Siddhartha and his call

Essay by thomassrUniversity, Bachelor's October 2014

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Siddhartha in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha starts out as a Brahmin boy on a quest searching for the ultimate answer to the enigma of a man's role on the earth. Through his travels he finds love, friendship, pain and identity. He was called to varying walks of life, each presenting its own challenges and teaching its own lessons. The first call Siddhartha experiences is to join the Samanas. We learn that "Siddhartha himself was not happy. Wandering along the rosy paths of the fig garden, sitting in contemplation in the bluish shade of the grove, washing his limbs in the daily bath of atonement, offering sacrifices in the depths of the shady mango wood, with complete grace of manner, beloved by all, a joy to all, there was yet no joy in his own heart" (Hesse 1951) One must note the imagery used by Hesse to contrast Siddhartha's state of mind.

The garden, part of the vegetable kingdom, is flourishing, as it appears to be "rosy" yet Siddhartha cannot flourish. (Wilson September 10) He is filled with restlessness, coming to him "from the river".(Hesse 1951) The river that is everywhere all the time is drawing Siddhartha to his next destiny. This restlessness is growing within him while studying the verses of the Rig Veda and the old Brahmins teachings. (Hesse 1951) It is a moment when his crown chakra is most active. (Wilson September 8) He seeks to find Atman, the Only One, and where He resided. His soul is not satisfied with the knowledge the Brahmin teachers could give him as his thirst for understanding grows.

When Siddhartha entered the Samanas he learned to fast, to think and to wait. Yet, he still remained in search of the essence of life. Gotama, had found the answer Siddhartha was...