ZEN AND NOW - THE LIFE STORY OF SIDDHARTHA
The story told in 18 Chapters. There is a natural break after 9 Chapters.
The first half tells of Siddhartha's experience up to his night under the Bodhi Tree.
The second half tells of what he did and what happened to him after his night of enlightenment.
There is an Overture for each half.
The story alternates between narrative and songs.
Each song relates to the theme of that part of the story.
If you want to see the whole sequence, or the song sequence or the narration sequence, click on the YouTube Playlist links on the next page. The videos are also available on Vimeo.
You might like to listen and watch one chapter at a time or in small sections of three or six chapters at a time.
Links to the three YouTube Playlists
Here are three links to the YouTube Playlists.
The Complete Video links takes you to the Playlist for all the videos in sequence interweaving Songs and Narration.
The Songs Only takes you to the Songs in sequence playlist.
The Narration Only takes you to the Narration in sequence playlist.
The videos are also available on Vimeo.
The Overture, as in many musicals and opera, combines several of the musical themes from the show. The Overture combines the themes from Hate is the Gate, Simple Song and Now and Forever.
In the beginning ....
2,500 years ago between the mountains and the river, between the Himalayas and the Ganges, lay the world of the Shakya, an independent republic between two fast-growing monarchies: Kosala and Magadha. Suddhodana was a powerful leader of the Shakya; his wife was Maya. Their home was in Kapilavastu.
SONG: WELCOME TO WORLD OF THE SHAKYA
The Shakya live beneath the world’s highest mountains, the Himalayas, and the world greatest river, the Ganges. In this fertile plain the Shakya Republic thrives.
MAYA'S DREAM -
Maya is pregnant with their longer-for child. Suddhodana calls for seers to predict the child’s future. Maya dreams of an elephant piercing her side. Following Shakya tradition, Maya sets out to her family home to have her baby.
SONG: MAYA'S DREAM
Maya dreams of the various prophecies made about her child. In her dream we hear the Seers, Suddhodanna and Maya's own voice interweaving.
I SHOW YOU SORROW
Before reaching her home, Maya gives birth in the garden at Lumbini. She falls ill soon after the birth.
2.2 SONG Farther Shore
A few days after the birth Maya is dying.
Suddhodana names their child “Siddhartha”.
He who will achieve what he sets out to do.
CHAPTER 3 LUXURY LIFE
Siddhartha's father tries to shelter him from the world by giving him a luxurious life in the family palaces.
SONG: SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE
At the palace there is constant entertainment with plenty of singing and dancing.
Siddhartha begins to question. He grows doubtful about his luxurious life.
SIDDHARTHA CLASHES WITH DEVADATTA
Siddhartha clashes with his cousin Devadatta. Devadatta shoots down a swan in flight.
SONG: Wake up dead
Devadatta sings his warning to Siddhartha.
LOVE OF MY LIFE
Siddhartha marries Yasodhara
SONG: I’ll compare thee
4.2 Siddhartha and Yasodhara sing of their love
BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY
Siddhartha decides to explore the city. Channa, his charioteer takes him outside the palace.
SONG: Stripped off illusions
5.2 Amrapali the courtesan sings:
“I’ve stripped off illusions”
5.3 Siddhartha explores the city
Siddhartha explores the city and for the first time sees sickness, old age and death. He also sees a serene holy man.
6.1 Rahula is born
To their delight Siddhartha and Yasodhara have a son, Rahula.
SONG: NEVER APART
Yasodhara and Siddhartha sing of their committed love for each other whatever may happen.
LEAVING THE PALACE:
THE DECISION AND THE QUEST
THE DECISION AND THE QUEST
Siddhartha is torn. He loves his life at the palace with his wife and son, but he knows that he must seek to understand the world and how to save those he loved from suffering.
SONG: AFTER TOMORROW
Siddhartha and Yasodhara sing of his decision to embark on his quest.
