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Commentary on Siddhartha Essay


In the novel of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Siddhartha is called on to the heros journey to find enlightment. The novel is about Siddhartha going to the shramanas, the Buddha, samsara, and the river with the ferryman to find the enlightment and find within himself. Like every heros journey, he comes across trials and temptations.

Before Siddhartha began his journey, he grew up with Brahmins, and already had reached the OM, which is perfection, but within himself, he does not feel that he has reached fully enlightment so that is when his journey begins. He asks his father to leave, but when his father denied him, he silently protested and stood still until his father gave him the permission to become a shramana. Siddhartha disobeyed his father because

When he went with the shramana, he believed he would be able to find enlightment and be fulfilled. With the shramanas, Siddhartha had a single goal before him, one and one only: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of desire, empty of dreams, empty of joy and pain. To die away from himself, no longer to be I, to find peace of the emptied heart, by thinking away from the self to stand open to the miraculous: this was his goal (p.13). Siddhartha is learning to overcome himself by letting go of problems and not realizing the beauty around him in the world and focusing, spiritually, in a different world where everything is almost perfect. With the shramanas, Siddhartha learned to slow his breathing, learned how to manage with little breath, learned how to stop breathing. He learned, beginning with the breath, to lower his pulse, learned to slow the beating of his heart until it was so diminished that it scarcely existed (14). He realized that this way was not the way to enlightment, so when he asked the eldest shramana to leave, the shramana furious, but Siddhartha showed him what he had learned. The shramana bowed down several times before him.

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