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"Siddhartha's Journey" By Hesse Essay

871 words - 3 pages

There are two parts to the main theme of this work. One part is that people can teach religious doctrine, but it may not lead one to find one's true inner 'self'. The other part is that knowledge can be taught, but wisdom comes from experience. The main character, Siddhartha, came to understand these things during his glorious journey to find spiritual enlightenment in the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.In order to find his 'self', Siddhartha undertook a quest that was split into four main parts. These parts include: understanding, escape from 'self', knowledge of 'self', and wisdom, (enlightenment). The first part, understanding, involved him living with his father who was a brahmin. Siddhartha realized that he made everybody else happy but that he himself wasn't. He also got the feeling that he had already learned the best of what his teachers had to teach but it still wasn't enough. He still wasn't satisfied. One day he and his friend, Govinda, meditated by a banyan tree. Siddhartha recited the verse:'Om is the bow, the arrow is the soul,Brahman is the arrow's goalAt which one aims unflinchingly.'(8)It was after meditating with Govinda that he realized what he had to do. In an attempt to reach the arrow's goal, he would leave his father to join the Samanas who he thought had the secrets to finding the 'self'.While with the Samanas Siddhartha learned many ways to escape the 'self'. He would do this through meditation, abandonment of the body, fasting, and the holding of breath. He abandoned his body through these ways many times but would still always come back to being Self and Siddhartha. He would come back to feel the torment of that life cycle. Siddhartha soon found out that he was, in fact, going in circles. He saw that he was not gaining any knowledge from temporary escape but he would come back and find everything as it was before. This caused him not to believe in the Samana's practices and eventually resulted in Siddhartha leaving the Samanas to find spiritual enlightenment elsewhere.The third part in Siddhartha's quest was the knowledge of 'self'. This was after he had met and spoken to Gotama, the Illustrious Buddha. He spoke to him about his concerns for finding the 'self'. Siddhartha thought that if he were to just follow the teachings and not experience them for himself that he would deceive himself into believing that he was at peace when he actually wasn't. He decided to leave his friend and find his 'self' the way...

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