At the beginning of the book Siddhartha is in training to become a Brahmin and follow in the footsteps of his father. He is a promising young student who has everything going for him but he is secretly unsatisfied and feels that the path he is taking will not lead him to achieving enlightenment. Siddhartha feels he has already learned everything he can from his father and the surrounding community. He confides in his best friend and travel companion throughout the book, Govinda, and together they end up joining a group of Samanas. Siddhartha’s father is very unhappy but Siddhartha cannot be swayed and he leaves with the Samanas.
Samanas believe that enlightenment can be reached only through asceticism, rejection of the body and physical desire. While traveling ...
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...tood the material world and therefore couldn’t unify with it. To achieve nirvana he had to understand the different opinions and lifestyles of everyone so he could understand and accept the unity of the universe. In the moment that Siddhartha reaches enlightenment the narrator describes it as, “Siddhartha ceased to fight against his destiny...belonging to the unity of all things.” This means that he achieved inner peace by accepting and understanding everything, and he did this by participating in the many different worlds around him. The present moment contains a concentration of experiences that would take several lifetimes to undergo. Siddhartha knows not only that he himself is always the same despite the changes in his life but also that he is the same as all others in the world.
Hesse, Hermann, Siddhartha, New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2003
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