“Siddhartha,” he said, “why are you waiting?”
“You know why.”
“Will you go on standing and waiting until it is day, noon, evening?” “I will stand and wait.”
“You will grow tired, Siddhartha.”
“I will grow tired.”
“You will fall asleep, Siddhartha.”
“I will not fall asleep.”
“You will die, Siddhartha.”
“I will die.”
Siddhartha is a spiritual pilgrim, and though it is clear he earnestly desires to seek truth and transcendent knowledge, Hesse does not yet reveal the full extent of his convictions. Siddhartha has met the wandering Samanas, and he is entranced by the possibilities of adopting the Samanas’ ascetic lifestyle.
Siddhartha learned a great deal from the Samanas; he learned many ways of losing the Self. He traveled along the path of self-denial through pain, through voluntary suffering and conquering of pain, through hunger, thirst and fatigue. He traveled the way of self-denial through meditation, through the emptying of the mind through all images. Along these and other paths did he learn to travel. He lost his Self a thousand times and for days on end he dwelt in non-being. But although the paths took him away from Self, in the end they always led back to it.
Siddhartha’s approach to seeking enlightenment. does not like the wait-and-see approach. When a method of spiritual pursuit loses its efficacy or exhibits limitations.
“[T]here is one thing that this clear, worthy instruction does not contain; it does not contain the secret of what the Illustrious One himself experienced—he alone among hundreds of thousands. That is what I thought and realized when I heard your teachings. That is why I am going on my way—not to seek another doctrine, for I know there is none, but to leave all doctrines and all teachers and to reach my goal alone—or die.”
Siddhartha’s problems with Gotama’s teaching helps Siddhartha shape his own quest for enlightenment into a self-directed one.
His face resembled that of another person, whom he had...
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