Author Topic: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse  (Read 1757 times)

raushan

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Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« on: August 14, 2018, 11:10:01 AM »
Has anyone read here siddhartha by hermann hesse? I find this book very interesting. What is your thoughts regarding this book?

Below are some of the quotes from the book:

“When someone seeks," said Siddhartha, "then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”


“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.”

“I shall no longer be instructed by the Yoga Veda or the Aharva Veda, or the ascetics, or any other doctrine whatsoever. I shall learn from myself, be a pupil of myself; I shall get to know myself, the mystery of Siddhartha.” He looked around as if he were seeing the world for the first time.”

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.”


“Words do not express thoughts very well. they always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.”


“The reason why I do not know anything about myself, the reason why Siddhartha has remained alien and unknown to myself is due to one thing, to one single thing--I was afraid of myself, I was fleeing from myself. I was seeking Atman, I was seeking Brahman, I was determined to dismember myself and tear away its layers of husk in order to find in its unknown innermost recess the kernel at the heart of those layers, the Atman, life, the divine principle, the ultimate. But in so doing, I was losing myself.”

« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 11:21:38 AM by raushan »

Siddharth

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 12:13:52 PM »
Read it back in 2015. This book is a keeper. I was, for some reason very fascinated by the old man who helps people cross the river..

Will revisit this book sometime..
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Middleway

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 01:13:14 PM »
Yes, it’s a brilliant book. The following quote from the book I like most:

“Only for myself, for myself alone, I must decide, I must chose, I must refuse. Salvation from the self is what we Samanas search for, oh exalted one. If I merely were one of your disciples, oh venerable one, I’d fear that it might happen to me that only seemingly, only deceptively my self would be calm and be redeemed, but that in truth it would live on and grow, for then I had replaced my self with the teachings, my duty to follow you, my love for you, and the community of the monks!”

With half of a smile, with an unwavering openness and kindness, Gotama looked into the stranger’s eyes and bid him to leave with a hardly notice- able gesture.

“You are wise, oh Samana,” the venerable one spoke.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

raushan

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 07:01:54 PM »
Yes, great line.

Middleway

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 12:30:35 AM »
It’s interesting to see how Siddhartha makes distinction between myself and my self. This quote exposes the cunningness of the self. Siddhartha uses “I” three times in the opening sentence (identifying with self) and refuses to join Buddha’s sangha fearing that his “self” will continue and grow. His self asserts itself in the guise of “fear of continuing”. No wonder Siddhartha falls headlong into samasara soon after this exchange with Buddha.

Also interesting to note compassion from Buddha towards Siddhartha.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

mobius

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 02:03:49 AM »
this was part of my 11th grade curriculum. It was one of the few books I read in high school I actually enjoyed. Partly because it was one of the few that wasn't mainly about depression and suicide. (We had to read stuff like Of Mice and Men, All my Sons). And partly because maybe I identified with Siddhartha in 'fearing myself' and searching for love and understanding in all the wrong places.

I think I only recently understood  the ending (or maybe I only think I do.)

sort of [SPOILERS]

I feel like I've come across mini-enlightenments like this in my life. Where I achieved happiness only after I let go of craving something so much or desiring a goal only to fail again and again.
I like the the ending and the book as a whole a lot. I should get it and read it again.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

stillpointdancer

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 09:40:49 AM »
I've read it a few times now. Usually once every three or four years. I think is a very clever book in the way it tries to give an account of one person's journey to insight and enlightenment.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

raushan

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 09:49:56 AM »
Hi Middleway,

I didn't looked at that passage as this way you explained. Yeah kind of make sense. But why Buddha said to him that "You are wise o samana"? Why didn't he explained to him his situation?

Hi mobius,

Which country you are from? It's good that in 11th grade you had this kind of literature in your subject. I am from India. We had short stories to read in 11th grade. I read this book during my undergrads found this on internet randomly.

Hi stillpointdancer,

I think it's good to revisit a good book again and again. I think every time it gives some new understanding. I also have to reread it now.

Herman Hesse other books are also good. The other book "The glass bead game" also give an very interesting journey of a person. But it's on different domain. For which he won the nobel prize.

 

Siddharth

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 12:35:30 PM »
Often :
The direct path seems long

Tao te ching

Perhaps this answers why Buddha didn't stop him..
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

mobius

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 11:51:02 PM »
Hi Middleway,

I didn't looked at that passage as this way you explained. Yeah kind of make sense. But why Buddha said to him that "You are wise o samana"? Why didn't he explained to him his situation?

Hi mobius,

Which country you are from? It's good that in 11th grade you had this kind of literature in your subject. I am from India. We had short stories to read in 11th grade. I read this book during my undergrads found this on internet randomly.

Hi stillpointdancer,

I think it's good to revisit a good book again and again. I think every time it gives some new understanding. I also have to reread it now.

Herman Hesse other books are also good. The other book "The glass bead game" also give an very interesting journey of a person. But it's on different domain. For which he won the nobel prize.

I'm from the U.S. My 11th grade class had a portion where we read literature from other Countries/cultures. Siddhartha was, that I remember, the only "eastern" type of literature I read in school. (I realize it's not really Eastern as Hermann Hesse was German, I think?). I also read Franz Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis.'
Thanks for recommending The glass bead game. I'll have to check that out.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Middleway

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 02:32:00 PM »
Hi Middleway,

I didn't looked at that passage as this way you explained. Yeah kind of make sense. But why Buddha said to him that "You are wise o samana"? Why didn't he explained to him his situation?

Notice Siddhartha says that we samanas are searching for salvation from self. But he does not realize that his self is the one doing the search. His self is continuing as a result. In order to drop the self, he needs to drop the search. He does not understand that surrendering to the Buddha, Dhamma, and sangha can truly happen only when he drops the self.

Buddha noticed that Siddhartha's ego-self is strong and his words cannot reach Siddhartha. Samsara is very effective is defeating the self.


Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

dharma bum

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 03:41:22 PM »
I read it possibly 25 years ago. I don't remember a lot of detail, but parts of it has stayed with me. Even today, at times during meditation, I think of the image of a river flowing calmly - something about a boatman and the river towards the end of the book.
Mostly ignorant

Siddharth

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2018, 01:13:18 PM »
I read it possibly 25 years ago. I don't remember a lot of detail, but parts of it has stayed with me. Even today, at times during meditation, I think of the image of a river flowing calmly - something about a boatman and the river towards the end of the book.

Exactly what has remained with me.
Something about the old man
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Middleway

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    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2019, 01:53:03 AM »
Hi Middleway,

I didn't looked at that passage as this way you explained. Yeah kind of make sense. But why Buddha said to him that "You are wise o samana"? Why didn't he explained to him his situation?

Notice Siddhartha says that we samanas are searching for salvation from self. But he does not realize that his self is the one doing the search. His self is continuing as a result. In order to drop the self, he needs to drop the search. He does not understand that surrendering to the Buddha, Dhamma, and sangha can truly happen only when he drops the self.

Buddha noticed that Siddhartha's ego-self is strong and his words cannot reach Siddhartha. Samsara is very effective is defeating the self.

Hey Raushan, now you know why Buddha did not try explaining to Siddhartha. 🙂
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

raushan

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Re: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2019, 02:29:11 AM »
 :D I see what you did there. That's a good one. Now I understood.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2019, 02:39:47 AM by Middleway »