Saturday, March 11, 2006

buddha-mil-gaya dept.

Somehow, this day and this year, reminds me of that exquisitely lyrical book I read once: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

The part which affected me most (and the part which I think makes any reader of a certain disposition identify with the main character) was when Siddhartha encounters the Buddha, preaching to his followers. After the sermon, Siddhartha goes up to him and congratulates him on the wonderful symmetry and beauty of his philosophy, and the benefits it might potentially bring to any that adheres to it. But, he points out, it does not teach me how I myself might become the Buddha. The Buddha smiles, and agrees, and his answer is pretty much an apologetic, "Sorry son, but you have to find your own way in life".

The rest of the book and the part that precedes this point is suddenly all rendered superfluous. What follows, has to follow, and what has already transpired was inevitable. I wonder, why no one just told me that before I read the book.

In the book, Siddhartha explores renunciation, religion, philosophy, indulgence, ambition, and disillusionment. Eventually he settles on routine, plying a boat on a river and trying to keep his emotional state as ephemeral as the river water. He might as well have tried crack cocaine, but the technology of the day does not provide that convenience to him.

Somehow, in the course of my seeking, I would like to end up making smarter choices than Siddhartha made.


Anonymous said...

So what choices would you make in your seeking?


Mahesh said...

Interesting post, made me wonder ...

How does one know in the course of one's meanderings that he has indeed stumbled upon 'Buddha state'?

How does one know when one may sermonize with the comforting knowlege that this it?

W0lf said...


I have a bad feeling that free will doesn't exist.

W0lf said...


Aren't you the Mahesh who used to work at Calsoft?
Didn't you attend the Bullshit 101 lectures?

The Shaolin said...

This is a wonderful book and I became an instant fan of Herman Hesse after reading Siddartha!
Looking at the small size of book, one is fooled into thinking it to be shallow. But I bet it's one of the deepes novels to dive into nature of duality of attaining nirvana!!!

W0lf said...

Here's another theory though, I wonder what anybody has to say to it...

- Nirvana is just an interesting intellectual construct for assuaging the mind at the instant of death from feeling the futility of a life which does not result in material success.

- Material success, as in fame, fortune, power, influence, and procreational success are all that truly matter in the natural course of a human male's life.

- In a human female's life, success is really upward mobility in the social hierarchy, and finding the male partner that fulfills the above-mentioned parameters of success, and spawning offspring that carries that genetic code forward.

- Religion, morality etc. etc., are interesting illusions created over the years to keep a semblance of order in society, as human beings go about seeking success, to just reduce the inevitable societal friction that might result from competition for scarce resources.

W0lf said...

Actually, the above comment sounds a lot like the Discovery channel. Someone should translate it into "Discovery Channel Hindi", and read it out aloud.
That would really be funny.