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Siddhartha: Gratitude For The Mentors Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

Carl Jung once said, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for growing plant and for the soul of the child.” Siddhartha, a novel by Hermann Hesse, follows Siddhartha through his life stages. While Siddhartha searches for enlightenment and Nirvana; going from Brahmin, to the rich, then to having nothing. The audience can read about his struggles and sufferings that guide him to enlightenment. Siddhartha’s journey gives him several teachers and mentors; some were conventional and some more symbolic. All of them though were important and help Siddhartha to his enlightenment.
The first teachers that Siddhartha has are the Brahmins and the Samanas. They are important though they do not lead him to his goal, but guide him to a path of enlightenment. “He had begun to suspect that his worthy father and his other teachers, the wise Brahmins, had already passed on to him the bulk and best of their knowledge.” (3) The Brahmins were important to Siddhartha, because they give Siddhartha a religious foundation. At the same time though Siddhartha knows if he stays with the Brahmin he will not grow spiritually. The audience comes to this solution when Siddhartha says, “And the vessel was not full.” (3) “Then the father realized that Siddhartha could no longer remain with him at home – that he had already left him.” (9) The realization that Siddhartha’s father teaches him everything he knows, helps him let go of Siddhartha. His father understands that Siddhartha hasn’t filled his thirst, therefore he hands him over to the next teacher, the Samana, hoping to help Siddhartha’s goals of enlightenment. “We shall grow as old as he, and do exercises and fast and meditate, but we will not attain Nirvana neither he nor we.” (14) Siddhartha tells Govinda this after learning from the Samanas, Siddhartha finds out that his vessels is still not full. Siddhartha’s first teachers were religious mentors, unlike his future teachers. Even though his religious mentors don’t lead him to Nirvana they give him a foundation, and give Siddhartha a guide to lead him though his journey.
Following the learning from the religious teachers Siddhartha tries for the unconventional teacher like Kamaswami. “He was no Brahmins, sharing the life of the Brahmins, no ascetic belonging to the Samanas.” (33) Siddhartha thinks that he might not need a religious mentor to find his path, hence why he wants to learn from Kamaswami, who is opposite from his previous mentors. “I have learned from you how much a basket of fish costs and how much interest one can claim for lending money.” (56) Siddhartha says that to Kamaswami when he realizes that Kamaswami wasn’t as important, even though he does teach Siddhartha what isn’t important in the whole scheme of life, which helps further down Siddhartha’s path. “Now everything is easy, as easy as the...

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