not essential--but the uniformity of the world, that everything which happens is connected, that the great and the smallthings are all encompassed by the same forces of time, by the same law of causes,of coming into being and of dying, this is what shines brightly out of your exaltedteachings, oh perfected one. but according to your very own teachings,this unity and necessary sequence of all
things is nevertheless broken in one place,through a small gap, this world of unity is invaded by something alien, something new, something which had not been there before,and which cannot be demonstrated and cannot be proven: these are your teachings ofovercoming the world, of salvation. but with this small gap, with this smallbreach, the entire eternal and uniform law of the world is breaking apart again andbecomes void. please forgive me for expressing thisobjection." quietly, gotama had listened to him,unmoved. now he spoke, the perfected one, with hiskind, with his polite and clear voice:
"you've heard the teachings, oh son of abrahman, and good for you that you've thought about it thus deeply. you've found a gap in it, an error.you should think about this further. but be warned, oh seeker of knowledge, ofthe thicket of opinions and of arguing about words. there is nothing to opinions, they may bebeautiful or ugly, smart or foolish, everyone can support them or discard them. but the teachings, you've heard from me,are no opinion, and their goal is not to explain the world to those who seekknowledge.
they have a different goal; their goal issalvation from suffering. this is what gotama teaches, nothing else.""i wish that you, oh exalted one, would not be angry with me," said the young man. "i have not spoken to you like this toargue with you, to argue about words. you are truly right, there is little toopinions. but let me say this one more thing: i havenot doubted in you for a single moment. i have not doubted for a single moment thatyou are buddha, that you have reached the goal, the highest goal towards which somany thousands of brahmans and sons of brahmans are on their way.
you have found salvation from death.it has come to you in the course of your own search, on your own path, throughthoughts, through meditation, through realizations, through enlightenment. it has not come to you by means ofteachings! and--thus is my thought, oh exalted one,--nobody will obtain salvation by means of teachings! you will not be able to convey and say toanybody, oh venerable one, in words and through teachings what has happened to youin the hour of enlightenment! the teachings of the enlightened buddhacontain much, it teaches many to live
righteously, to avoid evil. but there is one thing which these soclear, these so venerable teachings do not contain: they do not contain the mysteryof what the exalted one has experienced for himself, he alone among hundreds ofthousands. this is what i have thought and realized,when i have heard the teachings. this is why i am continuing my travels--notto seek other, better teachings, for i know there are none, but to depart from allteachings and all teachers and to reach my goal by myself or to die. but often, i'll think of this day, ohexalted one, and of this hour, when my eyes
beheld a holy man." the buddha's eyes quietly looked to theground; quietly, in perfect equanimity his inscrutable face was smiling. "i wish," the venerable one spoke slowly,"that your thoughts shall not be in error, that you shall reach the goal! but tell me: have you seen the multitudeof my samanas, my many brothers, who have taken refuge in the teachings? and do you believe, oh stranger, oh samana,do you believe that it would be better for them all the abandon the teachings and toreturn into the life the world and of
desires?" "far is such a thought from my mind,"exclaimed siddhartha. "i wish that they shall all stay with theteachings, that they shall reach their goal! it is not my place to judge anotherperson's life. only for myself, for myself alone, i mustdecide, i must chose, i must refuse. salvation from the self is what we samanassearch for, oh exalted one. if i merely were one of your disciples, ohvenerable one, i'd fear that it might happen to me that only seemingly, onlydeceptively my self would be calm and be
redeemed, but that in truth it would live on and grow, for then i had replaced myself with the teachings, my duty to follow you, my love for you, and the community ofthe monks!" with half of a smile, with an unwaveringopenness and kindness, gotama looked into the stranger's eyes and bid him to leavewith a hardly noticeable gesture. "you are wise, oh samana.", the venerableone spoke. "you know how to talk wisely, my friend.be aware of too much wisdom!" the buddha turned away, and his glance andhalf of a smile remained forever etched in siddhartha's memory.
