Eco-Spiritual Concerns in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha
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We currently exist in a world hemmed with electronic media and information technology that affords no queries or space for any quests whatsoever. The world, bereft of any spiritual values, with technological avant-gardism has sped us unconsciously into a world of wares and expenses. The enquiries that met the intellectuals of the past about the problems of the flesh and spirit have been left apart as groundless and inappropriate for the youth of the contemporary world. There is, in such a situation, no space for spiritual experience and satiation. In such a scenario, this paper’s aim to attempt a re-reading of Hermann Hesse’s has great relevance as it holds forth myriad values for our present sensitive ecology. The magnificent, yet unrequited questions it set forth certainly problematize the concerns of the present era.
The text is a chronicle that offers a genuine quest for peace and human compassion. It is a classic that proffer unmediated narration and unbiased lucidity of vision. Hesse’s Siddhartha is a distinctive individual, a delicate soul who represents the seeking cognizance of the West and the empathetic soul of the East. Suffering is universal, but its reception and response drastically differ. Siddhartha could not accept the teachings of Buddha for Buddha’s sole aim was salvation from suffering. He did not attempt to interpret or explain the world. For Siddhartha, the answer lay elsewhere and he was infinitely moving in search of it. Nothing, not even conversing with the Illustrious One could quench his thirst. Towards the end he returns to the river and there he could discern his self.
The story opens with a plain comprehensive line that leads the reader into the narrative and sets the tone for what is to follow. The...
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...ove, admiration and respect (117).
Siddhartha thus develops the eco-spiritual vision by acquiring the competency to reason and love at the same time. This kind of vision definitely helps the individual to become a socially and spiritually responsible being. Siddhartha can definitely be viewed as a genuine search to seek a holistic harmony between nature and self. Siddhartha’s pursuit for the meaning of life lengthens into the present and his overwhelming presence manifests a sense of mystical experience for the reader.
Cheryll Glotfelty & Harold Fromm Eds. Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens, Georgia: Georgia University Press, 1996.Print.
Gore, Al. The Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992. Print.
Rosner, Hilda, trans. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. New Delhi. Rupa. Co. 2007. Print.