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    Chapter 5

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    Chapter 5
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    Dedicated to Wilhelm Gundert, my cousin in Japan


    Siddhartha learned something new on every step of his path, for the
    world was transformed, and his heart was enchanted. He saw the sun
    rising over the mountains with their forests and setting over the
    distant beach with its palm-trees. At night, he saw the stars in the
    sky in their fixed positions and the crescent of the moon floating like
    a boat in the blue. He saw trees, stars, animals, clouds, rainbows,
    rocks, herbs, flowers, stream and river, the glistening dew in the
    bushes in the morning, distant hight mountains which were blue and
    pale, birds sang and bees, wind silverishly blew through the rice-field.
    All of this, a thousand-fold and colorful, had always been there,
    always the sun and the moon had shone, always rivers had roared and
    bees had buzzed, but in former times all of this had been nothing more
    to Siddhartha than a fleeting, deceptive veil before his eyes,
    looked upon in distrust, destined to be penetrated and destroyed by
    thought, since it was not the essential existence, since this essence
    lay beyond, on the other side of, the visible. But now, his liberated
    eyes stayed on this side, he saw and became aware of the visible, sought
    to be at home in this world, did not search for the true essence, did
    not aim at a world beyond. Beautiful was this world, looking at it thus,
    without searching, thus simply, thus childlike. Beautiful were the moon
    and the stars, beautiful was the stream and the banks, the forest and
    the rocks, the goat and the gold-beetle, the flower and the butterfly.
    Beautiful and lovely it was, thus to walk through the world, thus
    childlike, thus awoken, thus open to what is near, thus without
    distrust. Differently the sun burnt the head, differently the shade
    of the forest cooled him down, differently the stream and the cistern,
    the pumpkin and the banana tasted. Short were the days, short the
    nights, every hour sped swiftly away like a sail on the sea, and under
    the sail was a ship full of treasures, full of joy. Siddhartha saw a
    group of apes moving through the high canopy of the forest, high in the
    branches, and heard their savage, greedy song. Siddhartha saw a male
    sheep following a female one and mating with her. In a lake of reeds,
    he saw the pike hungrily hunting for its dinner; propelling themselves
    away from it, in fear, wiggling and sparkling, the young fish jumped in
    droves out of the water; the scent of strength and passion came
    forcefully out of the hasty eddies of the water, which the pike stirred
    up, impetuously hunting.

    All of this had always existed, and he had not seen it; he had not been
    with it. Now he was with it, he was part of it. Light and shadow
    ran through his eyes, stars and moon ran through his heart.

    On the way, Siddhartha also remembered everything he had experienced in
    the Garden Jetavana, the teaching he had heard there, the divine Buddha,
    the farewell from Govinda, the conversation with the exalted one. Again
    he remembered his own words, he had spoken to the exalted one, every
    word, and with astonishment he became aware of the fact that there he
    had said things which he had not really known yet at this time. What he
    had said to Gotama: his, the Buddha's, treasure and secret was not the
    teachings, but the unexpressable and not teachable, which he had
    experienced in the hour of his enlightenment--it was nothing but this
    very thing which he had now gone to experience, what he now began to
    experience. Now, he had to experience his self. It is true that he had
    already known for a long time that his self was Atman, in its essence
    bearing the same eternal characteristics as Brahman. But never, he had
    really found this self, because he had wanted to capture it in the net
    of thought. With the body definitely not being the self, and not the
    spectacle of the senses, so it also was not the thought, not the
    rational mind, not the learned wisdom, not the learned ability to draw
    conclusions and to develop previous thoughts in to new ones. No, this
    world of thought was also still on this side, and nothing could be
    achieved by killing the random self of the senses, if the random self of
    thoughts and learned knowledge was fattened on the other hand. Both,
    the thoughts as well as the senses, were pretty things, the ultimate
    meaning was hidden behind both of them, both had to be listened to, both
    had to be played with, both neither had to be scorned nor overestimated,
    from both the secret voices of the innermost truth had to be attentively
    perceived. He wanted to strive for nothing, except for what the voice
    commanded him to strive for, dwell on nothing, except where the voice
    would advise him to do so. Why had Gotama, at that time, in the hour
    of all hours, sat down under the bo-tree, where the enlightenment hit
    him? He had heard a voice, a voice in his own heart, which had
    commanded him to seek rest under this tree, and he had neither preferred
    self-castigation, offerings, ablutions, nor prayer, neither food nor
    drink, neither sleep nor dream, he had obeyed the voice. To obey like
    this, not to an external command, only to the voice, to be ready like
    this, this was good, this was necessary, nothing else was necessary.