i have never before seen a person glanceand smile, sit and walk this way, he thought; truly, i wish to be able to glanceand smile, sit and walk this way, too, thus free, thus venerable, thus concealed, thusopen, thus child-like and mysterious. truly, only a person who has succeeded inreaching the innermost part of his self would glance and walk this way. well so, i also will seek to reach theinnermost part of my self. i saw a man, siddhartha thought, a singleman, before whom i would have to lower my glance. i do not want to lower my glance before anyother, not before any other.
no teachings will entice me any more, sincethis man's teachings have not enticed me. i am deprived by the buddha, thoughtsiddhartha, i am deprived, and even more he has given to me. he has deprived me of my friend, the onewho had believed in me and now believes in him, who had been my shadow and is nowgotama's shadow. but he has given me siddhartha, myself. siddhartha by hermann hessechapter 4. awakening when siddhartha left the grove, where thebuddha, the perfected one, stayed behind,
where govinda stayed behind, then he feltthat in this grove his past life also stayed behind and parted from him. he pondered about this sensation, whichfilled him completely, as he was slowly walking along. he pondered deeply, like diving into a deepwater he let himself sink down to the ground of the sensation, down to the placewhere the causes lie, because to identify the causes, so it seemed to him, is the very essence of thinking, and by this alonesensations turn into realizations and are not lost, but become entities and start toemit like rays of light what is inside of
them. slowly walking along, siddhartha pondered.he realized that he was no youth any more, but had turned into a man. he realized that one thing had left him, asa snake is left by its old skin, that one thing no longer existed in him, which hadaccompanied him throughout his youth and used to be a part of him: the wish to haveteachers and to listen to teachings. he had also left the last teacher who hadappeared on his path, even him, the highest and wisest teacher, the most holy one,buddha, he had left him, had to part with him, was not able to accept his teachings.
slower, he walked along in his thoughts andasked himself: "but what is this, what you have sought to learn from teachings andfrom teachers, and what they, who have taught you much, were still unable to teachyou?" and he found: "it was the self, thepurpose and essence of which i sought to learn. it was the self, i wanted to free myselffrom, which i sought to overcome. but i was not able to overcome it, couldonly deceive it, could only flee from it, only hide from it. truly, no thing in this world has kept mythoughts thus busy, as this my very own
self, this mystery of me being alive, of mebeing one and being separated and isolated from all others, of me being siddhartha! and there is no thing in this world i knowless about than about me, about siddhartha!" having been pondering while slowly walkingalong, he now stopped as these thoughts caught hold of him, and right away anotherthought sprang forth from these, a new thought, which was: "that i know nothing about myself, that siddhartha has remainedthus alien and unknown to me, stems from one cause, a single cause: i was afraid ofmyself, i was fleeing from myself!
i searched atman, i searched brahman, i waswilling to to dissect my self and peel off all of its layers, to find the core of allpeels in its unknown interior, the atman, life, the divine part, the ultimate part. but i have lost myself in the process." siddhartha opened his eyes and lookedaround, a smile filled his face and a feeling of awakening from long dreamsflowed through him from his head down to his toes. and it was not long before he walked again,walked quickly like a man who knows what he has got to do.
