Buddhism and Siddhartha

Topics: Hermann Hesse, Buddhism, Novel Pages: 3 (1327 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Graded Assignment

HST560A: AP World History | Unit 2 | Lesson 16: Novel: Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

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Graded Assignment
Alternate Assignment: Novel: Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha
Submit this assignment to your teacher by the due date for full credit. (30 points)

Answer each question.
1. Siddhartha believed that wisdom could only be attained by experience. How did his experiences lead him to nirvana?
Answer: The key moment is the last discussion between Siddhartha and Govinda. For Siddhartha, finding perfect fulfillment on earth requires understanding, and a true understanding can be reached only through experience. The enlightenment is the moment of understanding Om and gaining unity with it. This cannot be learned or expressed through words; Siddhartha’s’ goal is not to achieve wisdom. He could learn wisdom if he choose to stay with his father or become disciple of Buddha. Wisdom has many interpretations, which are all valid in specific domain. Nirvana is something else. For Siddhartha, Nirvana is accomplishment to be achieved by him.

2. Describe the three stages of Siddhartha's life. Were all stages necessary for his attainment of wisdom? Please explain.
Answer: The three equally important stages in Siddhartha's life are the following: (i) Spiritual growth
Siddhartha receives a proper Brahmin education. Siddhartha’s quest is a quest for true understanding of Om, and his quest leads him to Samanas.
With Samanas, Siddhartha hopes to understand his innermost being by denying to himself desires, dreams, joy, and passion. Siddhartha leaves the teachings of the Samanas because they do not lead him to enlightenment.

Meeting with Gotama convinces Siddhartha that no specific route to enlightenment, Gotama similarly teaches a set of rules, and these rules can be comprehended differently depending on person’s interpretation and influenced primarily by previous experience.

(ii) World of Senses
Siddhartha seeks his innermost being in the...
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