    In the night when he slept in the straw hut of a ferryman by the river,
    Siddhartha had a dream: Govinda was standing in front of him, dressed
    in the yellow robe of an ascetic. Sad was how Govinda looked like,
    sadly he asked: Why have you forsaken me? At this, he embraced
    Govinda, wrapped his arms around him, and as he was pulling him close
    to his chest and kissed him, it was not Govinda any more, but a woman,
    and an full breast popped out of the woman's dress, at which Siddhartha
    lay and drank, sweetly and strongly tasted the milk from this breast.
    It tasted of woman and man, of sun and forest, of animal and flower,
    of every fruit, of every joyful desire. It intoxicated him and rendered
    him unconscious.--When Siddhartha woke up, the pale river shimmered
    through the door of the hut, and in the forest, a dark call of an owl
    resounded deeply and and pleasantly.

    When the day began, Siddhartha asked his host, the ferryman, to get him
    across the river. The ferryman got him across the river on his
    bamboo-raft, the wide water shimmered reddishly in the light of the

    "This is a beautiful river," he said to his companion.

    "Yes," said the ferryman, "a very beautiful river, I love it more than
    anything. Often I have listened to it, often I have looked into its
    eyes, and always I have learned from it. Much can be learned from a

    "I than you, my benefactor," spoke Siddhartha, disembarking on the other
    side of the river. "I have no gift I could give you for your
    hospitality, my dear, and also no payment for your work. I am a man
    without a home, a son of a Brahman and a Samana."

    "I did see it," spoke the ferryman, "and I haven't expected any payment
    from you and no gift which would be the custom for guests to bear. You
    will give me the gift another time."

    "Do you think so?" asked Siddhartha amusedly.

    "Surely. This too, I have learned from the river: everything is coming
    back! You too, Samana, will come back. Now farewell! Let your
    friendship be my reward. Commemorate me, when you'll make offerings to
    the gods."

    Smiling, they parted. Smiling, Siddhartha was happy about the
    friendship and the kindness of the ferryman. "He is like Govinda," he
    thought with a smile, "all I meet on my path are like Govinda. All are
    thankful, though they are the ones who would have a right to receive
    thanks. All are submissive, all would like to be friends, like to
    obey, think little. Like children are all people."

    At about noon, he came through a village. In front of the mud cottages,
    children were rolling about in the street, were playing with
    pumpkin-seeds and sea-shells, screamed and wrestled, but they all
    timidly fled from the unknown Samana. In the end of the village, the
    path led through a stream, and by the side of the stream, an young
    woman was kneeling and washing clothes. When Siddhartha greeted her,
    she lifted her head and looked up to him with a smile, so that he saw
    the white in her eyes glistening. He called out a blessing to her, as
    it is the custom among travellers, and asked how far he still had to go
    to reach the large city. Then she got up and came to him, beautifully
    her wet mouth was shimmering in her young face. She exchanged humorous
    banter with him, asked whether he had eaten already, and whether it was
    true that the Samanas slept alone in the forest at night and were not
    allowed to have any women with them. While talking, she put her left
    foot on his right one and made a movement as a woman does who would want
    to initiate that kind of sexual pleasure with a man, which the textbooks
    call "climbing a tree". Siddhartha felt his blood heating up, and since
    in this moment he had to think of his dream again, he bend slightly
    down to the woman and kissed with his lips the brown nipple of her
    breast. Looking up, he saw her face smiling full of lust and her
    eyes, with contracted pupils, begging with desire.

    Siddhartha also felt desire and felt the source of his sexuality moving;
    but since he had never touched a woman before, he hesitated for a
    moment, while his hands were already prepared to reach out for her. And
    in this moment he heard, shuddering with awe, the voice if his innermost
    self, and this voice said No. Then, all charms disappeared from the
    young woman's smiling face, he no longer saw anything else but the damp
    glance of a female animal in heat. Politely, he petted her cheek,
    turned away from her and disappeared away from the disappointed woman
    with light steps into the bamboo-wood.

    On this day, he reached the large city before the evening, and was
    happy, for he felt the need to be among people. For a long time, he
    had lived in the forests, and the straw hut of the ferryman, in which
    he had slept that night, had been the first roof for a long time he has
    had over his head.

    Before the city, in a beautifully fenced grove, the traveller came
    across a small group of servants, both male and female, carrying
    baskets. In their midst, carried by four servants in an ornamental
    sedan-chair, sat a woman, the mistress, on red pillows under a colourful
    canopy. Siddhartha stopped at the entrance to the pleasure-garden and
    watched the parade, saw the servants, the maids, the baskets, saw the
    sedan-chair and saw the lady in it. Under black hair, which made to
    tower high on her head, he saw a very fair, very delicate, very smart
    face, a brightly red mouth, like a freshly cracked fig, eyebrows which
    were well tended and painted in a high arch, smart and watchful dark
    eyes, a clear, tall neck rising from a green and golden garment, resting
    fair hands, long and thin, with wide golden bracelets over the wrists.

