Siddhartha and Septimius
Siddhartha was a young prince in ancient India who walked away from ruling a kingdom, the love of a beautiful wife, the adoration of his people, and an opulent lifestyle that fulfilled all of his material needs to pursue his goal of self-realization. He burned with an inner ferocity to find out who he really was. In the pursuit of his quest of self-realization Siddhartha lived in forests, bathed in streams, wore a loincloth, journeyed from teacher to teacher, and ate whatever the forest would yield or people would give him. When he found his answer years later, he became Buddha, the enlightened one. Based on his self-realization, Buddha realized that his purpose was to teach and share his knowledge of enlightenment.
Due to the strength and truth of his teachings, Buddha, the enlightened one who achieved self-realization, is more famous now than he ever would have been had he remained Siddhartha, the ruler of his people. If he had chosen the path of kingship, only a few obscure scholars would still know the name of Siddhartha, and no one would have ever heard of Buddha.
How many people today remember Septimius? In his lifetime, he had everything a person could desire. It did not fulfill him, nor did his fame last. His voice echoed for a short time then died. While Buddha has been dead for over two millennia, the noble truths he brilliantly articulated about the path of self-realization still guide the lives of countless millions.
In the end, only the truth matters. Self-realization is the real harvest of life. If we haven’t found the truth of our being, what remains in our soul is the bitter darkness of our failure.
Change and Changelessness
In the material world, fashions come and go. Trends change. What was once hot becomes cold, and what was long out of taste becomes sought after again. In contrast, the truth of self-realization never changes. Somewhere, deep inside us all, we each have a hunger to find out who we really are. As human beings, we can’t escape that hunger, no matter how cold, hard, distant, or unreachable we choose to make ourselves. We might bury our truth and our need for self-realization, deny it, and even try to disown it, but no matter what we do in our attempts to escape it, it will always be with us. It is a hunger that has been programmed into us as a species, one that has existed in all generations since the beginning of time. It is our deepest need and our most defining one. Self realization is the ultimate life quest.