Reflection On Siddhartha

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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The spiritual ideas of Buddhism and Hinduism are very interesting but often hard to grasp. In the novel Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, these ideas are the basis for many likes and dislikes. It is a story about a young Hindu boy who rejects the beliefs of everyone he knows and finds his own way to peace and salvation. Siddhartha's spiritual content and interesting plot provide great reading, but can be hard to understand at times.

One aspect of Siddhartha that I like is its spirituality and use of eastern philosophy. Learning about new cultures and religions is always interesting, but I think Buddhism and Hinduism are especially fascinating. Their ideas of achieving Nirvana and being one with nature are very unique. There are many points in the novel that echo these spiritual beliefs. First, there is Siddhartha's knowledge as a Brahmin. He is able to meditate and slip in and out of consciousness.

He can also fast for long periods of time to prove his commitment to the Hindu religion. Then there are Siddhartha's encounters at the river. His soul speaks to him through the river and leads him to peace and salvation.

Finally, there is Siddhartha's reunion with Govinda. When Siddhartha kisses him on the forehead, images of his life run through his mind and he begins to think clearly. The spiritual ideas of Siddhartha definitely add to the excellence of the novel.

Another "like"� of Siddhartha is its interesting plot. Siddhartha is continuously moving from life to life, meeting new people, and adopting new beliefs. First, he starts as a young Brahmin's son. Siddhartha then leaves to become a Samana and leaves them to find Buddha. After rejecting Buddha and leaving Govinda, he becomes a wealthy merchant and finds a new friend in Kamala. After...