Quote: What father … could shield him…

Quotation

What father, what teacher could shield him from living his own life, soiling himself with life, burdening himself with guilt, drinking the bitter drink himself, finding this path himself? Do you really believe, dear friend, that anyone at all is spared this path?

Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, translated by Joachim Neugroschel

(excerpt from discussion between Siddhartha and Vasudeva, the Ferryman, about Siddhartha’s son)

Siddhartha: How can I put him in that world? Will he not become haughty, will he not surrender to pleasure and power, will he not repeat all his father’s mistakes, will he not perhaps lose himself entirely in samsara?

Vasudeva: Do you really believe you committed your follies to spare your son? And can you shield your son against Sahara? How? …

V: Could his father’s piety, his teachers’ admonitions, his own knowing, his own seeking save his? What father, what teacher could shield him from living his own life, soiling himself with life, burdening himself with guilt, drinking the bitter drink himself, finding this path himself? Do you really believe, dear friend, that anyone at all is spared this path? Perhaps your little son because you love him, because you would like to spare hi pain and sorrow and disillusion? But even if you died for him ten times per, you could not take away even the tiniest bit of his destiny.