Essay PreviewMore ↓
Finding Truth in Siddhartha
In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, a classic novel about enlightenment, the main character, Siddhartha, goes on a lifelong journey of self-discovery. Along the way, Siddhartha encounters many who try to teach him enlightenment, undoubtedly the most important being the Buddha himself. Although Siddhartha rejects the Buddha's teachings, saying that wisdom cannot be taught, we can see, nevertheless, that along his journey for understanding Siddhartha encounters the Four Noble Truths that are a central theme in Buddhism: suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the middle path.
The First Noble Truth is The Truth of Suffering. If people examine their own experiences, or look at the world around them, they will see that life is full of suffering. In the novel, Siddhartha experiences the two forms of suffering - physical and mental. Physical suffering can come in many forms - disease, ageing, injury. Siddhartha experiences physical suffering as a young man when he joins the ascetics or Samanas. As a Samana, Siddhartha learns to fast, to tolerate extreme heat and cold, and to endure pain through meditation. Siddhartha's life as a samana is bitter, and he learns that "life [is] pain" (p.11).
Siddhartha experiences mental pain in the second half of his life when he begins a contrasting existence of pleasure, and then again when he meets his only son.
After leaving the Samanas, Siddhartha begins a life of decadence in the house of a wealthy merchant and in the company of a beautiful courtesan. Though at first Siddhartha remains apart from their daily troubles, as the years go by Siddhartha himself begins to value money, fine wine, and material possessions. Because of this "a thin mist, a weariness [settles] on Siddhartha," (p. 63) and he is engulfed in mental pain. Later, after ridding himself of the pain of the life of a wealthy merchant by becoming a simple ferryman, Siddhartha again experiences mental anguish when he meets his son. Siddhartha immediately falls in love with his arrogant 11-year-old son, whom he has never seen before. But the son despises his father and his simple life, and after a short time runs away. Siddhartha becomes restless and worried, again experiencing great mental anguish.
As he goes along his journey, Siddhartha realizes The Second Noble Truth - that the direct cause of suffering is desire.
How to Cite this Page
"Free Siddhartha Essays: Finding the Truth." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jul 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A man much like myself, the esteemed Dalai Lama stated that, “With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world,” inferring that the key to the meaning of life is to find your purpose in life and using it to positively impact the rest of the world. As a person with his own philosophy about life, I, Siddhartha, reached my personal tenets through the heavy influence of the flaws of the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Although I was placed in various lifestyles, religions, and sects, these influences, especially the flaws of Buddhism and Hinduism, allowed me to create the basis of my own doctrine which serves as the g... [tags: Siddhartha, Finding Potential]
852 words (2.4 pages)
- 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]
463 words (1.3 pages)
- Finding Peace in Siddhartha "I have become distrustful of teachings and learning and that I have little faith in words that come to us from teachers." (Page 18) Siddartha experienced this when he was with the Samanas, still seeking for peace of the innersoul. He distrusted teachings because to attain peace, he must learn everything from himself. However, along his journey, he was indebted by a beautiful courtesan, a rich merchant, a dice player, a Bhuddist monk, and Vasudeva, for they had influenced him and he gained great knowledge from each of them.... [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]
798 words (2.3 pages)
- Themes in Siddhartha Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse tells of a man, Siddhartha, and his search for peace. Siddhartha leaves the Brahmins to become a holy Samamna. He finds no satisfaction in the deprivation, which the Samanas practice, so he leaves their way of life to find the Buddha. The Buddha's teachings fail to satisfy his desire to find a path to peace, also. He then travels to a town but finds no answers there either. Finally, beside the river, Siddhartha finds peace. There are two main themes in Siddhartha; the father/son theme and the theme of peace and totality.... [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]
348 words (1 pages)
