Many people say that being knowledgeable is the same as being wise; however, in Hermann Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha, knowledge is differentiated from wisdom. Siddhartha, the protagonist, is the knowledgeable son of Brahmins, whose thirst for enlightenment forces him to step towards an unknown journey. Govinda is Siddhartha’s best friend who accompanies Siddhartha because he believes in Siddhartha’s knowledge. The Buddha, the enlightened founder of Buddhism, plays an important role in Siddhartha’s journey. After meeting the Buddha, Siddhartha realizes that no one can show him the path to enlightenment because wisdom can be only found through experience.
I chose to report on this subject because I find the life and teachings of Buddha to be very interesting. Although he was much older before receiving the title, Buddha, I will refer to him as such throughout my report. As a child, Buddha knew only luxury and knew nothing of how the world really was. He felt something was missing in his life and decided to set out to find what it was. He reached enlightenment 6 years after setting out as a truth-seeker and he planned to share his new found peace to the world until he died.
In the first part of the book, Siddhartha is consumed by his thirst for knowledge. He joined the samanas and listened to the teachings of the Buddha in attempt to discern the true way to Nirvana. Though he perfected the arts of meditation and self-denial, he realized that no teachings could show him the way to inner peace. While with the ascetics only a third of his quest was accomplished. Siddhartha said, "You have learned nothing through teachings, and so I think, O Illustrious One, that nobody finds salvation through teachings" (27).
Hopeless and Absurd - Existentialism and Buddhism Perhaps the most telling symptom of existentialist philosophers is their ever-divergent theories on the fundamental characteristics of human life and their steadfast refusal to assign an explicit meaning or reason to our existence at all. Contrary to criticism which therefore labels the movement cynically nihilistic, existentialism justifies life with reasoning similar to that of Zen Buddhism. Specifically, the notions of hopelessness and absurdity can be gleaned from Buddhism in a manner helpful to the understanding of existentialist viewpoints on the same. Though these two perspectives elicit no fewer contrasts than comparisons, their juxtaposition highlights the workings of the futile human quest for meaning. One key factor in the existentialist framework is the acceptance of hopelessness.
Schopenhauer, Arthur. Counsels and Maxims. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Amherst, New York:Prometheus Books, 1995.
His self-discipline will prepare the reader for Marlow’s rejection of worldly pleasure later. Secondly, his posture represents the Buddha at the moment of enlightenment. Although Conrad does not specify the name of an idol, the reader can definitely relate his posture to Buddha statue. The most common iconic image of Buddha is “Bhumi-Sparsha Mudra” or “The Earth-Witness Mudra”, a posture of Buddha defeating Mara in the night before his enlightenment. Lastly, the mizzen... ... middle of paper ... ...f Marlow and Kurtz is the same way Buddhists like us think of Buddha.
Eventually, Siddhartha decides to attempt the teachings of Buddha. However, this lifestyle leaves him unsatisfied as well. Even though Siddhartha decides not to follow the teachings of Buddha, he says, "I have seen one man, one man only, before whom I must lower my eyes. I will never lower my eyes before any other man. No o... ... middle of paper ... ...ted Aver, Linda.
Buddha is just a man, a mortal being who could face suffering like we can. The Buddha is therefore, not to be worshipped, only followed as he shows his guidance, and a teacher as he shows us the path of enlightenment. We have no God, but just bliss, illusion, and absolute real... ... middle of paper ... ...n countries condemn acts of homosexuality, but western cultures like America, American Buddhists accept homosexuality. Divorce is not common in Buddhism, but is not denied either. As conventional as the religion itself, so are the roles of the spouse as the women are the caretakers and the men work to support the family.
In Hermann Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha, the main character of the story, Siddhartha, a young Brahman along with his beloved friend, Govinda leaves home to find enlightenment. They join a group of ascetic Samanas and for many years Siddhartha and Govinda deny their body’s pains and senses including the external world. Yet, Siddhartha is not satisfied with the result and fails to find the true path to enlightenment that he is seeking. Furthermore, Siddhartha because of dissatisfaction renounces the life of asceticism and departs with Govinda to visit and hear Gautama Buddha speak and learn from him. However, Buddha’s teaching does not provide Siddhartha with what he needs therefore; he leaves Buddha’s presence and continues his journey to discover the true enlightenment while Govinda stays with Buddha.
The Story of Buddhism The story of Buddhism might be said to have begun with a loss of innocence. Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince of the Shakhya clan in India, had been raised in a life of royal ease, shielded from the misery and cruelties of the world outside the palace gates, distracted by sensual pleasures and luxurious living. But one day the fateful encounter with the real world occurred, and Siddhartha was shaken to the core. There in his own kingdom, not far from his gardens and delights, he encountered people suffering from sickness, old age and death; he brooded over these things, deeply disturbed that such was the fate of all beings. Then he encountered an ascetic holy man, a renunciate dedicated to liberation.