Academic English IV
3 November 2014
Siddartha Theme Essay
Ovinda search is a universal understanding of life also known as Nirvana. Siddhartha and
Govinda both have a fundamental desire to understand their lives through spirituality. They seek to do this by reaching Nirvana which is a state of eternal bliss. Often times, people have their own spiritual desires and they must follow their own journey to get there. In Siddhartha by
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha goes about his life on the search for enlightenment. While his spiritual journey was quite different from Govindas, their result was quite similar.
Siddarthas path to nirvana varies from Govindas path in many ways. In Siddhartha’s case, when he becomes suspicious that one path may lead to a deadend, he quickly alters his course. He is willing to abandon the path of the Brahmins for the path of the Samanas, to leave the Samanas for Gotama, and then to make a radical departure from spiritual teachers and search in the material world with Kamala and Kamaswami. He does not stop in his search and instead continues to follow whatever path becomes available. “And Siddhartha spoke with a smile: "I do not know, I've never been a drunkard. But that I, Siddhartha, find only a short numbing of the senses in my exercises and meditations and that I am just as far removed from wisdom, from salvation, as a child in the mother's womb, this I know, oh Govinda, this I know." (37) Here,
Siddhartha implies that it is impossible to truly know something until you have experienced it.
This quote is important because it highlights something that Siddhartha strongly believes in the
fact that wisdom comes from experience. Siddhartha believes that the only way to attain nirvana is by being able to master everything and therefore detaching yourself from worldly concerns and freeing yourself from the cycle of life and death. Here, Siddhartha is attempting to master another thing as he learns the art of merchanting from Kamaswami and the art of loving from
Govindas approach to attaining spiritual enlightenment emphasises being a follower and a religious attendee. In Govindas quest, he restricts himself to the spiritual and religious world and focuses on getting teachers. Although Siddhartha is willing to break with religion itself and to abandon all his training, Govinda is willing to seek truth only as long as it seems within the religions of Hinduism or Buddhism and is transmitted by a