Eco-Spiritual Concerns in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

1710 Words Jun 20th, 2018 7 Pages
We currently exist in a world hemmed with electronic media and information technology that affords no queries or space for any quests whatsoever. The world, bereft of any spiritual values, with technological avant-gardism has sped us unconsciously into a world of wares and expenses. The enquiries that met the intellectuals of the past about the problems of the flesh and spirit have been left apart as groundless and inappropriate for the youth of the contemporary world. There is, in such a situation, no space for spiritual experience and satiation. In such a scenario, this paper’s aim to attempt a re-reading of Hermann Hesse’s has great relevance as it holds forth myriad values for our present sensitive ecology. The magnificent, yet …show more content…
He travelled the way of self- denial through meditation, through the emptying of the mind of all images. Along these and other paths did he learn to travel. He lost his Self a thousand times and for days on end he dwelt in non-being. But although the paths took him away from Self, in the end they always led back to it… he would again find himself in sunshine or in moonlight, in shadow or in rain, and was again Self and Siddhartha, again felt the torment of the onerous life cycle (13).
Siddhartha’s encounter with Gotama is significant for various reasons. He, with wonder and awe, inspects the being of the Illustrious One. His peaceful countenance inspires Siddhartha and he examines carefully:
The Buddha went quietly on his way, lost in thought. His peaceful countenance was neither happy nor sad. He seemed to be smiling gently inwardly. With a secret smile, not unlike that of a healthy child, he walked along peacefully, quietly. He wore his gown and walked along exactly like the other monks, but his face and his step, his peaceful downward glance, his peaceful downward hanging hand, and very finger of his hand spoke of peace, spoke of completeness, sought nothing, imitated nothing, reflected a continual quiet, an unfading light, an invulnerable peace (23).
However Siddhartha’s search does not end with the encounter with the Illustrious One. While Govinda chooses to follow Buddha, Siddhartha proceeds further. The scholar in him rouses and he contemplates: “I will learn