Desires, Sorrows, and Atman
Torn between a spiritual quest for Atman and an external need for riches, Siddhartha embarks on a maddening journey filled with love, greed, sadness, and despair. As a character in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, this man's one goal in life is to be enlightened. He does this by switching religions, forgetting his teachings, and later finding a river which connects him back to the "Om." However, because of his inner conflicts, this ride is not made easy for Siddhartha. Siddhartha undergoes a number of spiritual changes through his conflicting emotions about the world around him and learns that enlightenment can only come from knowing who he really is.
Bored and unsatisfied with the Brahmin lifestyle, he moves on in his quest to test other methods of enlightenment. Siddhartha and his father argue over his leaving until his father "[realizes] that Siddhartha [can] no longer remain with him at home - that he [has] already left him (Hesse 12)." This shows one of the bumps on the road that Siddhartha faces and conquers. Emotionally he leaves home to continue his spiritual quest but physically stays out of respect for his father's approval. This moment marks a spiritual change in Siddhartha from a peaceful meditative state to the Samana's way of self-denial. Now he focuses on leaving the self, but soon discovers that this method is taking him in the wrong direction, away from enlightenment. He decides 'to leave all doctrines and all teachers and to reach [his] goal alone - or die (34)." After leaving behind another religion, he knows he can only find the answer through personal experiences. His leaving was not without conflict however, because the old Samana leader was angry. Both of the conflicts he faces in leaving behind religions help him move on. These conflicts only pushed Siddhartha further along his path by solidifying the idea that teachers are of no use for his particular mission.
Having left the Brahmins, Samanas, and Gotama...
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