    Siddhartha saw how beautiful she was, and his heart rejoiced. He bowed
    deeply, when the sedan-chair came closer, and straightening up again,
    he looked at the fair, charming face, read for a moment in the smart
    eyes with the high arcs above, breathed in a slight fragrant, he did
    not know. With a smile, the beautiful women nodded for a moment and
    disappeared into the grove, and then the servant as well.

    Thus I am entering this city, Siddhartha thought, with a charming omen.
    He instantly felt drawn into the grove, but he thought about it, and
    only now he became aware of how the servants and maids had looked at him
    at the entrance, how despicable, how distrustful, how rejecting.

    I am still a Samana, he thought, I am still an ascetic and beggar. I
    must not remain like this, I will not be able to enter the grove like
    this. And he laughed.

    The next person who came along this path he asked about the grove and
    for the name of the woman, and was told that this was the grove of
    Kamala, the famous courtesan, and that, aside from the grove, she owned
    a house in the city.

    Then, he entered the city. Now he had a goal.

    Pursuing his goal, he allowed the city to suck him in, drifted through
    the flow of the streets, stood still on the squares, rested on the
    stairs of stone by the river. When the evening came, he made friends
    with barber's assistant, whom he had seen working in the shade of an
    arch in a building, whom he found again praying in a temple of Vishnu,
    whom he told about stories of Vishnu and the Lakshmi. Among the boats
    by the river, he slept this night, and early in the morning, before the
    first customers came into his shop, he had the barber's assistant shave
    his beard and cut his hair, comb his hair and anoint it with fine oil.
    Then he went to take his bath in the river.

    When late in the afternoon, beautiful Kamala approached her grove in her
    sedan-chair, Siddhartha was standing at the entrance, made a bow and
    received the courtesan's greeting. But that servant who walked at the
    very end of her train he motioned to him and asked him to inform his
    mistress that a young Brahman would wish to talk to her. After a while,
    the servant returned, asked the him, who had been waiting, to follow him
    conducted him, who was following him, without a word into a pavilion,
    where Kamala was lying on a couch, and left him alone with her.

    "Weren't you already standing out there yesterday, greeting me?" asked

    "It's true that I've already seen and greeted you yesterday."

    "But didn't you yesterday wear a beard, and long hair, and dust in your

    "You have observed well, you have seen everything. You have seen
    Siddhartha, the son of a Brahman, how has left his home to become a
    Samana, and who has been a Samana for three years. But now, I have
    left that path and came into this city, and the first one I met, even
    before I had entered the city, was you. To say this, I have come to
    you, oh Kamala! You are the first woman whom Siddhartha is not
    addressing with his eyes turned to the ground. Never again I want to
    turn my eyes to the ground, when I'm coming across a beautiful woman."

    Kamala smiled and played with her fan of peacocks' feathers. And asked:
    "And only to tell me this, Siddhartha has come to me?"

    "To tell you this and to thank you for being so beautiful. And if it
    doesn't displease you, Kamala, I would like to ask you to be my friend
    and teacher, for I know nothing yet of that art which you have mastered
    in the highest degree."

    At this, Kamala laughed aloud.

    "Never before this has happened to me, my friend, that a Samana from the
    forest came to me and wanted to learn from me! Never before this has
    happened to me, that a Samana came to me with long hair and an old, torn
    loin-cloth! Many young men come to me, and there are also sons of
    Brahmans among them, but they come in beautiful clothes, they come in
    fine shoes, they have perfume in their hair and money in their pouches.
    This is, oh Samana, how the young men are like who come to me."

    Quoth Siddhartha: "Already I am starting to learn from you. Even
    yesterday, I was already learning. I have already taken off my beard,
    have combed the hair, have oil in my hair. There is little which is
    still missing in me, oh excellent one: fine clothes, fine shoes, money
    in my pouch. You shall know, Siddhartha has set harder goals for
    himself than such trifles, and he has reached them. How shouldn't I
    reach that goal, which I have set for myself yesterday: to be your
    friend and to learn the joys of love from you! You'll see that I'll
    learn quickly, Kamala, I have already learned harder things than what
    you're supposed to teach me. And now let's get to it: You aren't
    satisfied with Siddhartha as he is, with oil in his hair, but without
    clothes, without shoes, without money?"

