Siddhartha Essay, Research Paper
had one single goal–to become empty, to become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow–to let the Self die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an emptied heart, to experience pure thought… (Page 11, chapter 2)
After hearing The Enlightened One speak, Siddhartha discovers that Gotama is the Buddha, yet he still does not choose to be admitted into the Buddha s band of followers. Siddhartha s good friend, Govinda, begs Siddhartha to take refuge in the sublime Buddha, bet even Godinva s friendship does not sway Siddhartha s opinion. Siddhartha rejects the Buddha because he finds a flaw in the doctrine, believes that salvation can t be experienced through teaching, and wants to find his own inner Self .
Siddhartha is truly impressed with the Buddha s doctrine, but after analyzing it in entirety finds a flaw. In a conversation with Gotama, Siddhartha explains that he believes the doctrine is perfectly clear and fully proven and that through the doctrine the world is perfectly interconnected, without a gap, clear as crystal. (Page 18) Siddhartha points out that the doctrine states that the unity of the world, the connectedness of all events is bounded together by a law of causality. Then Siddhartha points out the one flaw in The Enlighten One s doctrine, which causes him distress.
And yet, according to your own doctrine, this unity and consequentiality of all things is interrupted in one place; through a small gap there flows into this unified world something strange to it, something new, something that did not previously exists, and that cannot be shown or proven. (Page 18)
Siddhartha feels that this one breach again destroys the whole eternal and unified world law. The doctrine was the best that Siddhartha had ever heard, but it is still not perfect and because of this fact Siddhartha cannot accept the Buddha. Siddhartha believes that Gotama is enlightened, but does not feel that following his doctrine will enable him to achieve the same level of greatness.
Siddhartha admits that Gotama is The Enlightened One, but does not believe that he will obtain the same spiritual position through listening to the Buddha s teachings. In a conversation with the Buddha, Siddhartha states that, no one will achieve salvation through teaching! (Page 19) He feels that the only way to attain deliverance is through applied experience in life. He says that the one thing that the doctrine does not contain is the secret of what the Sublime One himself experienced. The doctrine presented by the Buddha is the best available, but it still is not perfect in Siddhartha s eyes. He agrees with the Four Basic Truths of the doctrine, but cannot see how his personal liberation can be accomplished by listening to the Buddha s lessons.
When Siddhartha finishes his conversation with the Buddha he discovers that the secret to being enlightened lies within himself. When the Buddha walked away Siddhartha thought to himself, I have never seen anyone gaze and smile, sit and walk, that way. (Page 19) He wishes that he too could be able to have that inner peacefulness within his heart. At that point in the story, Siddhartha has an epiphany and realizes that the true key to becoming enlightened is to become one with his Self . All along Siddhartha fought to escape from his Self , but only found temporary relief. He finally discovers that the secret for which he has been striving all along to achieve is actually within him, and only the Buddha s lesson could have showed him that. The Buddha s secret lied within Gotama and not Siddhartha, but when Siddhartha realizes this believes that The Buddha has bestowed on me Siddhartha, myself. (Page 20)
When Siddhartha first saw the Buddha he felt that he had never loved any person, as he did this man. (Page 20) Even though Siddhartha loved and revered the Buddha, he still rejected the Buddha because of a flaw in his doctrine, which enabled him to realize that one cannot become enlightened through teachings and helped him initialize the search for his inner Self . All of these reasons alter Siddhartha s spiritual quest — from avoiding his Self to reaching out and searching for it.