Siddhartha

Siddhartha Siddhartha has been searching for fulfillment all his life.

Though he was the most scholarly and respected Brahmin, this did not satisfy him. He drank knowledge, yet still felt ignorant. He could not find peace.

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He could not find fulfillment.His journey is essentially one of trial and error, suffering, mistakes, and rebirth. He was the son of a Brahmin priest and gained all the knowledge he could acquire, learned and practiced the ways of the Brahmin, but found it was not for him. It did not fulfill him, so he left and became a Samana, living by not living, conquering his Self through pain, hunger and fatigue. Yet, he could not lose his Self. He could only deceive it, trick it, run away from it, and each time it returned mockingly.

Because of this, he leaves the Samanas. He finds and listens to the teachings of the illustrious Buddha. He sees that Gotama has attained enlightenment, but he does not practice the ways of the Buddha for he knows that he must take his own path, find his own peace, attain nirvana on his own. So he sets out on this quest alone. Only then does he discover the error of his ways.

He realizes that there is beauty in life, the world is not an illusion, but very real to him. He goes and lives among the common people in a small town where he becomes a successful business man. He learns the art of love, business, and human nature. Slowly he deters, becoming a gambler, eating rich foods, drowning himself in money and drink. He becomes more and more disgusted with himself.

Finally, when he can take it no longer, he flees the town in hopes of escaping this new Siddhartha whom he despised. Feeling utterly hopeless, when he reaches a river, he longs to end his life by submerging himself in the water. As he bent down, he heard a sound from a remote part of his soul, and awoke him from the gravity of the mistake he was about to make. It was the sound Om, that saved his life and lulled him to sleep. Upon awakening he found himself changed, renewed, and reborn. He was no longer the man he recognized nor the man that his friend Govinda, who was watching him sleep, recognized. Only by losing everything did he begin to find himself.

At the brink of death, where he was about to end his life, did he finally discover himself again. All these transitory things have slipped away from him, and he is once more standing beneath the sun as he once stood as a small child. Nothing is mine, I know nothing, I possess nothing, I have learned nothing..

Now, when I am no longer young, when my hair is fast growing gray, when strength begins to diminish, now I am beginning again like a child, he thinks to himself, I had to become a fool again in order to find Atma in myself. I had to sin in order to live again. Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.

He does follow it. He follows it right to Vesudeva, the ferryman. He stays with Vesudeva and learns the ways of the river. He learned to listen openly and freely, without judgement or opinions. He learned that time does not exist, that everything has reality and presence.Living simply, but happily as a ferryman he learns from the river; it talks to him; it teaches him. In taking care of his son, and losing him, he finds love, an emotion that he once thought he was not capable of.

Regardless of his son’s disobedience, and lack of respect, Siddhartha loved him blindly and unconditionally. Only when his son runs away does he realize that he is his son. He, too, chose to leave his father, to find his own path, make his own mistakes, suffer from his own sins, before he finally found his path. I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. Siddhartha evolved at each stage of his life. After each phase he became more aware of his Self.

He spent his entire life running away from his Self, trying to destroy it, only to finally merge with his self in unity.Vesudeva taught him this. He did not make him practice self torture, sacrificial rights or religious ceremonies. He helped him find nirvana by teaching him to listen to the river and learn from it.

He finally attained peace when he heard the thousand voices of the river, not as individual voices of sorrow or joy, but as one single unified voice, their great song, all in one word: Om- perfection. His wound was healing, his pain was dispersing; his Self had merged into unity. From that hour Siddahartha ceased to fight against his destiny. By finally surrendering himself to the stream and belonging to the unity of things, he attained nirvana and found inner peace.Religion Essays.

Siddhartha

Religion plays a large part in everyones life. In Herman Hesses epic story Siddhartha the aspect of religion is taken apart and looked at from nearly every possible angle. There are many key concepts revolving around the main theme of religion, but three which seem to me to be the most important and powerful are the ideas of control of self and soul; that knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom; and the closely related ideas that time is not real and The Oneness of All Experience.In Siddhartha the idea of Control of Self and Soul is very important, not only to religion but in the gaining of knowledge and wisdom. Once a woman tempts Siddhartha to make love with her, but he hardens his soul and moves on. Shortly thereafter he finds the courtesan Kamala who captivates him and with whom he later learns the art of love.

