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.