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Commentary on Siddhartha Essay


Siddhartha written by Herman Heese follows a boys search for enlightenment. In the beginning of the novel Siddhartha is a dissatisfied because the Brahmin life is not reaching him towards the path of enlightenment. Siddhartha feels that his parents are not guiding him towards the path of enlightenment. He had begun to feel that the love of his father and mother, and also the love of his friend Govinda, would not always make him happy. He had begun to suspect that his worthy father and his other teachers, the wise 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 vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still. Siddhartha with his best friend, Govinda, leave the Brahmins and join the Samanas to find enlightenment.Tomorrow at daybreak I will begin the life of the Samanas. Let us not discuss it again.

The Samanas, are a group of starving half-naked holy men who must beg for food in order to reach enlightenment. The Samanas believe that one must reject their body and physical desire to reach enlightenment. Siddhartha have his clothes to a poor Brahmin and retained only his loincloth and earth-colored unstitched cloak. He ate once a day and never cooked food. He fasted fourteen daystwenty-four days. Siddhartha follows the Samanas and embraces their practices but after three years he realizes that the Samanas will not guide him toward the path of enlightenment. Their teacher has not reached Nirvana and Siddhartha believes he will not either. He is sixty years old and has not attained Nirvana. He will be seventy and eighty years old, and you and I, we shall grow as old as he we will not attain Nirvana.

Siddhartha follows the Buddha around the town because he is fascinated with him.They followed him around townever had he loved a man so much. Siddhartha later criticizes the Buddha for his teaching method. He does not believe in teachers and teachings.O Illustrious One nobody finds salvation through teachings. He comes to the conclusion that the only way he will become enlightened is if he follows no teachers or teachings as the Buddha did. The Buddha has robbed me, yet given me something in greater value. He has robbed me of my friend and given me Siddhartha, myself. Siddhartha will have to become enlightened by himself because he wont follow anybodys teachings. No other teachings will attract me, since this mans (Gotama) teachings have not done so.

Siddhartha realizes that he has been scared to learn about himself.The reason why I do not know anything about myself, the reason why Siddhartha has remained alien and unknown to myself is due to one thing I was afraid of myself. Siddhartha will have to learn from himself. The Buddha learned from his own teachings and Siddhartha believes that the only way he will reach Nirvana is by learning from himself. I will learn from myself, be my own pupil. At the end of the chapter he realizes that he has finally awakened. He has reborn and become a new Siddhartha. I have awakened and have only been born today.

Siddhartha meets a female named Kamala and she has a sexual impact on him. He wants to look good for her so he goes into town to clean himself up a bit. Pursuing it, he surveyed the town, wandered about in the maze of the streets, stood in place. Siddhartha now desires sex, love, and pleasure.Will you give me a kiss for a poem? In order to get to the other town Siddhartha must cross a river and meet a ferry man who is later introduced as Vasudeva.Thank you, good man I am afraid I have no gift to give you, nor any payments I did not expect any payment or gift from you. You will give it to me some other time. Siddhartha vowed that he will not follow anymore teachings but he accepts Kamala as a teacher. He breaks a vow he made days before. Siddhartha kissed her and said good-bye. May it be so, my teacher.

Siddharthas life has changed from caring about enlightenment to only caring about business and keeping Kamala happy. His heart was not indeed in business. It was useful in order to bring money for Kamala, and it brought him more than he really needed. Pleasures such as love and sex have changed Siddharthas purpose in life. He cares more about sex than finding enlightenment. Her body was as supple as a jaguar and a hunters bow; whoever learned about love from her, learned many pleasures, many secrets. She repulsed him, overwhelmed him, conquered him. The soft and dying voice is Siddharthas conscience dying.He real self wandered elsewhere, far away, wandered on and on invisible and had nothing to do with his life.

Siddhartha is a wealthy merchant who just cares about money. Siddhartha began to play dice for money and jewels few dared to play with him for his stakes were so high and reckless. The reference to like a veil shows how Siddhartha has realized that he was living his life the wrong way. Siddhartha has been captured by greed. Property, possessions and riches had also finally trapped him. They were no longer a game and a toy; they had become a chain and a burden. The songbird is a sign to Siddhartha that he needs to get out of the town or he will die shortly. When he throws the bird onto the street Siddhartha is actually throwing his life onto the street. When he woke up from this dream, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of great sadness Siddhartha knew that he could not be a merchant any longer.