"oh," he thought, taking a deep breath,"now i would not let siddhartha escape from me again! no longer, i want to begin my thoughts andmy life with atman and with the suffering of the world. i do not want to kill and dissect myselfany longer, to find a secret behind the ruins. neither yoga-veda shall teach me any more,nor atharva-veda, nor the ascetics, nor any kind of teachings. i want to learn from myself, want to be mystudent, want to get to know myself, the
secret of siddhartha."he looked around, as if he was seeing the world for the first time. beautiful was the world, colourful was theworld, strange and mysterious was the world! here was blue, here was yellow, here wasgreen, the sky and the river flowed, the forest and the mountains were rigid, all ofit was beautiful, all of it was mysterious and magical, and in its midst was he, siddhartha, the awakening one, on the pathto himself. all of this, all this yellow and blue,river and forest, entered siddhartha for
the first time through the eyes, was nolonger a spell of mara, was no longer the veil of maya, was no longer a pointless and coincidental diversity of mere appearances,despicable to the deeply thinking brahman, who scorns diversity, who seeks unity. blue was blue, river was river, and if alsoin the blue and the river, in siddhartha, the singular and divine lived hidden, so itwas still that very divinity's way and purpose, to be here yellow, here blue, there sky, there forest, and heresiddhartha. the purpose and the essential propertieswere not somewhere behind the things, they
were in them, in everything. "how deaf and stupid have i been!" hethought, walking swiftly along. "when someone reads a text, wants todiscover its meaning, he will not scorn the symbols and letters and call themdeceptions, coincidence, and worthless hull, but he will read them, he will studyand love them, letter by letter. but i, who wanted to read the book of theworld and the book of my own being, i have, for the sake of a meaning i had anticipatedbefore i read, scorned the symbols and letters, i called the visible world a deception, called my eyes and my tonguecoincidental and worthless forms without
substance. no, this is over, i have awakened, i haveindeed awakened and have not been born before this very day." in thinking this thoughts, siddharthastopped once again, suddenly, as if there was a snake lying in front of him on thepath. because suddenly, he had also become awareof this: he, who was indeed like someone who had just woken up or like a new-bornbaby, he had to start his life anew and start again at the very beginning. when he had left in this very morning fromthe grove jetavana, the grove of that
exalted one, already awakening, already onthe path towards himself, he he had every intention, regarded as natural and took for granted, that he, after years as anascetic, would return to his home and his but now, only in this moment, when hestopped as if a snake was lying on his path, he also awoke to this realization:"but i am no longer the one i was, i am no ascetic any more, i am not a priest anymore, i am no brahman any more. whatever should i do at home and at myfather's place? study? make offerings?practise meditation?
but all this is over, all of this is nolonger alongside my path." motionless, siddhartha remained standingthere, and for the time of one moment and breath, his heart felt cold, he felt a coldin his chest, as a small animal, a bird or a rabbit, would when seeing how alone hewas. for many years, he had been without homeand had felt nothing. now, he felt it. still, even in the deepest meditation, hehad been his father's son, had been a brahman, of a high caste, a cleric.now, he was nothing but siddhartha, the awoken one, nothing else was left.
deeply, he inhaled, and for a moment, hefelt cold and shivered. nobody was thus alone as he was. there was no nobleman who did not belong tothe noblemen, no worker that did not belong to the workers, and found refuge with them,shared their life, spoke their language. no brahman, who would not be regarded asbrahmans and lived with them, no ascetic who would not find his refuge in the casteof the samanas, and even the most forlorn hermit in the forest was not just one and alone, he was also surrounded by a place hebelonged to, he also belonged to a caste, in which he was at home.
govinda had become a monk, and a thousandmonks were his brothers, wore the same robe as he, believed in his faith, spoke hislanguage. but he, siddhartha, where did he belong to? with whom would he share his life?whose language would he speak? out of this moment, when the world meltedaway all around him, when he stood alone like a star in the sky, out of this momentof a cold and despair, siddhartha emerged, more a self than before, more firmlyconcentrated. he felt: this had been the last tremor ofthe awakening, the last struggle of this birth.
and it was not long until he walked againin long strides, started to proceed swiftly and impatiently, heading no longer forhome, no longer to his father, no longer back. siddhartha by hermann hessechapter 5. kamala siddhartha learned something new on everystep of his path, for the world was transformed, and his heart was enchanted. he saw the sun rising over the mountainswith their forests and setting over the distant beach with its palm-trees.
