Monday, March 28, 2011


I read the insightful story (fictional) of a man who lived during the Buddha's time and dared to go in search of life, wisdom and purpose on his own despite meeting the Buddha. It is the story of a man who walks his own path to enlightenment. The author of the story does a compelling job of conveying his own insights about life through the man's story. The man is named after the Buddha, as Siddhartha. The book is also called 'Siddhartha' and the author is Hermann Hesse. Now, you know.  
Source: Wikipedia

1) Siddhartha learns his own lessons by doing things in his own unique way and not by following anyone else's teachings or thoughts

2)He realizes that someone who is obsessed with the act of searching for something may actually not find what he is looking for because he may be so lost in the search itself that he cannot see what is in front of him (he misses the thing that he is looking for even when it is in front of him because he is still looking!) > This one is profound! 

3)He concludes that wisdom cannot be shared. Only knowledge can be shared.  

4)Only towards the end of his life does he understand the bliss of flowing along with life, like a river. He understands that he must be a part of everything that life brings to him. He must be the same through ups and downs, and twists and turns though there may be no such thing as good or bad. He sees that the river is what it is throughout its course irrespective of obstacles. It gets past rocks because of its flexibility and acceptance. 

5)He also learns from the river that listening is one of the most essential skills for leading a blissful life, because listening means learning

6)He realizes that life allowed him to learn things on his own and he had to accept that for his son as well. The special lesson for parents is that they cannot and should not try to control or determine their children's destinies. Every child will have to chart his or her own path and should be allowed to experience his/her destiny without unwarranted interruptions

7)An almost direct recommendation that the author makes is that of the "Om" meditation. During many instances in the story, Siddhartha recovers from inappropriate moments including a suicidal one by repeating the term "Om" until he magically begins to see the 'light'


Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello Nimmy:

Great book. I read it back in the 70's. You mentioning this brought back some memories of reading the book. It's a good piece of literature when it can be recalled after so long.

Take care,

Nimmy said...

Hey Mike! Thanks so much for the comment. Yes, I too thought it was a unique and thought-provoking book! The story is definitely one that cannot be forgotten. It was quite "visual" in its effect! :-)