The Importance of Both Experience and teachings in Siddhartha’s Journey

Topics: Hermann Hesse, Gautama Buddha, Teacher Pages: 2 (497 words) Published: March 30, 2014
The Importance of Both Experience and teachings in Siddhartha’s Journey In the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha goes on a journey in which he learns from both teachers and and personal experiences. Both of these are important factors that contributed to him finding peace. The Novel Siddhartha proves that one can not attain peace without both the teachings of others and their own experiences.

Even though he would not admit it while he was with them, Siddhartha would not have found peace. When he was with with Gotama, he did not appreciate his teachings. This is shown when he says, “If I were one of your followers, I fear that it would only be on the surface, that I would deceive myself that I was at peace…”(Hesse 28). This quote clearly shows Siddhartha’s lack of trust in the Buddha’s teachings. He is basically saying that if he stays with him, he will think he is at peace, even though he is actually not. This is why Siddhartha decides to leave. It is not until the end of the novel, when Siddhartha is reflecting back on his journey, that he realizes how much he really learned from the Buddha’s teachings. He expresses how much teachers affected his journey when he says to Govinda, “I have since then had many teachers,”(Hesse 114). In this quote, Siddhartha explains how at first, he does not want to follow any teachers, but then later realizes how important they really are. The most import teacher to him was Vasudeva. He taught Siddhartha the ways of the river. Other teachers included: Gotama, Kamala; who taught him how to love, and many others. Without the help of all of these teachers, Siddhartha would not have been able to attain peace.

Siddhartha’s personal experiences were just as important in his path to find peace. In his journey, lived a life of minimalism with the semanas. In this life, he barely ate, and spent practically his whole day meditating. “The flesh disappeared from his legs and cheeks...The nails grew long on...
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