May 6th, 2014
The Journey of Life
The journey of life is full of challenges, enjoyments, and memorable times. Eventually, all of the situations we deal with will lead all of us to our main purpose. No journey is ever completely smooth so the way that we choose to deal with the hardships we face will determine the outcome of our lives. I was able to reflect on my journey of life as well as compare it to Siddhartha’s journey after analyzing the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha learned many lessons throughout his journey and although these lessons came from olden times, the novel Siddhartha shows us that they can still be applied to today’s society and time. To begin, Siddhartha is an extremely independent man who strongly believes in following his own path regardless of what other people expected him to do. Secondly, Siddhartha realizes that materialistic items do not result in the level of spiritual discovery he aspires to gain. To illustrate, individuals who experience an increase of affluence, often end up just as unhappy. Siddhartha understood that in order to receive nirvana he understands that he has to attain a combination of life through the mental, physical, and spiritual means. Although Siddhartha was faced with many obstacles along his journey, he persevered. The lessons that Siddhartha learned are due to the hardships he faced which are parallel to the hardships I will face. Similarly to Siddhartha, my goal is to preserve through my journey even when obstacles are thrown at me.
Siddhartha was born into a Brahmin family that was very wealthy. The elders in Siddhartha’s community taught them everything they knew. They gave him the wisdom they believed he needed, however it wasn’t enough. Siddhartha found himself to be spiritually unsatisfied and realizes that he doesn’t want the life his family has laid out for him. He decides to leave his family and community to embark on a journey and join a group called the Samanas. Siddhartha’s close friend, Govinda, joins him as they spend 3 years on his journey. The Samanas taught them about determination, perseverance and how to resist pain and hunger Although Govinda and Siddhartha follow the road to spiritual enlightenment with the Samanas, they still find themselves unsatisfied. This causes them to travel in order to hear teachings from the Gotama Buddha. The two friends find themselves on two completely different paths after hearing these teachings. On one hand, hearing the teachings becomes life altering for Govinda as he joins his commune of monks. However, Siddhartha felt nothing but the opposite. His egotistical nature causes him to follow his own path and listen to different teachings. Siddhartha journeys to a town nearby where he meets Kamala, a renowned enchantress and requests to be her student, but she declines. Soon, Siddhartha becomes Kamala’s lover and finds himself slowly adjusting to the demands of his current lifestyle. After being employed by a rich trader named Kamaswami, Siddhartha is exposed to a new lifestyle involving lust and wealth and finds it hard to adjust to anything less. As a result of this, Siddhartha turns to gambling and soon enough is surprised by his own despair and realizes how much he has lost his way. After hitting rock bottom and attempting suicide, Siddhartha meets ferryman Vasudeva and with the intentions of getting his life back on track, asks to become his intern. Vasudeva agrees to Siddhartha’s proposal and makes him his apprentice. Together they listen to the river and with his guidance; Siddhartha learns that the river holds a hidden truth about the universe that he himself has not experienced till now. Throughout the novel, the river is seen as a crucial symbol. Over time, Siddhartha finds himself becoming wiser and truly realizing the importance and the nature of his journey through connecting with the river. Siddhartha spends much of his time by the river, ferrying...
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