Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha: Enlightenment Can Not Exist Without Love

1062 words - 5 pages

Relationships are composed of multiple manipulating factors: trust, honesty, attraction, passion, compatibleness, and many other emotion rattling components. However, the fundamental ingredient that commences a healthy relationship is love. Love is comparable to the seeking for enlightenment. “Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal” (113). Love is natural; it is not sought out or prospective. Love is not tangible. It brings a comfort, protectiveness, disillusion, and the million of nervous butterflies that clutter a stomach. Hermann Hesse journeyed through Siddhartha’s life covering his ambivalent relationships throughout the novel. Siddhartha’s relationships fluctuated with the changes he made for himself. Once a Brahmin, he respected his father’s thoughts and followed his teachings. Craving to be a Samana, he left behind love in order to find a new. When that was not enough, his love desired more and materialistic items captured his soul. He wanted to be taught love from who he thought was a prime master only to run away from her in the end. His love then was to find his Self. The river washed all his relationships into one place. Through Hesse, Siddhartha proved that without his relationships with his father, Kamala, and himself, his path to enlightenment would have not developed.
Siddhartha’s father, a noble Brahmin, gave his son the gift of not only his teachings but also his love. As Siddhartha grew older, he rejected his father’s love. He wanted to explore beyond the Brahmin tradition and uncover Nirvana. His father restricted Siddhartha’s ability to realize spiritual wisdom, which gave him the reason to abandon it. However, his father was hesitant for him to no longer reside in their Brahmin household and set him free into the unrestricted, open cultured world. “The Brahmin was silent so long that the stars passed across the small window and changed their design before the silence in the room was finally broken” (7). His father had to let love go in order for it to find its own place. Siddhartha had to leave love behind for his own best interest. Their short-lived relationship quickly evaporated after Siddhartha chose to find a new love outside of tradition, risking the factor of never returning home. He became a Samana and began to follow the teachings of Buddha. Likewise, he quickly rejects this love because the teachings did not lead him to enlightenment. His relationship with his father slowly diminished with the years he spent in search of enlightenment. As he grew old, his reflection in the river emulated his father. “Had not his father also suffered the same pain that he was now suffering for his son?” (107). Siddhartha now related to the lost love his father experienced. He now suffered the emptiness and the realization of never seeing his son again. The relationship with his father was never strong due to Siddhartha leaving at such a young age. His path of enlightenment...

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