Themes In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

730 WordsDec 9, 20173 Pages
In the novel Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, themes from Hinduism and Buddhism appear frequently. The concept of Maya is one theme that stands out more than the others. Maya, defined as: “the powerful force that creates the cosmic illusion that the phenomenal world is real” (Britannica), this definition is explaining that Maya is the material and unimportant parts of life that are meant to distract people and prevent them from achieving Nirvana. Nirvana is defined as: “the final beatitude that transcends suffering, karma and samsara… through the extinction of desire and individual consciousness” (Merriam Webster), in Buddhism Nirvana is the goal and once that has been completed one would end the cycle of rebirth and be considered all…show more content…
By showing Siddhartha greed Kamaswami pushed Siddhartha further away from Nirvana, leading him on a path to Sansara. Siddhartha begins to feel more and more like the “childlike” people, “Slowly the disease of the soul, which rich people have, grabbed hold of him” (72). In this quote, one can see not only the disease that affects Kamaswami, but also the illness that is beginning to affect Siddhartha. It is being shown that the more time that Siddhartha has spent with Kamaswami the farther away he is getting from reaching Nirvana. During Siddhartha’s time with Kamaswami is his darkest time. There is a moment in the novel when the audience is supposed to realize that Siddhartha’s qualities from being a Samana have left him, “Property, possessions, and riches also had finally captured him” (72). During this dark time in Siddhartha’s life he is no better than the people he once mocked. Siddhartha in this moment has been consumed but the illusion of Maya, desire, and greed. Ultimately, until Siddhartha leaves Kamaswami he is stuck in a state of Samsara, distracted by the deception of Maya. Siddhartha jr. opens up one of the softer parts of Maya, however it still brings brings suffering into Siddhartha’s life. Siddhartha jr. teaches Siddhartha how to feel fatherly love, and how to have goals and hopes that his child doesn’t make the same mistakes that he did. As Siddhartha discusses his son with Vasudeva he comes to a realization, “won’t he lose himself to pleasure
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