Siddhartha: this essay is about how siddhartha obtained his wisdom through his own experience

Essay by sw33tcheekz112High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

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I agreed with Bennett's analysis of Siddhartha's belief that knowledge can only be obtained through self-discoveries and experiences. Throughout Siddhartha's life, he denounced teachers and their teachings. Hesse allows the reader to trace Siddhartha's enlightening process both through his own experiences, and the people with whom he comes in contact. Siddhartha's quest of the Self is developed by three key events: his meeting with Buddha, his attempted suicide, and the arrival/departure of his son. These events contributed to his self-discoveries and individuality.

Siddhartha's meeting with Gautama, the Buddha, is the first key experience that contributes to his learning process. After several years of living the ascetic life of a Samana, Siddhartha decided to seek out Gautama, "The Illustrious One," as a possible source of assistance in his journey to find his inner self. After their meeting, however, Siddhartha becomes more convinced that the Buddha's methods satisfy his logical and tangible needs, but will not bring him any closer to realizing his spiritual and metaphysical needs.

The theme of knowledge cannot be taught is present in Siddhartha's conclusion that if he is to achieve an immaterial balance; it must be on his own. He understands that the Buddha had a remarkable experience, but it is a personal one. Siddhartha sees that his development process relies on forging his own experiences and his attainment of self-realization can only be made by himself, regardless of what knowledge Gautama may impart to him.

The second experience that puts Siddhartha on a path to self-discovery is his attempted suicide. Preceding this incident, Siddhartha made a complete turnaround and decided to explore his worldly needs and lives the life of a lover, merchant and gambler. As a student of lust under Kamala and money under Kamaswami, the protagonist becomes self centered, greedy, and...