Siddhartha eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 123 pages of information about Siddhartha.

“I am without possessions,” said Siddhartha, “if this is what you mean.  Surely, I am without possessions.  But I am so voluntarily, and therefore I am not destitute.”

“But what are you planning to live of, being without possessions?”

“I haven’t thought of this yet, sir.  For more than three years, I have been without possessions, and have never thought about of what I should live.”

“So you’ve lived of the possessions of others.”

“Presumable this is how it is.  After all, a merchant also lives of what other people own.”

“Well said.  But he wouldn’t take anything from another person for nothing; he would give his merchandise in return.”

“So it seems to be indeed.  Everyone takes, everyone gives, such is life.”

“But if you don’t mind me asking:  being without possessions, what would you like to give?”

“Everyone gives what he has.  The warrior gives strength, the merchant gives merchandise, the teacher teachings, the farmer rice, the fisher fish.”

“Yes indeed.  And what is it now what you’ve got to give?  What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”

“I can think.  I can wait.  I can fast.”

“That’s everything?”

“I believe, that’s everything!”

“And what’s the use of that?  For example, the fasting—­ what is it good for?”

“It is very good, sir.  When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do.  When, for example, Siddhartha hadn’t learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would force him to do so.  But like this, Siddhartha can wait calmly, he knows no impatience, he knows no emergency, for a long time he can allow hunger to besiege him and can laugh about it.  This, sir, is what fasting is good for.”

“You’re right, Samana.  Wait for a moment.”

Kamaswami left the room and returned with a scroll, which he handed to his guest while asking:  “Can you read this?”

Siddhartha looked at the scroll, on which a sales-contract had been written down, and began to read out its contents.

“Excellent,” said Kamaswami.  “And would you write something for me on this piece of paper?”

He handed him a piece of paper and a pen, and Siddhartha wrote and returned the paper.

Kamaswami read:  “Writing is good, thinking is better.  Being smart is good, being patient is better.”

“It is excellent how you’re able to write,” the merchant praised him.  “Many a thing we will still have to discuss with one another.  For today, I’m asking you to be my guest and to live in this house.”

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Project Gutenberg
Siddhartha from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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