He understands that true enlightenment can come only when the approach used to reach it takes into account the world itself. The confrontation between Siddhartha and the elder Samana suggests that enlightenment cannot come from teachers but must be realized within, a fact Siddhartha will discover repeatedly on his quest. Siddhartha leaves the Hinduism of his father because of its flaws, just as he leaves the teachings of the Samanas because they do not lead him to enlightenment. Siddhartha encounters resistance when he tries to leave both his father and the Samanas, but in both cases he leaves with their blessings, which suggests that these elders are in error and that Siddhartha’s path is justified. Teachers may not be able to give Siddhartha enlightenment, but they do, in their own ways, set him on a path that will help him find enlightenment for himself.
The Wisdom of Franz Kafka’s On Parables Is it even possible to gain a better life through knowledge and wisdom? Should we listen to the words of the wise? Franz Kafka tries to answer these questions in his short essay ``On Parables,'' with a resounding ``No!'' In this Kafkan world, one filled with the daily struggles and cares of life, the only thing we can know is the incomprehensibility of it all. He states that all wisdom is expressed in parables then destroys any hope we may have by trouncing the authenticity of parables.
Siddhartha also encounters Vasudeva, the ferryman, who teaches Siddhartha to listen to the river's voices. Throughout his journey, Siddhartha faces conflicts with his peers. Siddhartha also struggles from a religious conflict. He begins his life as a Brahmin, but because of his dissatisfaction, left the religion in hope of finding something more. As a result, Siddhartha becomes a Samana, though later realizing that spirit alone cannot bring complete fulfillment.
He feels as if something is missing in his life and finding it is a necessity. It’s thoughts like these that lead Siddhartha into the heroic journey. Siddhartha leaves home and begins his road of trials by joining an ascetic Buddhist assembly called the Samanas. The author writes, “… Govinda wanted to follow him as a friend, his companion, his servant, his lance bearer, his shadow,” (Hesse 4-5). Govinda, Siddhartha’s close friend and supernatural aid, knows that someday Siddhartha will be something grand, and he is hoping that if he sticks with Siddhartha, he will receive some of the success.
Siddhartha left his life as a Samana because his expectations of being taught enlightenment were not fulfilled. After giving the Brahman life a chance to prove itself, Govinda and Siddhartha find themselves doubting their recent choice. “Well Govinda...”, Siddhartha begins, “are we on the right road? Are we gaining knowledge? Are we approaching salvation?
He comes to realize that his previous conclusion is correct, wisdom cannot be taught. When he reaches nirvana, he also sees how spiritualism and materialism both have a place in the cycle of life. Acting as Siddhartha's inspiration to his ultimate goal, the river operates as a significant element in Hesse's novel, Siddhartha. Early in the novel, Siddhartha sets his life pattern by questioning the authority of Hinduism. With his friend Govinda, he begins life amongst the samanas.
Rather than searching for his soul, Siddhartha attemps to destroy his 'Self' through suffering of Samanic asceticism. He sees that Samana's knowledge might lead him to his salvation. In page 11 chapter 2, we read: "...had one single goal--to become empty, to become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow--to let the Self die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an emptied heart, to experience pure thought..." Although Siddhartha does the scourge, he does not find his salvation. He quests his torment which is only escaped from the 'Self' for temporarily.
In this novel the protagonist of the story, Siddhartha, believes that the teachings of others will not allow you to reach Nirvana. Therefore, he sets out on a journey to experience the world for himself, the good and the bad, in order to become closer to enlightenment and to eventually become an enlightened one himself, a Buddha. After each experience Siddhartha comes to a new conclusion as his outlook on life changes, as he becomes closer to enlightenment. In the beginning of the book Siddhartha is already living in one extreme. He has a perfect life and is sheltered from all harm by his father, the Brahmin.
Throughout his journey, Siddhartha goes to find wisdom and realizes that it cannot be taught, it must be discovered. Hesse suggests that knowledge is communicable, but wisdom must be gained from experience and conveys this message through figurative language and symbolism. Hesse’s theme in regards that true wisdom can only be attained from trial and error is evident in the eloquent figurative language. Even though all Siddhartha had really known is the life as a Brahman, it does not stop him from being curious. He wonders about his father, who has all the worldly possessions and knowledge, if “...even he, who was possessed of such knowledge, did he dwell in bliss, did he know peace?” (Hesse 7).
Siddhartha and Govinda Siddhartha, written by Herman Heese, is a book about a man’s journey to find his inner self beginning when he is young and ending when he is of old age. Siddhartha, while on this quest, searched for different mentors to teach him what they know, hoping to find truth and balance in and of the universe. At the end of the novel, Siddhartha reaches the enlightenment through many teachings. Govinda, Siddhartha dearest friend and confident, is often viewed as his Siddhartha’s follower, or as his shadow. In the beginning, Siddhartha goes with Gotama to hear the teachings of the Buddha, and Govinda remains with Buddha to become his disciple.