Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reading Blog Siddhartha: Part 3 - Samsara, By the River, & The Ferryman

1. By how many years is Kamala older than Siddhartha? (page 65)
2. Why has Siddhartha strayed so much from his path? Wasn't this straying supposed to be momentarily and not last a couple of years?
3. What does Siddhartha's straying mean to Buddhism? If this whom they follow, why is are these events emphasized?
4. Why did the golden bird bring Siddhartha back to his path? What is its importance?
5. Is Govinda Siddhartha's anchor? Is he the one who keeps him on his path, but also keeps him from achieving nirvana?
6. If samsara means the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound (Google Definitions), why does Siddhartha descirbe is as a game, "which can only be played once, twice, or at most ten times"? (page 68)
7. Why is Kamala´s golden bird so important? (again on page 69)
8. According to Wolfram Alpha (, Siddhartha attained enlightenment at age 35 while meditating under a pipal tree for 49 days. Why does the book then say that he was only 40 years old when he left the town? Why has he not achieved enlightenment yet? (page 65)

By the River
1. Why does Siddhartha have suicidal thoughts? Is suicide not badly viewed in Buddhism?
2. What is a cocoanut tree? Is it a typo, and was it supposed to be coconut? (page 71)
3. Was Om really heard by Siddhartha? (page 72) Or did his desperate soul fool his mind?
4. Does Govinda's appearance (page 74) mean Siddhartha's return to his path?
5. Has Govinda really been reaching enlightenment since he did not cry or weep when he saw Siddhartha?
6. What do the yellow robes mean? Is yellow an important color in Buddhism?
7. Has Siddhartha's self really died or does he merely think it? (page 80)
8. Is Siddhartha still able to hypnotize other people after he "killed Siddhartha the priest and Siddhartha the Samana" (page 81)?

The Ferryman
1. How is it that people as wise as Govinda and as humble as Vasudeva (boater) judge people by their clothes?
2. Are listening skills emphasized as great virtues in other cultures? (page 85)
3. Is the river considered a deity in Hinduism? Is it a spirit?
4. What other thing will Siddhartha learn from the river? (page 86)
5. Is the secret knowledge that Siddhartha will learn from the river the secret that there is no such thing as time? (page 87)
6. Why is Kamala's funeral pyre built on the same hill Vasudeva's wife's pyre was built? Who cares if they died in the same bed?

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