at night, he saw the stars in the sky intheir fixed positions and the crescent of the moon floating like a boat in the blue. he saw trees, stars, animals, clouds,rainbows, rocks, herbs, flowers, stream and river, the glistening dew in the bushes inthe morning, distant hight mountains which were blue and pale, birds sang and bees, wind silverishly blew through the rice-field. all of this, a thousand-fold and colourful,had always been there, always the sun and the moon had shone, always rivers hadroared and bees had buzzed, but in former times all of this had been nothing more to
siddhartha than a fleeting, deceptive veilbefore his eyes, looked upon in distrust, destined to be penetrated and destroyed bythought, since it was not the essential existence, since this essence lay beyond,on the other side of, the visible. but now, his liberated eyes stayed on thisside, he saw and became aware of the visible, sought to be at home in thisworld, did not search for the true essence, did not aim at a world beyond. beautiful was this world, looking at itthus, without searching, thus simply, thus childlike. beautiful were the moon and the stars,beautiful was the stream and the banks, the
forest and the rocks, the goat and thegold-beetle, the flower and the butterfly. beautiful and lovely it was, thus to walkthrough the world, thus childlike, thus awoken, thus open to what is near, thuswithout distrust. differently the sun burnt the head,differently the shade of the forest cooled him down, differently the stream and thecistern, the pumpkin and the banana tasted. short were the days, short the nights,every hour sped swiftly away like a sail on the sea, and under the sail was a ship fullof treasures, full of joy. siddhartha saw a group of apes movingthrough the high canopy of the forest, high in the branches, and heard their savage,greedy song.
siddhartha saw a male sheep following afemale one and mating with her. in a lake of reeds, he saw the pikehungrily hunting for its dinner; propelling themselves away from it, in fear, wigglingand sparkling, the young fish jumped in droves out of the water; the scent of strength and passion came forcefully out ofthe hasty eddies of the water, which the pike stirred up, impetuously hunting.all of this had always existed, and he had not seen it; he had not been with it. now he was with it, he was part of it.light and shadow ran through his eyes, stars and moon ran through his heart.
on the way, siddhartha also rememberedeverything he had experienced in the garden jetavana, the teaching he had heard there,the divine buddha, the farewell from govinda, the conversation with the exaltedone. again he remembered his own words, he hadspoken to the exalted one, every word, and with astonishment he became aware of thefact that there he had said things which he had not really known yet at this time. what he had said to gotama: his, thebuddha's, treasure and secret was not the teachings, but the unexpressable and notteachable, which he had experienced in the hour of his enlightenment--it was nothing
but this very thing which he had now goneto experience, what he now began to experience.now, he had to experience his self. it is true that he had already known for along time that his self was atman, in its essence bearing the same eternalcharacteristics as brahman. but never, he had really found this self,because he had wanted to capture it in the net of thought. with the body definitely not being theself, and not the spectacle of the senses, so it also was not the thought, not therational mind, not the learned wisdom, not the learned ability to draw conclusions and
to develop previous thoughts in to newones. no, this world of thought was also still onthis side, and nothing could be achieved by killing the random self of the senses, ifthe random self of thoughts and learned knowledge was fattened on the other hand. both, the thoughts as well as the senses,were pretty things, the ultimate meaning was hidden behind both of them, both had tobe listened to, both had to be played with, both neither had to be scorned nor overestimated, from both the secret voicesof the innermost truth had to be attentively perceived.