    Laughing, Kamala exclaimed: "No, my dear, he doesn't satisfy me yet.
    Clothes are what he must have, pretty clothes, and shoes, pretty shoes,
    and lots of money in his pouch, and gifts for Kamala. Do you know it
    now, Samana from the forest? Did you mark my words?"

    "Yes, I have marked your words," Siddhartha exclaimed. "How should I
    not mark words which are coming from such a mouth! Your mouth is like
    a freshly cracked fig, Kamala. My mouth is red and fresh as well, it
    will be a suitable match for yours, you'll see.--But tell me, beautiful
    Kamala, aren't you at all afraid of the Samana from the forest, who has
    come to learn how to make love?"

    "Whatever for should I be afraid of a Samana, a stupid Samana from the
    forest, who is coming from the jackals and doesn't even know yet what
    women are?"

    "Oh, he's strong, the Samana, and he isn't afraid of anything. He could
    force you, beautiful girl. He could kidnap you. He could hurt you."

    "No, Samana, I am not afraid of this. Did any Samana or Brahman ever
    fear, someone might come and grab him and steal his learning, and his
    religious devotion, and his depth of thought? No, for they are his very
    own, and he would only give away from those whatever he is willing to
    give and to whomever he is willing to give. Like this it is, precisely
    like this it is also with Kamala and with the pleasures of love.
    Beautiful and red is Kamala's mouth, but just try to kiss it against
    Kamala's will, and you will not obtain a single drop of sweetness from
    it, which knows how to give so many sweet things! You are learning
    easily, Siddhartha, thus you should also learn this: love can be
    obtained by begging, buying, receiving it as a gift, finding it in the
    street, but it cannot be stolen. In this, you have come up with the
    wrong path. No, it would be a pity, if a pretty young man like you
    would want to tackle it in such a wrong manner."

    Siddhartha bowed with a smile. "It would be a pity, Kamala, you are so
    right! It would be such a great pity. No, I shall not lose a single
    drop of sweetness from your mouth, nor you from mine! So it is settled:
    Siddhartha will return, once he'll have have what he still lacks:
    clothes, shoes, money. But speak, lovely Kamala, couldn't you still
    give me one small advice?"

    "An advice?" Why not? Who wouldn't like to give an advice to a poor,
    ignorant Samana, who is coming from the jackals of the forest?"

    "Dear Kamala, thus advise me where I should go to, that I'll find these
    three things most quickly?"

    "Friend, many would like to know this. You must do what you've learned
    and ask for money, clothes, and shoes in return. There is no other way
    for a poor man to obtain money. What might you be able to do?"

    "I can think. I can wait. I can fast."

    "Nothing else?"

    "Nothing. But yes, I can also write poetry. Would you like to give me
    a kiss for a poem?"

    "I would like to, if I'll like your poem. What would be its title?"

    Siddhartha spoke, after he had thought about it for a moment, these

    Into her shady grove stepped the pretty Kamala,
    At the grove's entrance stood the brown Samana.
    Deeply, seeing the lotus's blossom,
    Bowed that man, and smiling Kamala thanked.
    More lovely, thought the young man, than offerings for gods,
    More lovely is offering to pretty Kamala.

    Kamala loudly clapped her hands, so that the golden bracelets clanged.

    "Beautiful are your verses, oh brown Samana, and truly, I'm losing
    nothing when I'm giving you a kiss for them."

    She beckoned him with her eyes, he tilted his head so that his face
    touched hers and placed his mouth on that mouth which was like a
    freshly cracked fig. For a long time, Kamala kissed him, and with a
    deep astonishment Siddhartha felt how she taught him, how wise she was,
    how she controlled him, rejected him, lured him, and how after this first
    one there was to be a long, a well ordered, well tested sequence of
    kisses, everyone different from the others, he was still to receive.
    Breathing deeply, he remained standing where he was, and was in this
    moment astonished like a child about the cornucopia of knowledge and
    things worth learning, which revealed itself before his eyes.

    "Very beautiful are your verses," exclaimed Kamala, "if I was rich, I
    would give you pieces of gold for them. But it will be difficult for
    you to earn thus much money with verses as you need. For you need a lot
    of money, if you want to be Kamala's friend."

    "The way you're able to kiss, Kamala!" stammered Siddhartha.

    "Yes, this I am able to do, therefore I do not lack clothes, shoes,
    bracelets, and all beautiful things. But what will become of you?
    Aren't you able to do anything else but thinking, fasting, making

    "I also know the sacrificial songs," said Siddhartha, "but I do not want
    to sing them any more. I also know magic spells, but I do not want to
    speak them any more. I have read the scriptures--"

    "Stop," Kamala interrupted him. "You're able to read? And write?"

