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Commentary on Siddhartha Essay


A Life of a Buddhist

In the novel Siddhartha written by Herman Hesse, the author reflects a persons happiness by being content with what he has. Being young and naive, teenagers like Siddhartha are at a stage in their life where their identity is unknown. Siddhartha questions his faith, knowledge, and his Atmans teachings because he feels the seeds of discontent within him. In his life, he had everything a boy could wish for; loving parents, friendship with Govinda, knowledge from the wise Brahmins, and love form the young Brahmins daughters. Siddhartha is blessed for lofty brows, king-like eyes, and for having a slim figure; but that does not bring him happiness at all. In his life as a buddhist, Siddhartha will find true happiness as he encounters different people that will teach him to love, to be patient, and to be content with life.

Siddhartha is slow to realize how lucky he was to have a family that supports him. The Brahmins taught him the best of their wisdom and knowledge that can satisfy his needs. However, his longing for happiness is still there.

Brahmins, had already passed on to him the bulk and best of their wisdom, that they had already poured the sum total of their knowledge into his waiting vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was nor still. The ablutions were good, but they were water; they did not wash sins away, they did not relieve the distressed heart. The sacrifices and the suppication of the gods were excellent--but were they everything? Did the sacrifices give happiness? (Hesse 5).

His distressed heart cannot accept the life that he has right now. He believes there is something greater besides having his family, friends, and teachers guiding him. After thinking it through, he sets on a journey to find true happiness; love.

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