Siddhartha leaves Kamala because he is not happy with the way he is living his life. He wishes some outside force would kill him to relieve him from his pain. If only a flash of lightening would strike him! If only a tiger would eat him alive! However, he hears the sound of the river the same river which a ferryman had once taken him when he was still a young man and had come from Gotamas town. The river represents a new life for Siddhartha. The river and the Holy Om put him in a great sleep and he is awakened next to a monk who he realizes is Govinda. Siddhartha recognizes Govinda but Govinda does not recognize Siddhartha. This shows how Siddhartha was not following the path of enlightenment. Both men are on a pilgrimage but Siddhartha looks more like a wealthy merchant than a pilgrim. You say you are making a pilgrimage and I believe you. But forgive me Siddhartha, you do not look like a pilgrim. You are wearing the clothes of a rich man, you are wearing the shoes of a man of fashion, and your perfumed hair is not the hair of a pilgrim, it is not the hair of a Samana. Afterwards, Siddhartha concludes with himself that he had to go through so much stupidity in order to become a child again and begin anew person. Too much knowledge had hindered Siddhartha into following Kamala as a teacher. Now he understood it and realized that the inward voice had been right, that no teacher could have brought him salvation.

Siddhartha wants to remain at the river because the river is a metaphor for life. The river is constantly moving and is always there just like life. The river made him realize that he was not living life that proper way. The river is friendly towards you, too; it speaks to you. That is good, very good. The river taught Vasudeva everything he knows and that is why he is able to listen so well to Siddhartha. The river taught me to listen; you will learn it too. Kamala dies from a snake bite and Siddhartha is saddened by the event but he learns that he has a son. Siddhartha now takes care of his son and feels richer and happier that his son has been given to me

Siddhartha has a horrible relationship with his son. His son is used luxuries in life like fine food and fine clothes and he does not get that with Siddhartha and Vasudeva. Siddharthas son shows no respect to the old people and robbed Vasudevas fruit trees, Siddhartha began to realize that no happiness and peace had come to him with his son, only sorrow and trouble. But he loved him. Siddhartha loves his son but he doesnt want to see his son disobey his authority. Siddhartha says that knowledge is Stronger than his knowledge was his love for the boy, his devotion, his fear of losing him. Siddhartha concludes that he must let his son go. Vasudeva tells Siddhartha that his son is doing what you yourself [Siddhartha] have neglected to do. He is looking after himself; he is going his own way.

The significance of Om that Siddhartha hears at the river states that he has reached enlightenment.Vasudevas smile was radiant; it hovered brightly in all the wrinkles of his old face, as the Om hovered river all the voices of the river. His smile was radiant as he looked at his friend, and now the same smile appeared on Siddharthas face. The significance of Oneness is having every feeling you have ever felt combine into one feeling. They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. Siddhartha tells Vasudeva all his problems and worries and then he notices that his teacher is a holy man, a saint. He noticed how attentive Vasudeva was and came to the conclusion that only a holy man can absorb all this information.He felt that this motionless listener was abosirbing his confession as a tree absorbs the rain, that this motionless man was the river itself, that he was God Himself, that he was eternity itself.When Siddhartha stared into the water he had an epiphany from all the events in his life. He saw his father lonely, mourning over his son; he saw himself, lonely, also with the bonds of longing for his faraway son; His philosophy is to be a ferryman as Vasudeva was. It is now Siddharthas job to carry men, women, and children across the river.

When Siddhartha meets Govinda he sees his friend struggling to reach enlightenment. Siddhartha tells Govinda that he is thinking about enlightenment and needs to absorb teachings because seeking means to have a goal. (not after its b4)He only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing that he is seeking. Anyone can become a Buddha Siddharhta tells Govinda, even the robber and dice gambler. Afterwards, he tells Govinda that wisdom cannot be communicated One must become enlightened by him/herself not by the teachings of others.Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. Later he tells Govinda about Vasudeva and how the river spoke to him and taught him everything that he knew.He was a holy man who for many years believed onlu in the river and nothing elsethe river seemed like a god to him. Shortly, Siddhartha tells to Govinda to kiss him on his forehead. Govinda does so and he sees no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha. Instead he saw other faces, many faces, a long series a continuous stream of faces-hundreds-thousands This is exactly what Siddhartha saw when he looked into the river and saw the faces of his father and Kamala. At the end of the novel Siddhartha has a radiant smile on his face. His smile is similar to that of the Buddhas and it shows that he has become enlightened.

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