Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Essay
467 Words2 Pages
Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha
Growing up, children learn most everything from their elders. Yet, an elder nor a book can help a person to enlightenment. Nor can they teach a person to find their soul. The path to a person’s Atman is a personal journey, one to be endured, not taught. The meaning of a person’s life is not a subject to be read in books. The meaning of life is slowly attained through wisdom, enduring life and searching for the right path along the way. In the novel Siddhartha, Gotama cannot teach enlightenment because that wisdom cannot be communicated through words, only through experience. In the novel Siddhartha, a young man begins life as someone who has been handed all the tools for ‘success’.…show more content…
Siddhartha then sets out on his own path, on which he eventually reaches his goal of Nirvana. As children, people are taught not to touch the hot stove, or to hit their siblings. Although a person’s parents is oftentimes their primary teacher, other people are always their throughout a person’s life to teach them things. While a child is taught as much as they can possibly be taught, not everything can be taught. Anyone can describe a broken heart, but no one can really know what it is like until they experience it. If someone had never seen the color blue, it could be described to them, but they could never actually know what it looked like until they saw it for themselves. As individuals, there are things that we must learn for ourselves. Throughout the beginning of the novel, Siddhartha has an extraordinary passion for people and their well being. He is almost never selfish, something that very few people can claim. As he becomes prosperous in business, he becomes bored. With that boredom comes a contempt for people in general, especially people who were like him, bored and not really going anywhere in relation to their spirituality. Siddhartha had seen among the rich people in his culture, but he had never experienced it before. This aspect of Siddhartha’s life is something else that cannot be taught, but rather learned. Whether a person is young or old, there are still
Essay on River in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
753 Words4 Pages
River in "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse
The river is a source of knowledge. It symbolises a teacher, a guru, one who knows and is aware of this knowledge and who imparts it to those who seek knowledge from it. In Herman Hesse’s novella Siddhartha, the protagonist Siddhartha is deeply mystified by the secrets and puzzles of the river. He seeks to unravel and them and gain knowledge from the river in order to achieve his goal of attaining nirvana, enlightenment. He is helped in his course by a ferryman Vasudeva, who has lived all his life close to the river, transporting people from one side to the other. He too has learnt a lot from the river. He helps Siddhartha in understanding the river and at instances, clarifies his doubt.…show more content…
Siddhartha recounts his life to him which
Vasudeva listens with intense concentration and attention. Vasudeva tells him “The river has taught……..the other thing too”. Vasudeva, being quite experienced about the river, tells Siddhartha that he will definitely learn much from the river. He says that Siddhartha had already learnt one thing about the river that it is good to seek, to go into depth and this was very good. Vasudeva says “The river knows everything” on pg 170. The river is a universal source of knowledge and it would impart knowledge to Siddhartha since he whished to seek knowledge from it. It would also teach him how to attain nirvana, that which he was so eager to attain.
In the end, after searching so much for nirvana, after living through so much, Siddhartha attains salvation in front of the river. Vasudeva helps him to listen deeply to the river after Siddhartha tells him everything, all that he felt, all his wounds, all his sins. Hesse says
“His wound was healing……..belonging to the unity of all things” on pg
199. Here, Hesse says that Siddhartha had finally attained nirvana, he had attained his goal, and he had merged his Self into everything.
Siddhartha had become a very simple soul, a soul that was everything and not just one thing. Siddhartha’s final step in attaining enlightenment was listening to the river. This shows that the river was the