In Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, a young Brahmin in the wealthier part of India, approximately three thousand years ago, decides to set a goal onto his life. He decides to journey along the path of enlightenment and reach Nirvana, a state of total bliss. His dear friend, Govinda, accompanies him on this journey. Siddhartha sets out to seek the path to enlightenment, but it is long and difficult. Along the way, he grows spiritually and intellectually from a young seeking Brahmin, to an old, wise, and content ferryman with the knowledge of enlightenment and possessing many insights on life.
When he first leaves his family, he takes to the path of the Samanas and goes to the forest to live with other Samanas and to learn their knowledge of the path to Nirvana. When he lives with them and abides by their teachings, "Siddhartha had one single goal - to become empty, to become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow - to let the Self die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an emptied heart, to experience pure thought - that was his goal"(14). When Siddhartha thought this, he believed that the only way to enlightenment was the way of the Samanas who starved, isolated themselves, and tolerated pain to kill their Self and senses so they could reach their inner Being. They believed that with no obstructions they could reach the inner subconscious Being and enlightenment. Along with Govinda, who had also chosen to follow the path of the Samanas, Siddhartha travels down this path ...
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Sadly, not many people can go through this nowadays due to our hectic lives. Some however get close to what our new enlightenment is. A rehabilitated drunk now sees the world in a new way and appreciates it greatly just as Siddhartha did. In the end after his difficulties striving to gain knowledge and wisdom through his experiences in life, he finally found the true happiness and peace of enlightenment. Siddhartha had achieved his goal, and was there, atop the peak of knowledge and wisdom, appreciating the troubles he went through to get there, just like many struggling people in the world who go through hell just to survive. In the end, you know that the ones who make it through and learn from their experience truly lived a wholly holy life.
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