A Journey Removed

December 14, 2013
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The road from his home to where he was now had been long. The journey had proven troublesome, yet worth the endless days and sleepless nights, and he had learned much. No longer was Siddhartha trapped by the necessity of food and drink, wealth and luxury, heat and breeze. He had shed his old skin, only to grow into a cold, resistant, stubborn one. This was a good change. It meant that Siddhartha no longer required material objects. He could survive if he will himself to. It meant that he was becoming the Siddhartha he needed to be. Between the time he had joined the Samanas, and the time he left them, Siddhartha had changed greatly.
He had learned the value of life, the importance of death, and the negative consequences that came with wealth and success in an extravagant world. Now his heart wept bitter tears when he passed through a town here, where many rich men with fantastic wares to sell were found among lowly servants carrying the newly purchased goods of their masters and the street lurking beings who had neither home nor purpose, or a citadel there, that was home to brightly clothed women lounging in lavishly decorated gardens.
Didn’t these child-people know that these things were killing them? He had learned that long before he lived with the Samanas, back when he lived in a similar town. Now, his home was the forest, where emerald trees shone with morning dew and coughed through the afternoon dust. Wind stirred high branches, woke tiny song-birds and dropped foliage among the dips and dents in the dirt under Siddhartha’s thin and gangly legs. But he was too deep in thought to notice the leaves as they fell softly around him in a shower of various greens and yellows. Many questions circled his disciplined mind, and he visited each one in turn, only to realize that he didn’t have a single answer.
All Siddhartha knew was that he needed to be somewhere else. The forest had treated him well, and surely would do so again in the future, but for now, he needed to travel again, to find his answers.He moved his stiff body slowly, silently, and found it had been many days and nights since he had last stirred his consciousness enough to move his tired limbs. Years had passed since he had joined the Samanas, and he had changed physically, as well as mentally and emotionally.
Where he had once been cloaked in lean muscle, only a thin layer of rough skin lay, draped carelessly over sturdy little bones. After his dedication to life with limited food and drink, he had grown skinny and had not grown any taller than he had been when he left his father. The scratchy shadow that clung to his sharp jaw accentuated his pointed face and hollow cheeks. His large forehead shone with sweat, which dripped steadily down to his handsome brow. Large, intelligent eyes searched the dusty plain around him for his young companion, Govinda. He was seated, cross-legged, under a large tree, not to far from Siddhartha, in a trance similar to the one Siddhartha had been in.
It was then that Siddhartha decided he would live this life no longer. He spoke with gentle Govinda and they agreed upon leaving the Samanas to find the one the pilgrim ascetics called the Sublime One.

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