Buddhism was brought to light about 500 BC by Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism has not been described as a religion as such but rather as philosophy. The story of Siddhartha Gautama and how he brought Buddhism to limelight is quite moving. In this essay the thoughts of Siddhartha Gautama are explained and how the society reacted to his arguments. Generally this essay will briefly describe the achievements of Siddhartha Gautama in his quest to attain enlightenment and how that impacted the society of his time and to some extent the current society.
The Teachers of Siddhartha
In the book Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, the main character Siddhartha
had many teachers along his quest for happiness. Throughout his life he
denounced teachers and their teachings. In his last meeting with his lifelong
friend, Govinda, he mentions five in which he was indebted : a beautiful
courtesan, a rich merchant, a dice player, a Buddhist monk, and Vasudeva.
The first of these teachers along his way was Kamala a beautiful courtesan.
Siddhartha, written by Herman Hesse, is a novel about a man's progression towards his goal to center his life with a combination of peace and balance. Many of the displayed philosophies can be applied to today's world. Through my reading, I noticed many similarities between my life and Siddhartha's. First, Siddhartha felt a need for independence, that to truly be happy with his success, he must attain his achievements in his own way, and not others. Even though, he feels he must acquire this by himself, he tries to be as removed from his human side as possible. Only later does he learn that individuality and freedom from necessity must be united to procure his objectives and free him from his imperfections. Second, Siddhartha discovers that things and riches do not bring happiness. They are only temporary. No matter the extent of wealth a person has this never satisfies the insatiable need for possessions. Lastly, Siddhartha found that balance is the key to peace and happiness. Although a simplistic teaching, it is very complex to learn and apply. In my life, I can relate to his path and lessons, because I feel the same struggles and battles with attaining serenity.
The Maturation of Siddhartha
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse is the story of a young Indian noble
who ventures off in the world to find an understanding of the meaning of
life. His journey begins as a young Brahmin who yearned to unwind the
complexities of his existence. He ends as an old sage who has found peace
within himself and his surroundings. Throughout the book, Hesse allows the
reader to trace Siddhartha's maturation process both through his
experiences, and people with whom he comes in contact. During his journey,
he makes a number of choices, "turns", that put him on a path of his
maturation which is marked by self discovery and independence.
In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, Unity is a reflecting theme of this novel and in life. Unity is first introduced by means of the river and by the mystical word "Om." Siddhartha's quest for knowledge began when he left his father and sought the teachings of the Samanas. By becoming a Samana Siddhartha had to give up all of his possessions and learn to survive with practically nothing. He quickly picked up all of the Samanas' tricks like meditating, abandonment of the Self, fasting, and holding of the breath.
SIDDARTHA’S FOLLOWING OF THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
In this paper, I will be explaining how Siddhartha had arrived at the Four Noble Truths. The first paragraph contains how Siddhartha’s life was full of suffering, pain, and sorrow. The second paragraph will be the cause of suffering is the desire for things that are really illusions in Siddhartha’s life. Following, in the third paragraph I will be explaining how the only way to cure suffering is to overcome desire.
Many people have a feeling of unfulfillment at some point in their lives. They feel that they are not living life to the fullest, and make drastic changes in order to reach that feeling of true fulfillment. This feeling is usually manifested as a “mid-life crisis,” which is when middle-aged people face a major shift of identity and self-confidence, causing them to act out and buy sports cars and have affairs with younger women in order to feel younger and more fulfilled. However, these feelings of unfulfillment can be manifested in other ways. In Hermann Hesse's novel Siddhartha and the movie Into the Wild, the main characters, Siddhartha and Chris McCandless, have these same feelings and make major life changes in order to reach complete happiness
“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.” (“Quotes by Buddha”) The Buddha went through many trials and tribulations to reach enlightenment. But, he persevered and once he reached this state, he shared his spiritual knowledge with countless others (Editors of Biography.com).
Form, Style, and Content in Siddhartha
Joseph Mileck asserts in Hermann Hesse: Life and Art that Siddhartha is a perfect exemplification of what he calls, "conscious craftsmanship". For Mileck, Hesse consciously synchronized form and substance in Siddhartha to best illustrate a feeling of unity and the journey through the mind, body, and soul. In Siddhartha, Hesse consciously crafted a piece that is unified in form, style, and content, and created an atmosphere in which each one of these elements is perfectly complementary with the others.
In order to communicate most accurately the inner journey of Siddhartha through the three stages of experience, Hesse maintains appropriate rhythm and form throughout the novel.
Siddhartha - The Three Stages
"On the great journey of life, if a man cannot find one who is better or at least as good as himself, let him journey joyfully alone." The story of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse makes this point true. The main character Siddhartha dealt with the Samanas and Gotama Buddha, the second with Kamala and then the ferryman. The three parts correspond to the three stages though which Siddhartha passes on his journey to enlightenment: The stage of the mind; the stage of the flesh; the stage of transcendence.