Essay on River in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Essay on River in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Length: 765 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. He too has learnt a lot from the river. He
helps Siddhartha in understanding the river and at instances,
clarifies his doubt. The river’s knowledge, for Siddhartha, is the
last knowledge with which he can attain nirvana. It was the only thing
that could help him to take the last step in achieving salvation.

When Siddhartha approaches the river the second time in his life,
after enjoying all the worldly pleasures of wealth, love, power, he is
deeply attracted to it, he is enchanted by it. He says “Love this
river, stay by it……..many secrets, all secrets” on pg 166. Siddhartha
wants to learn from the river, he wants to listen to it; he wants to
unravel its secrets. Siddhartha is looking towards the river as an
abundance of knowledge which he wishes to seek. He believes that by
understanding the river’s knowledge, secrets, one can know more about
other different things, other secrets, all secrets. The river’s
knowledge is like a gateway to other kinds of knowledge. He has
already understood one secret; the river is omnipresent. It flows
continuously but it always there. This statement foreshadows that
Sid...


... middle of paper ...


...ted to him all its
knowledge at that precise moment which turned Siddhartha from a common
man to a spiritual soul.

In conclusion, the entire story has a greater meaning to it that is
applicable to our present world. The story is not asking us to follow
Siddhartha’s way or to spend hours near the river, trying to
understand it. The story’s greater meaning is that to achieve any
goal, it is us who need to take the path. We may or may not accept
teachings; we may or may not reject teachers who are our guides.
However, it is our Self that will have to reach its final destination.
Our guides, who are experienced, who have walked on the path we are
about to take, who are full with knowledge and wisdom can impart all
what they to know to us but these can only show the way to attain our
goal. It is only us who have to walk the final path of attaining our
goal.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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)

Meaning of the River in Siddhartha Essay

- Meaning of the River in Siddhartha Siddhartha, in Herman Hesse's novel, Siddhartha, is a young, beautiful, and intelligent Brahmin, a member of the highest and most spiritual castes of the Hindu religion, and has studied the teachings and rituals of his religion with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Inevitably, with his tremendous yearning for the truth and desire to discover the Atman within himself he leaves his birthplace to join the Samanas. With the Samanas he seeks to release himself from the cycle of life by extreme self-denial but leaves the Samanas after three years to go to Gotama Buddha....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Good Essays
1196 words (3.4 pages)

Down the River: "Siddhartha" and "Huckleberry Finn" Essay

- As we read Huckleberry Finn, I was also rereading Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and I couldn’t help but compare Siddhartha’s journey down the river to Huckleberry Finn’s journey down the river. Both their stories are parallels to each other and many connections can be made through their travels. To both characters, the element of the river served as a protection from the outside world. When both characters are taken by the rivers embrace, they are able to leave the limitations and constrains of their society....   [tags: Siddhartha, Huckleberry Finn, journeys, ]

Good Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

Siddhartha Essays: Achieving Enlightenment at the River

- Achieving Enlightenment at the River in Siddhartha      In Siddhartha's quest for enlightenment, Herman Hesse makes the river the final focal point of the novel. Siddhartha is set on his journey to the river by listening to his inner voice and questioning authority. The river comes to represent the ideas through which Siddhartha reaches enlightenment. The essential concepts of time and how it relates to life are discovered by Siddhartha through listening to the river. He comes to realize that his previous conclusion is correct, wisdom cannot be taught....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Good Essays
1134 words (3.2 pages)

Free Siddhartha Essays: The River and the Mind/Body Dichotomy

- The River and the Mind/Body Dichotomy in Siddhartha In Herman Hesse's work Siddhartha, the primary physical symbol of division is the river. One side of the river represents "geist", or a realm concerned with the spiritual world. The second side represents "natur", the natural world where the flesh is engorged with pleasure and earthly satisfaction. Siddhartha begins on the spiritual side of the river. He is in training to become an excellent Brahmin like his father, much is expected of this intelligent and attractive young man....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Free Essays
642 words (1.8 pages)

Analysis of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha describes the journey and maturation of Siddhartha. Siddhartha is a young Indian, whose journey to find internal peace takes him to many different places. One of these is the city, where he soon accumulates a large fortune. Wealth and material possession haunt Siddhartha and hinder him from attaining internal peace. This is also demonstrated Brahmin village where he is unhappy with the rituals, and sees wealth and material goods destroying him Herman Hesse uses Siddhartha demonstrate that success is not derived from material wealth, but from personal successes that may have nothing to do with wealth....   [tags: literary analysis, literary criticism]

Good Essays
1161 words (3.3 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]

Good Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

Hesse's Siddhartha as it Parallels Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Essay

- Hesse's Siddhartha as it Parallels Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs   Several parallels can be drawn between the psychologist Abraham Maslow's theoretical hierarchy of needs and the spiritual journey of Siddhartha, the eponymous main character in Herman Hesse's novel.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs is somewhat of a pyramid that is divided into eight stages of need through which one progresses throughout one's entire life. During the course of his lifetime, Siddhartha's personality develops in a manner congruent with the stages of Maslow's hierarchy.  Siddhartha's progress from each of the major sections of the hierarchy is marked by a sharp change in his life or behavior....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Good Essays
1807 words (5.2 pages)

Siddhartha's Search for Inner Peace Essay

- Siddhartha's Conflicts  Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha tells the story of a young man who sets out in search of his true self.  Throughout the novel, Siddhartha continues to search for the true meaning of life.  He sacrifices everything, almost to the point of self-destruction, before finding what he is really looking for.  The element of conflict helps build the plot and leads to the turning point, Siddhartha's discovery.  Siddhartha faces conflicts with his peers, his religion, and himself.          Siddhartha has several conflicts between himself and his peers.  Despite Govinda's love and adoration, Siddhartha knows that he must tell his friend to move on.  Siddhartha also meets Kamala, wh...   [tags: Herman Hesse, Siddhartha Conflicts]

Free Essays
310 words (0.9 pages)

Essay Siddhartha’s Influences

- Siddhartha’s Influences In the novel Siddhartha, Herman Hesse used other characters to let Siddhartha grow both intellectually and spiritually. During the course of his journey, Siddhartha encountered many people and experienced different ways of living and thinking about life. Each person taught him something about himself and the world around him. Siddhartha’s childhood friend, Govinda, educated him about the importance of choosing a path in his own life. Govinda had always been a step behind Siddhartha, following every decision he made....   [tags: Siddhartha Herman Hesse]

Free Essays
431 words (1.2 pages)