Siddhartha, Path to Enlightenment

1420 words 6 pages
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, is the story of a young man searching for enlightenment. Through his journey, Siddhartha follows several Buddhist and Hindu paths to achieve his ultimate goal of enlightenment. Siddhartha follows the path of the Brahmin, the Samana, the materialistic gambler, and eventually the Buddhist middle path. Being the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha leads a privileged life, but this isn’t enough for him. Siddhartha had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and after a time, he leaves his father to find his own path to Nirvana. Although Siddhartha was raised in a strict Hindu society, his path to Nirvana was a combination of Buddhism, and Hinduism. Siddhartha first follows the Hindu traditions. He learns from his father …show more content…

It is important to note that at this juncture, Siddhartha is following the Hindu path of desire. Siddhartha desires Kamala’s company, and Kamala desires Siddhartha to be well dressed and bring her gifts. As a result of Siddhartha’s employment, he begins to get attached to his newly found worldly possessions. Although Siddhartha is trying to experience his life fully, his attitude has not changed much from the time he was a Samana. Siddhartha still feels distant from other people, and the only time that distance is remotely bridged is when he is with Kamala. Slowly Siddhartha began to grow attached to his new life. As a consequence of this new attachment, Siddhartha's inner voice begins to silence, and his desire for enlightenment begins to fade. Hesse says, "the soul sickness of the rich crept over him, and Siddhartha gives himself completely to his acquisitiveness and his insatiable desire to consume” (Pg-78). At this point in his journey, Siddhartha has fallen into the cycle of samsara. The Hindu cycle of death and rebirth is symbolized by his gambling addiction. Siddhartha bets large amounts of money and at first the wins and losses don't affect him. Siddhartha begins gambling to show his contempt for worldly possessions, but soon he becomes ensnared in the thrill of the game. As this downward spiral continues, Siddhartha discovers his own fear of mortality when he notices the lines of


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