Siddhartha Essay

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Siddhartha

Many books have great stories to tell. A lot have a deep message to convey. Siddhartha however, is a unique book. Though simple in its style, it is deep in meaning. One can take in its plot and get out of it a good story. On the other hand one can read deeper into it and try to find meaning from the story. Hermann Hesse somehow manages to tell something to the reader that is much deeper than the words he writes on the page. Perhaps it is the words he chooses that helps readers relate to Siddhartha. Maybe it’s the dreamlike feeling one gets after reading the book, partially due to how time is not linear in it. Whole years pass without notice, then just a day or two are focused on. This shows how Hesse is less
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Siddhartha also believed that the wise Brahmin teachers had already passed on to him the bulk of their knowledge. With that, one day he and Govinda went to a banyan tree to pronounce Om, the sacred Hindu syllable. When Siddhartha was done meditating he no longer felt that he could stay there any more. He felt that in order to achieve inner peace he had to move on. Asking Govinda to come with him, he decided to join a band of Samanas. When he goes home to ask for his father’s permission, his father thinks for a long time before denying his son his request. Siddhartha stands in the same place all night in defiance and upon much consideration, his father finally grants him permission to leave. The next morning, Siddhartha and Govinda leave with the group of Samanas. Siddhartha joined the Samanas and assumed the life of an ascetic hoping to attain Nirvana. He believed that by denying his body, his soul would flourish. To become empty of all things- thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure, and sorrow- was the only way to become empty and let the Self die. “He ate only once a day and never cooked food. He fasted for fourteen days. He fasted for twenty-eight days. The flesh disappeared from his legs and cheeks. Strange dreams were reflected in his enlarged eyes. The nails grew long on his thin fingers and a dry, bristly beard appeared on his chin. His glance became icy when he encountered women; his lips curled with
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