For six years, - в течение шести лет Siddhartha and his followers - Сиддхартха и его последователи lived in silence - жили в тишине and never left the forest - и никогда не покидали лес.
For drink, - для питья they had rain - они использовали дождевую воду.
For food, - для пищи they had a grain of rice, - они принимали зерна риса, or a broth of mud, - или бульон из грязи or the dropping of the passing bird – или то, что падало от пролетающих птиц.
They were trying - они пытались to master suffering - справиться со страданием, by making their minds - делая их умы, so strong – такими сильными, they would forget – чтобы они могли забыть about their bodies - об их телах.
Then, one day, Siddhartha heard an old musician on a passing boat, speaking to his pupil:
- If you tighten the string too much, it will snap, and if you leave it too slack, it won’t play.
Suddenly, Siddhartha realized that these simple words held the great truth, and that in all these years he had been following the wrong path.
- If you tighten the string too much, it will snap, and if you leave it too slack, it will not play.
A village girl offered Siddhartha her bowl of rice, and for the first time in years, he tasted proper food. But when the ascetics saw their master bathing and eating like an ordinary person felt betrayed, as if Siddhartha had given up the great search for enlightenment.
- Come and eat with me.
- You have betrayed your vows, Siddharta.
- You have given up the search.
- We can no longer follow you.
- We can no longer learn from you.
- To learn is to change. The path to enlightenment is in the middle way. It is the line between all opposite extremes.
- If I can reach enlightenment, make this bowl float upstream.
The Middle Way was the great truth Siddhartha had found the path he would teach to the world.
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