SIDDHARTHA – HERMAN HESSE

1. He had begun to suspect that his worthy father and his other teachers, the wise Brahmins, had already passed onto him the bulk and best of their wisdom, that they had already poured the sum total of their knowledge into his waiting vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still. The ablutions were good, but they were water; and did not wash sins away, they did not relieve the distressed heart. (p.5)

2. And where was Atman to be found, where did He dwell, where did His eternal heart beat, if not within the Self, in the innermost, in the eternal which each person carried within him? (p.6)

3. “Your soul is the whole world.” (p.7)

4. Was Atman then not within him? Was not then the source within his own heart? One must find the source within one’s own Self, one must possess it. (p.7)

5. “Indeed, he who knows it enters the heavenly world each day.” (p.8)

6. Wandering ascetics, they were three thin worn-out men, neither old nor young, with dusty and bleeding shoulders, practically naked, scorched by the sun, solitary, strange and hostile – lean jackals in the world of men. Around them hovered an atmosphere of still passion, of devastating service, of unpitying self-denial. (p.9)

7. His glance became icy when he encountered women; his lips curled with contempt when he passed through a town of well-dressed people. He saw businessmen trading, princes going to the hunt, mourners weeping over their dead, prostitutes offering themselves, doctors attending the sick, priests deciding the day for sowing, lovers making love, mothers soothing their children – and all were not worth a passing glance, everything lied, stank of lies; they were all illusions of sense, happiness and beauty. All were doomed to decay. The world tasted bitter. Life was pain. (p.14)

8. Siddhartha had one single goal – to become empty, to become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow – to let the Self die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an emptied heart, to experience pure thought – that was his goal. When all the Self was conquered and dead, when all passions and desires were silent, then the last must awaken, the innermost of Being that is no longer Self – the great secret! (p.14)

9. “The drinker does indeed find escape, he does indeed find a short respite and rest, but he returns from the illusion and finds everything as it was before. He has not grown wiser, he has not gained knowledge, he has not climbed any higher.”
Siddhartha answered with a smile on his face: “I do not know. I have never been a drunkard. But that I, Siddhartha, only find a short respite in my excercises and meditation, and am as remote from wisdom, from salvation, as a child in the womb, that, Govinda, I do know.” (p.17)

10. “Well, Govinda, are we on the right road? Are we gaining knowledge? Are we approaching salvation? Or are we perhaps going in circles – we who thought to escape from the cycle?” (p.17)

11. “(…) one can learn nothing.” (p.19)

12. He wore his gown and walked along exactly like the other monks, but his face and his step, his peaceful downward glance, his peaceful downward-hanging hand, and every finger of his hand spoke of peace, spoke of completeness, sought nothing, imitated nothing, reflected a continuous quiet, an unfading light, an invulnerable peace. (p.27)

13. And so Gotama wandered into the town to obtain alms, and the two Samanas recognized him only by his complete peacefulness of demeanor, by the stillness of his form, in which there was no seeking, no will, no counterfeit, no effort – only light and peace. (p.28)

14. “Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.” (p.33)

15. “You have learned nothing through teachings, and so I think, O Illustrious One, that nobody finds salvation through teachings. To nobody, O Illustrious One, can you communicate in words and teachings what happened to you in the hour of your enlightenment. The teachings of the enlightened Buddha embrace much, they teach much – how to live righteously, how to avoid evil. But there is one thing that this clear, worthy instruction does not contain; it does not contain the secret of what the Illustrious One himself experienced (…)” (p.34)

16. “If I were one of your followers, I fear that it would only be on the surface, that I would deceive myself that I was at peace and had attained salvation, while in truth the Self would continue to live and grow, for it would have been transformed into your teachings, into your allegiance and love for you and for the community of the monks.” (p.35)

17. I have never seen a man look and smile, sit and walk like that, he thought. I, also, would like to look and smile, sit and walk like that, so free, so worthy, so restrained, so candid, so childlike and mysterious. A man only looks and walks like that when he has conquered his Self. I also will conquer my Self. (p.35)

18. uhyg

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