instructed by the eldest of the samanas, siddhartha practiced self-denial and meditation according to the samana rules. a heron flew over the bamboo wood and siddhartha took the heron into his soul, flew over forest and mountains, became a heron, ate fishes, suffered heron hunger, used heron language, died a heron’s death. a dead jackal lay on the sandy shore and siddhartha’s soul slipped into its corpse; he became a dead jackal, lay on the shore, swelled, stank, decayed, was dismembered by hyenas, was picked at by vultures, became a skeleton, became dust, mingled with the atmosphere. and siddhartha’s soul returned, died, decayed, turned into dust, experienced the troubled course of the life cycle. he waited with new thirst like a hunter at a chasm where the life cycle ends, where there is an end to causes, where painless eternity begins. he killed his senses, he killed his memory, he slipped out of his Self in a thousand different forms. he was an animal, carcass, stone, wood, water and each time he reawakened. the sun or moon shone, he was again Self, swung into the life cycle, felt thirst, conquered thirst, felt new thirst.