- The Truth will set you Free Throughout everyday life, men and women are confronted with deciding whether to believe something or not. Plato describes a conversation with Socrates and his student in the dialogue, “The allegory of the cave,” written in 38 BC. The dialogue start out with men that are trapped in a cave and have been there their whole lives and are chained to only see their shadow as false realities. Suddenly, a man is unchained and is dragged out and discovers the truth to tell the other people in the cave.... [tags: Truth, Reality, Sun, Meaning of life]
1088 words (3.1 pages)
- The Search in Siddartha "Siddartha" is a book of a man’s struggle to find his true self. But his searching leads him in all the wrong directions. Then finally after a long journey he stops looking. During his search he discovers four things, what the “oneness” of life is, how the four noble truths affect everything, enlightenment, wisdom and love. On page 142 and 143 Siddartha realizes that Atmen or the “oneness” of life is in everything. That no matter who you are whether the Buddha, the dice player, or robber, “everything is Brahman.” Even a rock is said to have Atmen, because eventually the rock would dissolve and become material for a human body.... [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]
535 words (1.5 pages)
- Siddhartha and Govinda Siddhartha, written by Herman Heese, is a book about a man’s journey to find his inner self beginning as when he was a child and ending when he was of old age. Siddhartha, while on this quest, searched for different mentors to teach him what they know, hoping to find truth and balance in and of the universe. At the end of the novel, Siddhartha reaches the enlightenment through many teachings. Govinda, Siddhartha’s childhood friend, sees Siddhartha many times after they separate while Govinda follows Buddha.... [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]
398 words (1.1 pages)
- As human beings, we sometimes can not synchronize our minds and souls. When we are at our success of knowledge or intellect, we blind our mind with our ambition which comes along in reaching the knowledge or intellect. As a young brahmin, Siddhartha, has been taught that Brahmin is the soul of "Atman" or the 'Only One' (Chapter 1, page 5). It means that Brahmin is the highest position beside the Creator. This intellect alienates Siddhartha's 'Self'. He does not think that his superior's 'Self' will give him salvation.... [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]
654 words (1.9 pages)
- Siddhartha, written by Herman Hesse, is a novel about a man's progression towards his goal to center his life with a combination of peace and balance. Many of the displayed philosophies can be applied to today's world. Through my reading, I noticed many similarities between my life and Siddhartha's. First, Siddhartha felt a need for independence, that to truly be happy with his success, he must attain his achievements in his own way, and not others. Even though, he feels he must acquire this by himself, he tries to be as removed from his human side as possible.... [tags: Herman Hesse, Siddhartha Essays]
1013 words (2.9 pages)
- Siddhartha Human life contains crisis. This is one reason that religions exist; they seek to deal with the crises that face every human being. Crisis is a major component of any religion including Hinduism, Siddhartha's religion. Therefore, crisis is a major theme in the novel Siddhartha. He has multiple experiences with life changing crises. The first crisis in his life leaves the biggest impression on me. Siddhartha decides to become a Samana after a group of them come through his town. His best friend, Govinda, does not want him to leave.... [tags: Free Essays]
433 words (1.2 pages)
- Free Essay: Interpretation of God and Satan in John Milton's Paradise Lost
- Comparing Frankenstein and Paradise Lost
- Satan is No Hero in John Milton's Paradise Lost
- Free Scarlet Letter Essays: Hester and the Puritan Society
- Free Essay - Power of Guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
- Free Essay - Evil in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
After he becomes conscious of this, Siddhartha realizes The Third Noble Truth - that to end suffering completely, one must remove desire. After Siddhartha rids himself of the desire to escape from his Self, he no longer endures the physical pain of the ascetic. After freeing himself of the desire for wealth and sexual pleasure, Siddhartha no longer has to deal with the mental pain that these desires bring. After Siddhartha finally lets go of his son, the wound in his heart heals.
Just like the Buddha, Siddhartha experiences both the indulgent and pleasure-filled life of a rich man and the hardships of the life of a Samana. In the end he realizes The Fourth Noble Truth - that the way to happiness and enlightenment is to lead a life that avoids extremes. Siddhartha realizes the Middle Path.
Just as The Four Nobles Truths build upon each other in to teach enlightenment, Siddhartha's experiences with them build upon each other until he, too, experiences enlightenment. At the end of the story, Siddhartha, armed with his awareness of The Four Noble Truths, reaches his final goal of Nirvana.