Essay about Exploring Samsara in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

Essay about Exploring Samsara in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

Length: 1053 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Samsara is defined as the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound. The narrator of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha uses the metaphor, “the game was called Samsara, a game for children, a game which was perhaps enjoyable played once, twice, ten times -- but was it worth playing continually?”. Siddhartha, the main character of the book, tries to decide whether this “game” is worth it. Throughout the book he encounters many different walks of life and learns much about the world around him. Eventually he reaches enlightenment through the teachings of Vasudeva, an old ferryman. Siddhartha found enlightenment by learning the lesson of the river; just as the water of the river flows into the ocean and is returned by rain, all forms of life are interconnected in a cycle without beginning or end. Ultimately Siddhartha decides that Samsara is worth it and that experiencing the many different walks of life is a necessary key in achieving enlightenment.
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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...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.



Works Cited

Hesse, Hermann, Siddhartha, New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2003

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Hermann Hesse's Demian

- Hermann Hesse's Demian The biblical story of Abel and Cain was deeply rooted in this novel. This theme was used to explore the life of a young man growing up in Germany. Compared to the novel Siddhartha, Demian had a more surrealistic quality to it. Some of the physical events that occurred would not have been possible in reality. In Siddhartha, only the mental events were surreal. The theme of self-discovery was explored with a Jung approach. Hermann Hesse was obviously under the influence of Dr....   [tags: Hesse Demian Essays]

Strong Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

The Role of Teachers in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- The Role of Teachers in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Throughout history there have been countless numbers of teachers: artisans, craftsmen, ideologist, to name a few. They have all master some skill, gained some wisdom, or comprehended an idea. These teachers have achieved knowledge which allows them to excel and to be above and beyond regular people. Knowledge is something everyone strives for, and many desire. To achieve knowledge, one must have an eye-opening experience, and epiphany that leads to the increase of one’s intellect and skill set....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha]

Free Essays
1371 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

- Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Growing up, children learn most everything from their elders. Yet, an elder nor a book can help a person to enlightenment. Nor can they teach a person to find their soul. The path to a person’s Atman is a personal journey, one to be endured, not taught. The meaning of a person’s life is not a subject to be read in books. The meaning of life is slowly attained through wisdom, enduring life and searching for the right path along the way. In the novel Siddhartha, Gotama cannot teach enlightenment because that wisdom cannot be communicated through words, only through experience....   [tags: Herman Hesse, Siddhartha]

Strong Essays
463 words (1.3 pages)

Plot Overview of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- 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....   [tags: Siddhartha Hermann Hesse]

Strong Essays
1675 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on The Power of the River in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

-        'For ages, the river has been a sign of eternity and has served as a symbol of spiritual awareness to many people'(Rahula 39). The river in Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, is an important symbol. Hesse provides many references to the river throughout his novel, and it serves many purposes in his writing. Siddhartha who is the main character, grows up with his father and mother on a riverbank, in India. He decides to leave the world of the Brahmins to seek his own way. Govinda, Siddhartha's companion, follows him to the world of the Samanas....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays ]

Strong Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

- Hermann Hesse was born in July of 1877 and died at the age of 85 in August of 1962. Hesse is a German poet, novelist, and a painter. His best know works include Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and many others. Hesse has also won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Siddhartha is a book by Hermann Hesse. The book was made in 1922 and is 152 pages long. The book was originally wrote in German but it was translated into English. Siddhartha was Hesse’s ninth book. It was published in Germany in 1922 but then published in 1951 in the United States, but it didn’t really become popular and influential until the 1960s....   [tags: Enlightenment, Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on River in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

- River in "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse The river is a source of knowledge. It symbolises a teacher, a guru, one who knows and is aware of this knowledge and who imparts it to those who seek knowledge from it. In Herman Hesse’s novella Siddhartha, the protagonist Siddhartha is deeply mystified by the secrets and puzzles of the river. He seeks to unravel and them and gain knowledge from the river in order to achieve his goal of attaining nirvana, enlightenment. He is helped in his course by a ferryman Vasudeva, who has lived all his life close to the river, transporting people from one side to the other....   [tags: Sidhartha Herman Hesse Essays]

Strong Essays
765 words (2.2 pages)

Uniting Mind, Body, and Spirit in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- Uniting Mind, Body, and Spirit in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha Each of us has innate desire to understand the purpose of our existence.  As Hermann Hesse illustrates in his novel Siddhartha, the journey to wisdom may be difficult.  Organized religion helps many to find meaning in life but it does not substitute careful introspection. An important message of Siddhartha is that to achieve enlightenment one must unite the experiences of mind, body, and spirit.             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 perfe...   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Quest for Self Discovery in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

- The Quest for Self Discovery in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha “Then he [Siddhartha] suddenly saw clearly that he was leading a strange life, that he was doing many things that were only a game, that he was quite cheerful and sometimes experienced pleasure, but that real life was flowing past him and did not touch him. Like a player who plays with his ball, he played with his business, with the people around him, watched them, derived amusement from them; but with his heart, with his real nature, he was not there” (Hesse 57-58)....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha Essay

-   Literature reflects many aspects  of human nature.  It can be seen as a collection of mankind's thoughts.  The intangible is transformed from brainwave patterns to ink patterns.  What leads to the writing of literature varies from author to author.   In the case of Hermann Hesse, it was his personal experiences in life.  In the novels Demian and Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse was influenced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, both psycho-analysts.     A personal crisis, which caused Hesse to undergo psycho-analysis with Dr....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Strong Essays
2401 words (6.9 pages)