He is then glad that he resisted temptation. Siddhartha becomes rich so that he may experience all of life, and when he becomes nauseous with the pointlessness of his wealthy life and tries to commit suicide, he stops himself and thinks about what he is doing. He soon realizes the folly of his action and starts his life anew. Siddhartha believes that anything can be overcome if one will control himself.

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he expresses this to Kamala one day, saying; “Nothing is caused by demons; there are no demons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goal, if he can think, wait and fast.” I agree with Siddharthas thinking. All problems can be solved, you just have to know how to do it.

The second concept in Siddhartha is the idea that knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. Siddhartha believes this very strongly, and feels it is only right that one must gain wisdom for himself. When he and Govinda come to the garden of the Buddha and listen to Gotomas words, Govinda is immediately converted and stays. Siddhartha, however, does not. He respects Gotoma and believes that he has actually reached Nirvana, but Siddhartha does not believe that Gotoma can teach him to reach it. Later Siddhartha finds himself at a river, having run away from his riches. Here he sees another wise man, Vasudeva, the ferryman.

He stays at the river and learns wisdom for himself. Siddhartha learns of the wonders of life, and that what he had always held to be true was true; that wisdom is not teachable. When he again meets his friend Govinda he tells him of the wisdom that he has found. “Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

“He then tells Govinda about Vasudeva. “For example, there was a man at this ferry who was my predecessor and teacher. He was a holy man who for many years believed only in the river and nothing else. He noticed that the rivers voice spoke to him. He learned from it; it educated and taught him. The river seemed like a god to him and for many years he did not know that every wind, every cloud, every bird, every beetle is equally divine and knows and can teach just as well as the esteemed river.

” Belief is everything, and I believe in what this book says, that everything is important, no matter how small. I also believe that it Siddhartha is correct; that wisdom is not communicable. A man can spend years learning physics and can be so intelligent that he invents the next nuclear weapon, but did he have the wisdom not to build it in the first place? The answer is no. The third key concept in Siddhartha is really two very closely related ideas. The idea that time is not real and the oneness of all experience.

All experience is happening every moment. Everything exists all at once, and the only thing separating these existances is the illusion of time. When Siddhartha is sitting by the river Vasudeva comes up to him and asks what he has learned from the river, and Siddhartha tells him that he has learned that time is not real. The river is at its mouth and its source and the waterfall and there with them at all times and yet it is always going, always flowing. Later, when Siddhartha again meets Govinda he tells Govinda of what he has learned. He first shows Govinda a rock, and explains how the rock is not just a rock now and maybe something else later, but that it is all things now; that it is everything it will ever be at this moment, because these different forms are only separated by time, which is an illusion.

When he finishes telling Govinda about what he has learned he asks Govinda to kiss him on the forehead, and as Govinda did this, he saw the truth of all things. Govinda realized that all things are coexistent, that Siddhartha was but one face of his form, one of a thousand others.”He 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, which all came and disappeared and yet all seemed to be there at the same time, which all continually changed and renewed themselves and which were yet all Siddhartha. …

.. He saw all these forms and faces in a thousand relationships to each other, all helping each other, loving, hating and destroying each other and becoming newly born. Each one was mortal, a passionate, painful example of all that is transitory. Yet none of them died, they only changed, were always reborn, continually had a new face: only time stood between one face and another.

” Im not sure if this is true, but it makes you wonder, it makes you think of the endless possibilities of life. Many books deal with the concept of the illusion of time, but I wonder if we will ever no the truth, if we will ever achieve Nirvana.The one religious aspect I truly envy is the realization that time is not real. It would be wonderful if it were true, which it very well may be.

I also love the control of spirit shown in the novel. The part were Siddhartha pushes outward with his soul and becomes other animals is fascinating. It reminds me of a lyric from one of ZZ Tops greatest hits. “Im shuffling through the Texas sands but my heads in Mississippi.”

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