Essay on Siddhartha, Path to Enlightenment

1434 Words Nov 10th, 2010 6 Pages
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, is the story of a young man searching for enlightenment. Through his journey, Siddhartha follows several Buddhist and Hindu paths to achieve his ultimate goal of enlightenment. Siddhartha follows the path of the Brahmin, the Samana, the materialistic gambler, and eventually the Buddhist middle path. Being the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha leads a privileged life, but this isn’t enough for him. Siddhartha had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and after a time, he leaves his father to find his own path to Nirvana. Although Siddhartha was raised in a strict Hindu society, his path to Nirvana was a combination of Buddhism, and Hinduism. Siddhartha first follows the Hindu traditions. He learns from his father …show more content…
As with the Brahmins, Siddhartha’s experience with the Samanas is not a fulfilling one. Hesse writes, “he slipped out of his Self in a thousand different forms. He was animal, carcass, stone, wood, water, and each time he reawakened” (Pg-15). Siddhartha learned a great deal from the Samanas, yet he was still unable to reach enlightenment. During his time with the Samanas, Siddhartha never saw or heard of a single person achieving enlightenment. Feeling disillusioned with the teachings of others, Siddhartha decided to leave the Samanas, and seek out the venerable Buddha. Siddhartha seeks out the Buddha and hears his sermon, but he ultimately decides to seek his own path to enlightenment. In leaving the Buddha, Siddhartha begins to follow a Buddhist path. Siddhartha says, “But there is one thing that this clear, worthy instruction does not contain; it does not contain the secret of what the Illustrious One himself experienced he alone among hundreds of thousands" (Pg-34). In this part of his journey, Siddhartha realizes that no one can teach him how to achieve enlightenment. As Gautama did before him, Siddhartha heads out to find his own path to enlightenment. After leaving Gautama, Siddhartha decides to experience the world of ordinary living. Siddhartha sees a beautiful young courtesan, Kamala, and begs her to teach him the art of love. She tells Siddhartha that he
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