    "Certainly, I can do this. Many people can do this."

    "Most people can't. I also can't do it. It is very good that you're
    able to read and write, very good. You will also still find use for
    the magic spells."

    In this moment, a maid came running in and whispered a message into
    her mistress's ear.

    "There's a visitor for me," exclaimed Kamala. "Hurry and get yourself
    away, Siddhartha, nobody may see you in here, remember this! Tomorrow,
    I'll see you again."

    But to the maid she gave the order to give the pious Brahman white
    upper garments. Without fully understanding what was happening to him,
    Siddhartha found himself being dragged away by the maid, brought into
    a garden-house avoiding the direct path, being given upper garments as a
    gift, led into the bushes, and urgently admonished to get himself out of
    the grove as soon as possible without being seen.

    Contently, he did as he had been told. Being accustomed to the forest,
    he managed to get out of the grove and over the hedge without making a
    sound. Contently, he returned to the city, carrying the rolled up
    garments under his arm. At the inn, where travellers stay, he
    positioned himself by the door, without words he asked for food, without
    a word he accepted a piece of rice-cake. Perhaps as soon as tomorrow,
    he thought, I will ask no one for food any more.

    Suddenly, pride flared up in him. He was no Samana any more, it was no
    longer becoming to him to beg. He gave the rice-cake to a dog and
    remained without food.

    "Simple is the life which people lead in this world here," thought
    Siddhartha. "It presents no difficulties. Everything was difficult,
    toilsome, and ultimately hopeless, when I was still a Samana. Now,
    everything is easy, easy like that lessons in kissing, which Kamala is
    giving me. I need clothes and money, nothing else; this a small, near
    goals, they won't make a person lose any sleep."

    He had already discovered Kamala's house in the city long before, there
    he turned up the following day.

    "Things are working out well," she called out to him. "They are
    expecting you at Kamaswami's, he is the richest merchant of the city.
    If he'll like you, he'll accept you into his service. Be smart, brown
    Samana. I had others tell him about you. Be polite towards him, he is
    very powerful. But don't be too modest! I do not want you to become
    his servant, you shall become his equal, or else I won't be satisfied
    with you. Kamaswami is starting to get old and lazy. If he'll like
    you, he'll entrust you with a lot."

    Siddhartha thanked her and laughed, and when she found out that he had
    not eaten anything yesterday and today, she sent for bread and fruits
    and treated him to it.

    "You've been lucky," she said when they parted, "I'm opening one door
    after another for you. How come? Do you have a spell?"

    Siddhartha said: "Yesterday, I told you I knew how to think, to wait,
    and to fast, but you thought this was of no use. But it is useful for
    many things, Kamala, you'll see. You'll see that the stupid Samanas are
    learning and able to do many pretty things in the forest, which the
    likes of you aren't capable of. The day before yesterday, I was still a
    shaggy beggar, as soon as yesterday I have kissed Kamala, and soon I'll
    be a merchant and have money and all those things you insist upon."

    "Well yes," she admitted. "But where would you be without me? What
    would you be, if Kamala wasn't helping you?"

    "Dear Kamala," said Siddhartha and straightened up to his full height,
    "when I came to you into your grove, I did the first step. It was my
    resolution to learn love from this most beautiful woman. From that
    moment on when I had made this resolution, I also knew that I would
    carry it out. I knew that you would help me, at your first glance at
    the entrance of the grove I already knew it."

    "But what if I hadn't been willing?"

    "You were willing. Look, Kamala: Wen you throw a rock into the water,
    it will speed on the fastest course to the bottom of the water. This
    is how it is when Siddhartha has a goal, a resolution. Siddhartha does
    nothing, he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he passes through the things
    of the world like a rock through water, without doing anything, without
    stirring; he is drawn, he lets himself fall. His goal attracts him,
    because he doesn't let anything enter his soul which might oppose the
    goal. This is what Siddhartha has learned among the Samanas. This is
    what fools call magic and of which they think it would be effected by
    means of the daemons. Nothing is effected by daemons, there are no
    daemons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if
    he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast."

    Kamala listened to him. She loved his voice, she loved the look from
    his eyes.

    "Perhaps it is so," she said quietly, "as you say, friend. But perhaps
    it is also like this: that Siddhartha is a handsome man, that his glance
    pleases the women, that therefore good fortune is coming towards him."

    Wit one kiss, Siddhartha bid his farewell. "I wish that it should be
    this way, my teacher; that my glance shall please you, that always
    good fortune shall come to me out of your direction!"
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