Tag Archives: Siddhartha


The sinner, which I am and which you are, is a sinner, but in times to come he will be Brahma again, he will reach the Nirvana, will be Buddha – and now see: these “times to come” are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how to process these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha.

– Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

[Image: ad on building in Udaipur; source: me]




He did sense very well that this love, this blind love for his son, was a passion, something very human, that it was Sansara, a murky source, dark waters. Nevertheless, he felt at the same time, it was not worthless, it was necessary, came from the essence of his own being. This pleasure also had to be atoned for, this pain also had to be endured, these foolish acts also had to be committed.

– Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

[Image: Vijay Stambha (Victory Tower) at Chittogarh; source: me]

Author One: Hermann Hesse

I was going to organize the list in some logical manner, such as alphabetized by author, but that would quickly land me in Austenland, and I’m not quite ready to get bogged down there. Then I realized, hey, it’s Banned Books Week! What better way to start than with a banned book? There are two books on the list that have been banned, at least that I’m aware of. One is, of course, Ulysses, but if I start with that, I’m sunk before I’ve even begun. The other is Call of the Wild, but I’ve read that in the past couple of years, so I’d like to leave that for a while. (According to Banned Books Awareness, it was banned by fascist governments for being too radical, and also because Jack London was a notorious socialist. It’s also been banned by sensitive parents who thought it was a children’s book because it was told from a dog’s point of view. Ugh, the stupidity.)

Luckily (for me alone), a Texas school board chose this week to ban, among others, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Apparently they missed the point of Banned Books Week.

The books were banned from classrooms because parents complained about, mostly, sex, as well as some other ridiculous things, and the school board acquiesced. Siddhartha was banned because of premarital sex and also it depiction of Buddhist philosophy. Not sure what specifically about its depiction is offensive — that it’s inaccurate or offensive, or just that it’s there? — but I hope to discover that soon. Continue reading Author One: Hermann Hesse