he wanted to strive for nothing, except forwhat the voice commanded him to strive for, dwell on nothing, except where the voicewould advise him to do so. why had gotama, at that time, in the hourof all hours, sat down under the bo-tree, where the enlightenment hit him? he had heard a voice, a voice in his ownheart, which had commanded him to seek rest under this tree, and he had neitherpreferred self-castigation, offerings, ablutions, nor prayer, neither food nor drink, neither sleep nor dream, he hadobeyed the voice. to obey like this, not to an externalcommand, only to the voice, to be ready
like this, this was good, this wasnecessary, nothing else was necessary. in the night when he slept in the straw hutof a ferryman by the river, siddhartha had a dream: govinda was standing in front ofhim, dressed in the yellow robe of an ascetic. sad was how govinda looked like, sadly heasked: why have you forsaken me? at this, he embraced govinda, wrapped hisarms around him, and as he was pulling him close to his chest and kissed him, it wasnot 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. it tasted of woman and man, of sun andforest, of animal and flower, of every fruit, of every joyful desire. it intoxicated him and rendered himunconscious.--when siddhartha woke up, the pale river shimmered through the door ofthe hut, and in the forest, a dark call of an owl resounded deeply and pleasantly. when the day began, siddhartha asked hishost, the ferryman, to get him across the river. the ferryman got him across the river onhis bamboo-raft, the wide water shimmered
reddishly in the light of the morning."this is a beautiful river," he said to his companion. "yes," said the ferryman, "a very beautifulriver, i love it more than anything. often i have listened to it, often i havelooked into its eyes, and always i have learned from it. much can be learned from a river.""i than you, my benefactor," spoke siddhartha, disembarking on the other sideof the river. "i have no gift i could give you for yourhospitality, my dear, and also no payment for your work.i am a man without a home, a son of a
brahman and a samana." "i did see it," spoke the ferryman, "and ihaven't expected any payment from you and no gift which would be the custom forguests to bear. you will give me the gift another time." "do you think so?" asked siddharthaamusedly. "surely.this too, i have learned from the river: everything is coming back! you too, samana, will come back.now farewell! let your friendship be my reward.commemorate me, when you'll make offerings
to the gods." smiling, they parted.smiling, siddhartha was happy about the friendship and the kindness of theferryman. "he is like govinda," he thought with asmile, "all i meet on my path are like govinda.all are thankful, though they are the ones who would have a right to receive thanks. all are submissive, all would like to befriends, like to obey, think little. like children are all people."at about noon, he came through a village. in front of the mud cottages, children wererolling about in the street, were playing
with pumpkin-seeds and sea-shells, screamedand wrestled, but they all timidly fled from the unknown samana. in the end of the village, the path ledthrough a stream, and by the side of the stream, a young woman was kneeling andwashing clothes. when siddhartha greeted her, she lifted herhead and looked up to him with a smile, so that he saw the white in her eyesglistening. he called out a blessing to her, as it isthe custom among travellers, and asked how far he still had to go to reach the largecity. then she got up and came to him,beautifully her wet mouth was shimmering in
her young face. she exchanged humorous banter with him,asked whether he had eaten already, and whether it was true that the samanas sleptalone in the forest at night and were not allowed to have any women with them. while talking, she put her left foot on hisright one and made a movement as a woman does who would want to initiate that kindof sexual pleasure with a man, which the textbooks call "climbing a tree". siddhartha felt his blood heating up, andsince in this moment he had to think of his dream again, he bend slightly down to thewoman and kissed with his lips the brown
nipple of her breast. looking up, he saw her face smiling full oflust and her eyes, with contracted pupils, begging with desire. siddhartha also felt desire and felt thesource of his sexuality moving; but since he had never touched a woman before, hehesitated for a moment, while his hands were already prepared to reach out for her. and in this moment he heard, shudderingwith awe, the voice if his innermost self, and this voice said no. then, all charms disappeared from the youngwoman's smiling face, he no longer saw
anything else but the damp glance of afemale animal in heat. politely, he petted her cheek, turned awayfrom her and disappeared away from the disappointed woman with light steps intothe bamboo-wood. on this day, he reached the large citybefore the evening, and was happy, for he felt the need to be among people. for a long time, he had lived in theforests, and the straw hut of the ferryman, in which he had slept that night, had beenthe first roof for a long time he has had over his head. before the city, in a beautifully fencedgrove, the traveller came across a small
group of servants, both male and female,carrying baskets. in their midst, carried by four servants inan ornamental sedan-chair, sat a woman, the mistress, on red pillows under a colourfulcanopy. siddhartha stopped at the entrance to thepleasure-garden and watched the parade, saw the servants, the maids, the baskets, sawthe sedan-chair and saw the lady in it. under black hair, which made to tower highon her head, he saw a very fair, very delicate, very smart face, a brightly redmouth, like a freshly cracked fig, eyebrows which were well tended and painted in a high arch, smart and watchful dark eyes, aclear, tall neck rising from a green and
golden garment, resting fair hands, longand thin, with wide golden bracelets over the wrists. siddhartha saw how beautiful she was, andhis heart rejoiced. he bowed deeply, when the sedan-chair camecloser, and straightening up again, he looked at the fair, charming face, read fora moment in the smart eyes with the high arcs above, breathed in a slight fragrant,he did not know. with a smile, the beautiful women noddedfor a moment and disappeared into the grove, and then the servant as well. thus i am entering this city, siddharthathought, with a charming omen.
