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The Search in Siddartha  

 

"Siddartha" is a book of a man’s struggle to find his true self. But his searching leads him in all the wrong directions. Then finally after a long journey he stops looking. During his search he discovers four things, what the “oneness” of life is, how the four noble truths affect everything, enlightenment, wisdom and love.

On page 142 and 143 Siddartha realizes that Atmen or the “oneness” of life is in everything. That no matter who you are whether the Buddha, the dice player, or robber, “everything is Brahman.” Even a rock is said to have Atmen, because eventually the rock would dissolve and become material for a human body. He understood that the human being needed certain outlets to release emotions, such as lust, desires, and wants.

The four noble truths encapsulates the idea’s of Siddartha, where he believes that the human needs outlets. Throughout the book Siddartha, he struggles with his desire to find himself. In his life Siddartha was a Brahmin’s son, a Samana, a lover, and a merchant. Through his life he realized that no matter what you are, everything suffers. He also learned that most of his sufferings come from his own desires. As seen by his want for Kamala’s love, he did almost anything for that love. Finally Siddartha realized that everything that fulfilled his desires was all illusion. In the end he became a ferryman and the realization of what life was all about hit him; everything revolves around everything else and one must live life and enjoy it.

Realization of himself came in two stages, the first was when he left Gotama, coming to the river on page 41 and 42. He realized that he had always tried to follow after the ways and in the paths of others, but now he needed to follow his desires and to just live life. The second time Siddartha was enlightened he was sitting by the same river with Vasudeva, on page 136 and 137, he realized that he must not fight against his destiny. This enlightenment actually came when he described, to Govina on page 143, what he thought life actually was. It was not Samsara or Nirvana, but it was the realization that life is only illusion, a person just does what he can.

Siddartha, on page 34, did not believe that a person could gain “salvation through teachings,” but that a person needed to find his salvation through himself and no words could ever describe one’s enlightenment when he found it. And the same thing refers to love, one does not force love, but the person loves.

When I read the first time Siddartha was by the river I could not believe how similar his enlightenment was with mine. It was as if everything opened before my eyes, life was to be lived not ignored. This enlightenment came when I was sixteen, and I decided not to care about what people thought of me, but to start living.

Even though I don’t believe in Hindu or Buddhist ideas, I do believe that the book Siddartha accurately tells of everbody’s struggle in life, and that self-realization is found when you stop looking.

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