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Hinduism In Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha Essay

834 words - 3 pages

Hinduism is a religion with no known founder, with its understandings and actions developing over thousands of years. This religion has roots from the Aryan people’s religion, when they invaded India at 1500 BCE. The Aryans created a caste system when they invaded India so their kin would remain in power. Hinduism has absorbed and accepted this caste system as a large part of their religion. They believe in reincarnation, which is being reborn after you die, and Samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. If the person completes their dharma, the rules of their caste, and live a good moral life then they advance to the next caste, but if they do bad in their life then they remain at their caste level or they are downgraded. The most respected caste group is the Brahmins, they are high priests, making them very religious, and they are the closest in the caste system to reaching moksha, release from samsara or entering paradise. Another way of viewing moksha is that their Atman, the soul, gets reunited with the Brahman, the universal spirit. They then infer that everything that does not exist forever, unlike their Atman, are not real, which they call a veil, also known as Maya, because it is not permanent. Along with reincarnation there exists karma, similar to the idea what comes around goes around, so if you live an immoral life, your future lives will be a punishment. Guidance for priests and rituals are written in the most ancient Hindu scriptures called Vedas. The Rig Veda is the most important scripture out of the Vedas. The Upanishads, however, explain the Vedas through a teacher student dialogue, this helps anyone learn the Vedas much easier. Finally, the rituals described in these scriptures include meditation, speaking the sacred “Om”, and cleansing their bodies with water. Many of these ideas are often used in the book Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, proving that Hinduism is a key aspect in this piece of literature.
There are multiple in-text examples of Hindu phrases and ideas all throughout the book Siddhartha. One example is the use of the word caste, the social, religious, and political status of each Hindu. The text states, “Still, even in the deepest meditation, he had been his father’s son, had been a Brahmin, a cleric of a...

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