he instantly felt drawn into the grove, buthe thought about it, and only now he became aware of how the servants and maids hadlooked at him at the entrance, how despicable, how distrustful, how rejecting. i am still a samana, he thought, i am stillan ascetic and beggar. i must not remain like this, i will not beable to enter the grove like this. and he laughed. the next person who came along this path heasked about the grove and for the name of the woman, and was told that this was thegrove of kamala, the famous courtesan, and that, aside from the grove, she owned ahouse in the city.
then, he entered the city.now he had a goal. pursuing his goal, he allowed the city tosuck him in, drifted through the flow of the streets, stood still on the squares,rested on the stairs of stone by the river. when the evening came, he made friends withbarber's assistant, whom he had seen working in the shade of an arch in abuilding, whom he found again praying in a temple of vishnu, whom he told aboutstories of vishnu and the lakshmi. among the boats by the river, he slept thisnight, and early in the morning, before the first customers came into his shop, he hadthe barber's assistant shave his beard and cut his hair, comb his hair and anoint itwith fine oil.
then he went to take his bath in the river. when late in the afternoon, beautifulkamala approached her grove in her sedan- chair, siddhartha was standing at theentrance, made a bow and received the courtesan's greeting. but that servant who walked at the very endof her train he motioned to him and asked him to inform his mistress that a youngbrahman would wish to talk to her. after a while, the servant returned, askedhim, who had been waiting, to follow him conducted him, who was following him,without a word into a pavilion, where kamala was lying on a couch, and left himalone with her.
"weren't you already standing out thereyesterday, greeting me?" asked kamala. "it's true that i've already seen andgreeted you yesterday." "but didn't you yesterday wear a beard, andlong hair, and dust in your hair?" "you have observed well, you have seeneverything. you have seen siddhartha, the son of abrahman, who has left his home to become a samana, and who has been a samana for threeyears. but now, i have left that path and cameinto this city, and the first one i met, even before i had entered the city, wasyou. to say this, i have come to you, oh kamala!
you are the first woman whom siddhartha isnot addressing with his eyes turned to the ground. never again i want to turn my eyes to theground, when i'm coming across a beautiful woman."kamala smiled and played with her fan of peacocks' feathers. and asked: "and only to tell me this,siddhartha has come to me?" "to tell you this and to thank you forbeing so beautiful. and if it doesn't displease you, kamala, iwould like to ask you to be my friend and teacher, for i know nothing yet of that artwhich you have mastered in the highest
degree." at this, kamala laughed aloud."never before this has happened to me, my friend, that a samana from the forest cameto me and wanted to learn from me! never before this has happened to me, thata samana came to me with long hair and an old, torn loin-cloth! many young men come to me, and there arealso sons of brahmans among them, but they come in beautiful clothes, they come infine shoes, they have perfume in their hair and money in their pouches. this is, oh samana, how the young men arelike who come to me."
quoth siddhartha: "already i am startingto learn from you. even yesterday, i was already learning. i have already taken off my beard, havecombed the hair, have oil in my hair. there is little which is still missing inme, oh excellent one: fine clothes, fine shoes, money in my pouch. you shall know, siddhartha has set hardergoals for himself than such trifles, and he has reached them. how shouldn't i reach that goal, which ihave set for myself yesterday: to be your friend and to learn the joys of love fromyou!
