Hinduism vs Buddhism in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha Essay

Hinduism vs Buddhism in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha Essay

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Hinduism is mainly about understanding the Brahman which is ones permanent reality, or existence within ones Atman, which is ones permanent self. In Buddhism, it is about finding the Atman and not ones soul. In Hinduism, in order for one to reach the highest peak, one has to go through a process that involves removing ones distractions from life, which will lead to the understanding of the Brahman. As for in Hinduism one follows a strict life with regulations, that eventually moves to the understanding that nothing in ourselves is considered a “me” just an illusion of existence. I believe Buddhism makes us happier as human beings, but that Hinduism makes us better human beings. I will prove this by analyzing the journey of Siddhartha, in Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
In Siddhartha, Siddhartha is this young attractive boy, who is adored by everyone around him. He begins to study the Hindu wisdom of his elders with his best friend, Govinda, but through this acquiring knowledge phase he begins to question the things he is learning. He believes that his fathers and ancestors learned everything they needed by reading the holy books, but he does not believe they have found enlightenment by reading them. After this Siddhartha makes a decision to go out into the world to seek answers to all his questions, by first joining a group of Samanas. However, being part of this group is the complete opposite of what Siddhartha is use to. They believe enlightenment can be reached through asceticism, which is a rejection of the body and physical desire. Hermann Hesse states, “Siddhartha learned a great deal from the Samanas; he learned many ways of losing the Self. He traveled along the path of self-denial through pain, through ...


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...duism and Buddhism are two different religions with two difference beliefs and practices. I have analyzed both religions with the concept of the nature of the self and the nature of reality. Siddhartha has been the perfect example to give us insight on the journey of one individual who goes out into the world seeking answers about the enlightenment. Also one is able to comprehend the difference between the religious position of a happy human being and a better human being. One can be lost without a religion, while others use it as a guidance to secure their life after they leave earth, or are no longer in existence. The Brahman and Atman are important factors that one should bring into consideration when trying to find their true self or trying to find his or her purpose on earth.



Works Cited

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

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