The Life Cycle, By Herman Hess 's Siddhartha Essay

The Life Cycle, By Herman Hess 's Siddhartha Essay

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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 System. Brahmin are revered as men and women of knowledge and power, studied in all aspects of Hinduism, and are usually very rich. Siddhartha enjoyed all these privileges that came to him at birth, but he was never content with himself and his religious journey. “Siddhartha had begun… a detour, error.” (5-7) Siddhartha had so many questions that shook him and the very foundations of Hinduism, and because of this he was incomplete. The knowledge he had obtained made him believe there was more to life than what he was living, so he left. He turned to a contemplative, poor life, where he gave everything to achieve everything. He became a Samana and an ascetic; a group of wanderers who give up earthly possessions to become more in touch with one’s Self. They believed that the biggest virtues were those of waiting, listening and fasting. Siddhartha believed that by relieving himself of all the comforts that were given to him because of his status, he would really become enlightened. “He lost his...


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...one smiled.”(150-151) Siddhartha showed the great wisdom passed on to him by Vasudeva, who learned from the river. The cycle remained and the knowledge and wisdom passed down into another vessel.
Leonardo Da Vinci once said “The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming. Thus it is with time present.” Siddhartha finally reached the ocean, after years of tumbling down the rugged mountain. But the cycle must continue, and the ocean water will become rain water at the top of the mountain once more. The cycle is forever, but one feels that it is never as well. As confusing as that sounds, one must think that what one does, others have done, and will continue to do. Even those who flow against the current; there are always others who follow them. So therefore, the cycle is always continuing, never broken.

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