you'll see that i'll learn quickly, kamala,i have already learned harder things than what you're supposed to teach me. and now let's get to it: you aren'tsatisfied with siddhartha as he is, with oil in his hair, but without clothes,without shoes, without money?" laughing, kamala exclaimed: "no, my dear,he doesn't satisfy me yet. clothes are what he must have, prettyclothes, and shoes, pretty shoes, and lots of money in his pouch, and gifts forkamala. do you know it now, samana from the forest? did you mark my words?""yes, i have marked your words," siddhartha
exclaimed."how should i not mark words which are coming from such a mouth! your mouth is like a freshly cracked fig,kamala. my mouth is red and fresh as well, it willbe a suitable match for yours, you'll see.- -but tell me, beautiful kamala, aren't youat all afraid of the samana from the forest, who has come to learn how to makelove?" "whatever for should i be afraid of asamana, a stupid samana from the forest, who is coming from the jackals and doesn'teven know yet what women are?" "oh, he's strong, the samana, and he isn'tafraid of anything.
he could force you, beautiful girl.he could kidnap you. he could hurt you." "no, samana, i am not afraid of this.did any samana or brahman ever fear, someone might come and grab him and stealhis learning, and his religious devotion, and his depth of thought? no, for they are his very own, and he wouldonly give away from those whatever he is willing to give and to whomever he iswilling to give. like this it is, precisely like this it isalso with kamala and with the pleasures of love.
beautiful and red is kamala's mouth, butjust try to kiss it against kamala's will, and you will not obtain a single drop ofsweetness from it, which knows how to give so many sweet things! you are learning easily, siddhartha, thusyou should also learn this: love can be obtained by begging, buying, receiving itas a gift, finding it in the street, but it cannot be stolen. in this, you have come up with the wrongpath. no, it would be a pity, if a pretty youngman like you would want to tackle it in such a wrong manner."
siddhartha bowed with a smile."it would be a pity, kamala, you are so right!it would be such a great pity. no, i shall not lose a single drop ofsweetness from your mouth, nor you from mine! so it is settled: siddhartha will return,once he'll have have what he still lacks: clothes, shoes, money.but speak, lovely kamala, couldn't you still give me one small advice?" "an advice?why not? who wouldn't like to give an advice to apoor, ignorant samana, who is coming from
the jackals of the forest?" "dear kamala, thus advise me where i shouldgo to, that i'll find these three things most quickly?""friend, many would like to know this. you must do what you've learned and ask formoney, clothes, and shoes in return. there is no other way for a poor man toobtain money. what might you be able to do?" "i can think.i can wait. i can fast.""nothing else?" "nothing.
but yes, i can also write poetry.would you like to give me a kiss for a poem?""i would like to, if i'll like your poem. what would be its title?" siddhartha spoke, after he had thoughtabout it for a moment, these verses: into her shady grove stepped the prettykamala, at the grove's entrance stood the brown samana. deeply, seeing the lotus's blossom, bowedthat man, and smiling kamala thanked. more lovely, thought the young man, thanofferings for gods, more lovely is offering to pretty kamala.
kamala loudly clapped her hands, so thatthe golden bracelets clanged. "beautiful are your verses, oh brownsamana, and truly, i'm losing nothing when i'm giving you a kiss for them." she beckoned him with her eyes, he tiltedhis head so that his face touched hers and placed his mouth on that mouth which waslike a freshly cracked fig. for a long time, kamala kissed him, andwith a deep astonishment siddhartha felt how she taught him, how wise she was, howshe controlled him, rejected him, lured him, and how after this first one there was to be a long, a well ordered, well testedsequence of kisses, everyone different from
the others, he was still to receive. breathing deeply, he remained standingwhere he was, and was in this moment astonished like a child about thecornucopia of knowledge and things worth learning, which revealed itself before hiseyes. "very beautiful are your verses," exclaimedkamala, "if i was rich, i would give you pieces of gold for them. but it will be difficult for you to earnthus much money with verses as you need. for you need a lot of money, if you want tobe kamala's friend." "the way you're able to kiss, kamala!"stammered siddhartha.
"yes, this i am able to do, therefore i donot lack clothes, shoes, bracelets, and all beautiful things. but what will become of you?aren't you able to do anything else but thinking, fasting, making poetry?" "i also know the sacrificial songs," saidsiddhartha, "but i do not want to sing them any more.i also know magic spells, but i do not want to speak them any more. i have read the scriptures--""stop," kamala interrupted him. "you're able to read?and write?"
