Tham Wua Forest Monastery
Mae Hong Son, Thailand
"Siddhartha reflected deeply as he went on his way. Something was no
longer in him, something that had accompanied him right through his youth
and was part of him: this was the desire to have teachers and to listen to
Slowly the thinker went on his way and asked himself:
'What is it that you
wanted to learn
from teachings and teachers,
and although they taught you
what was it they could not teach you?'
And he thought:
It was the
Self - the character and
nature of which I wished to learn.
I wanted to
rid myself of the Self,
to conquer it, but I could not conquer it;
only deceive it,
could only fly from it,
could only hide from it.
nothing in the world has occupied my thoughts as much as the Self, this
riddle, that I live, that I am one and am separated and different from
everybody else, that I am Siddhartha; and about nothing in the world do I
know less about than myself, about Siddhartha.
The thinker, slowly going on his way, suddenly stood still, gripped by
this thought, and another thought immediately rose from this one. It was:
'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 Brahman, Atman.
I wished to destroy myself,
to get away
in order to find in the unknown innermost, the nucleus of all
things - Atman, Life, the Divine, the Absolute.
But by doing so,
myself on the way.'
Siddhartha looked up and around him.
A smile crept over his face, and a
strong feeling of awakening from a long dream spread right through his
Immediately he walked on again, quickly,
like a man who knows what
he has to do.
Yes, he thought breathing deeply,
I will no longer try to
I will learn from myself,
be my own pupil;
learn from myself
the secret of Siddhartha.
He looked around him
as if seeing the world for the very first time.
Meaning and reality
were not hidden somewhere behind things;
they were in
in all of them."
Excerpt from Siddhartha
by Hermann Hesse