The Life Cycle In Herman Hess's Siddhartha

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Rivers start in mountains, then they trickle methodically down its side as a creek, and when many of these meet a river is formed. These rivers then fill up the ocean, which then evaporates and turns into rain which starts the process over. This is the water cycle. But the water cycle is very similar to human life. One starts as an ignorant, uneducated being, but then through much hardship and austerity we gain knowledge as a river. Finally we pass this knowledge on to our offspring, and the cycle begins anew. This is the life cycle which is beautifully illustrated in Herman Hess’s Siddhartha, where revelation awaits in the flow of time. Siddhartha literally starts at the top of the mountain. He was a Brahmin, the top of the Hindu Caste…show more content…
It could be very calm and nonchalant. But on the other hand it could be a furious current, where one cannot wade. This was the state in which Siddhartha’s life was in when he met Kamala and Kamaswami. Siddhartha decided to leave the Samanas because they too lacked what he need to reach his own form of spiritual bliss. He embarked on another adventure and ended up in a town where he knew nobody, had nothing, and didn’t now hat to do. However, the first thing he sees is a beautiful maiden b the name of Kamala, and he instantly fell in love, although Siddhartha was ignorant to the feeling of love and everything that came with it. “She drew him to her with her eyes… knowledge and learning which unfolded itself before his eyes.”(57) Siddhartha’s naiveté is very predominant even though he learned so much from his father, the Samana’s, and even the Buddha himself. But these were not comparable to the arts which Kamala could teach him; those of love, passion, and women. This is the beginning of his disregard of the knowledge he obtained from the Samana’s begins. He begins to obsess with earthly possessions, the exact opposite of what he lived during the three years he was an ascetic. Kamala introduced him to this world, but it is Kamaswami who really helps Siddhartha delve deeper into the world of business and riches. Kamaswami is the richest merchant of the village and Siddhartha seeks his help so he could…show more content…
Eventually, Siddhartha realizes the error of his ways and leaves Kamala, for a new way of life, but he leaves behind an unborn child. He leaves all his riches and Kamaswami, which was very desperate to find him at the time of his “disappearance.” Siddhartha had reached a stage in his life where he thought there was no meaning, he’s been on the trek for knowledge all his life but he had not attained satisfaction. He wanted to die. “With a distorted countenance he stared into the water…soul suddenly awakened and he recognized the folly of his action.” (89) He became so lost and distressed he did not see a path for him in the world, but then he met the river. This is where he finally reaches his Nirvana; through further scrutiny and under the guidance of Vasudeva, he becomes cognizant of the flow of the world. “The river knows everything…you will learn the other thing too.” (105) Vasudeva is a man that his lived on the river for a long time, and he has learned its ways. The river is a cycle, and everything depends on it. Animals, plants, and even humans need rivers to survive. Most ancient civilizations were based on river banks, so that they can reap plentiful crops. “Siddhartha tried to listen better…thousands of voices.” (134-135) Siddhartha’s study of the river made him realize who was, who he is, and who he will be. The pictures in the water were his life and all other lives that flowed like rivers, and ultimately began anew with

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