"certainly, i can do this. many people can do this.""most people can't. i also can't do it.it is very good that you're able to read and write, very good. you will also still find use for the magicspells." in this moment, a maid came running in andwhispered a message into her mistress's ear. "there's a visitor for me," exclaimedkamala. "hurry and get yourself away, siddhartha,nobody may see you in here, remember this!
tomorrow, i'll see you again." but to the maid she gave the order to givethe pious brahman white upper garments. without fully understanding what washappening to him, siddhartha found himself being dragged away by the maid, broughtinto a garden-house avoiding the direct path, being given upper garments as a gift, led into the bushes, and urgentlyadmonished to get himself out of the grove as soon as possible without being seen.contently, he did as he had been told. being accustomed to the forest, he managedto get out of the grove and over the hedge without making a sound.
contently, he returned to the city,carrying the rolled up garments under his arm. at the inn, where travellers stay, hepositioned himself by the door, without words he asked for food, without a word heaccepted a piece of rice-cake. perhaps as soon as tomorrow, he thought, iwill ask no one for food any more. suddenly, pride flared up in him.he was no samana any more, it was no longer becoming to him to beg. he gave the rice-cake to a dog and remainedwithout food. "simple is the life which people lead inthis world here," thought siddhartha.
"it presents no difficulties. everything was difficult, toilsome, andultimately hopeless, when i was still a samana. now, everything is easy, easy like thatlessons in kissing, which kamala is giving me. i need clothes and money, nothing else;this a small, near goals, they won't make a person lose any sleep." he had already discovered kamala's house inthe city long before, there he turned up the following day."things are working out well," she called
"they are expecting you at kamaswami's, heis the richest merchant of the city. if he'll like you, he'll accept you intohis service. be smart, brown samana. i had others tell him about you.be polite towards him, he is very powerful. but don't be too modest! i do not want you to become his servant,you shall become his equal, or else i won't be satisfied with you.kamaswami is starting to get old and lazy. if he'll like you, he'll entrust you with alot." siddhartha thanked her and laughed, andwhen she found out that he had not eaten
anything yesterday and today, she sent forbread and fruits and treated him to it. "you've been lucky," she said when theyparted, "i'm opening one door after another for you.how come? do you have a spell?" siddhartha said: "yesterday, i told you iknew 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. you'll see that the stupid samanas arelearning and able to do many pretty things in the forest, which the likes of youaren't capable of.
the day before yesterday, i was still ashaggy beggar, as soon as yesterday i have kissed kamala, and soon i'll be a merchantand have money and all those things you insist upon." "well yes," she admitted."but where would you be without me? what would you be, if kamala wasn't helpingyou?" "dear kamala," said siddhartha andstraightened up to his full height, "when i came to you into your grove, i did thefirst step. it was my resolution to learn love fromthis most beautiful woman. from that moment on when i had made thisresolution, i also knew that i would carry
it out. i knew that you would help me, at yourfirst glance at the entrance of the grove i already knew it.""but what if i hadn't been willing?" "you were willing. look, kamala: when you throw a rock intothe water, it will speed on the fastest course to the bottom of the water.this is how it is when siddhartha has a goal, a resolution. siddhartha does nothing, he waits, hethinks, he fasts, but he passes through the things of the world like a rock throughwater, without doing anything, without
stirring; he is drawn, he lets himselffall. his goal attracts him, because he doesn'tlet anything enter his soul which might oppose the goal. this is what siddhartha has learned amongthe samanas. this is what fools call magic and of whichthey think it would be effected by means of the daemons. nothing is effected by daemons, there areno daemons. everyone can perform magic, everyone canreach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast."
kamala listened to him.she loved his voice, she loved the look from his eyes."perhaps it is so," she said quietly, "as you say, friend. but perhaps it is also like this: thatsiddhartha is a handsome man, that his glance pleases the women, that thereforegood fortune is coming towards him." with one kiss, siddhartha bid his farewell. "i wish that it should be this way, myteacher; that my glance shall please you, that always good fortune shall come to meout of your direction!"