THE QUEST FOR THE GOOD LIFE
On the rich fertile plains of the Ganges cities were growing. Outside the cities in the forests there were people searching for new ways to live. There were many philosophers, holy men and teachers with different approaches and theories. Siddhartha was hungry for knowledge.
SONG: WHERE IS THE GOOD LIFE? CHORUS
Where is the good life to be found?
All the philosophers try to answer this question.
Siddhartha experiments with different philosophies of life.
He is impressed by the ascetics,
He tries to follow their path to its extreme.
He starves and becomes like a skeleton.
7.4 The Ascetic Life
Siddhartha experiments with the ascetic way of life and nearly starves himself to death.
Sujata the milkmaid has a row with her family.
Sujata complains that her parents misunderstand her.
8.3 Sujata rebels
Sujata decides to disobey her father's orders and she gives food to a starving man rather than make an offering to the forest gods.
8.4 Siddhartha recovers
As Sujata feeds Siddhartha he begins to recover his strength.
Sujata sings of her delight in her new friend Siddhartha.
8.6 Siddhartha meditates beneath the bodhi tree
Siddartha meditates beneath the bodhi tree. He brings everything to mind.
9.3 Siddhartha’s encounter with Mara and the night of light
9.3 Siddhartha faces up to all the evils of the world.
SONG 9.5 Simple Song
Siddhartha sees clearly.
9.6 Simple Song Al's version
9.6 This version of the visuals for Simple Song was put together by my Grandson Al.
Overture to Part Two
The Overture to Part two begins with music about the Universe and its development
10.1 The Next Morning
A New Dawn
Add a The next morning Siddhartha is a changed man.
10.1 What can I say?
Siddhartha considers how to communicate his vision.
SONG: Now and Forever solo
Siddhartha sings of his Enlightenment.
10.4 No separate ego
10.4 The illusion of separateness.
10.5 Siddhartha sets the wheel in motion.
10.6 The Four Noble Truths
Siddhartha uses a medical metaphor to understand suffering - its causes and cures.
CHAPTER 11 The necklace of fingers
11.1 The story of Angulimala.
Angulimala and Siddhartha
Angulimala and Siddhartha meet.
SONG: Hate is the gate
A Song about how Angulimala and Siddhartha come face to face.
11.4 Angulimala transformed
After meeting Siddhartha Angulimala's life is transformed.
12.1 The story of Kisa Gotami
Kisa Gotami's child has died.
SONG: So many ways to die
The widow Kisa Gotami and Siddhartha sing.
CHAPTER 13 Devadatta
THE POISON TREE
Devadatta's rivalry with Siddhartha grows more violent.
SONG: YOUR MOTHER...
13.2 Devadatta expresses his violent anger with Siddhartha.
13.3 DEVADATTA PLOTS TO KILL
13.3 Devadatta plots with the ambitious Prince Ajatasatu to kill Siddhartha,
14.2 Stone Walls Singing only
People often fight over their addiction to a local rivalries. This song arises from the Troubles in Ulster.
14.3 Political visions
Who has the right vision?
14.4 Imperialist ambitions. Nationalism often leads to war. The big powers threaten rg
14.5 Rainbow civilisation
14.5 Siddhartha’s vision of the way civilisation should develop.
CHAPTER 15 Fire and Flower
15.1 The fire story.
15.2 The Fire Sermon
Siddhartha talks of fire.
15.3 The Flower sermon
16.1 Siddhartha returns to his family.
SONG: Seemed like a dream
Siddhartha’s family and friends sing.
17.1 The story of King Pasanadi
17.2 The threat to the Sangha grows.
17.2 SONG Time was
Siddhartha's friends sing of their fears.
17.3 The massacre of the Shakya
17.3 The new King Vidudabha carries out his threat.
18.1 Siddhartha's last meal
At Cunda's house Siddhartha eats poisoned food.
18.2 The death of Siddhartha
18.2 The death of Siddhartha.
18.3 SONG Now and Forever
18.3 The dying Siddhartha sings with his family and friends.
Siddhartha's Magic Flute
Here is the flute music that accompanies the Afterword. Siddhartha played the flute and this is for him.