The Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse Essay, Research Paper
As a young Brahmin, Siddhartha has been taught that Brahmin is the soul of “Atman” or the ‘Only One’. It means that Brahmin is the highest position beside the Creator. However he does not think that his superior’s ‘Self’ will give him salvation. Siddhartha thinks his ‘Self’ conquers him. He wants his ‘Self” to die to find wisdom and spiritual knowledge. These thoughts lead him to go on a spiritual journey and he does so by leaving his home to join the Samanas.
For a number of years, rather than searching for his soul, Siddhartha attempts to destroy it through suffering of Samanic asceticism. He sees that Samana’s knowledge might lead him to his salvation. In the second chapter on page 11, Hermann Hesse writes:
“Siddhartha 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…”
Although Siddhartha does the scourge, he does not find his salvation. He quests his torment, which is only escaped from the ‘Self’ for temporarily. Again, Siddhartha rejects and leaves the Samana ascetic knowledge.
Siddhartha ends his knowledge quests: Brahminism, Samanic asceticism, and Buddhism. He turns to the use of his senses in finding his goal. His main goal is to be his ‘Self’. His sense of ‘being’ is isolated by his knowledge. He realizes that he does not know his ‘Self’ which he has spent his life avoiding. He vows him self to explore the ‘Self’.
The second step of Siddhartha’s journey is realizing that although he has knowledge, knowledge is not enough without experience. Experience can be gained through practicing knowledge. Also he realizes that thought and sense must be used together to find the way. He meets with Kamala whose beauty and intelligence overwhelms him. Kamala’s observation and sensitiveness help Siddhartha to develop his sense of love. To pay for her lecture, he has his “think, wait, and fast”(chapter 5, page 46). With Kamala’s help in another lecture, he gains the combination of the simplicity and intelligence.
As he grows older, he makes a friend with Vasudeva, the river’s man. Their life is near to the end of the harmonization of the universe. Siddhartha learns another secret with Vasudeva’s help, that if one listens long enough to the river, he will hear all of the voices of the universe. Another secret is that if one listens even more carefully, all the voices blend into one sound ‘Om’. He hears the universal within the ‘Om’. When Siddhartha works as a river’s man, he learns that Kamala has a son from him. When Kamala is dying in Siddhartha’s hand, he is not ruined by the sorrow. But love for his son ruins him badly. Siddhartha learns human experience that his son is resembled of the love and the brother hood of man. His son rejection is so painful that it reduces his humanity. Again, we see the difference between the path of knowledge and wisdom.
In the last part he finds his true ‘Self’. Siddhartha says(chapter 12, page 116):
“I learned through my body, and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world…”
He discovers that all has been harmonious and unified. A man who seeks a goal is one who seeks something in the universe for the ‘Self’. Since a man has potential to be within the universe, he has potential to simulating the good, the evil and all the morals in between. Wisdom is difficult to speak.