Siddhartha Essays: Do Teachings Help Reach Nirvana?
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Siddhartha Analytical Essay
Do teachings help reach Nirvana? One could argue that Siddhartha found enlightenment by himself. On the other hand, would it have been possible for the protagonist to realize he had to go on his own if he hadn’t received teachings? Siddhartha is a fiction novel written by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha, a smart and charming young man, decides to leave his family because he believes that his loved ones will not always keep him happy. His journey is without rest, first he has the belief that the teachings of the Samanas will get him to Nirvana. Then, given his last experience, he denies the opportunity to learn from the Buddha himself because he does not believe in teachings anymore. Afterwards, he is left tempted by the…show more content… At this point, he has complete faith in teachings. “He had begun to suspect that his worthy father and his other teachers[…] had already poured on him the sum total of their knowledge[…][and]his intellect was not satisfied” (Hesse 5). It goes without saying that Siddhartha wants to learn more, and receive additional teachings to satisfy his intellect. Furthermore, one does not become a Samana without teachings, “Tomorrow morning, my friend, Siddhartha is going to join the Samanas. He is going to become a Samana” (Hesse 9). This passage implies that Siddhartha is opened to teachings since he wants to become an ascetic. Moreover, Siddhartha does learn many things: he learned how to fast, he learned self-denial and he learned how to cope with pain, and more (Hesse 15). At this moment, he believes that one can only reach enlightenment through the repression of the Self, but can do so only with the aid of teachers. Briefly, Siddhartha has a hunger for learning, and consequently he launches himself into the teachings of the Samanas. Only then, he realizes that most, if not all of his companions, still haven’t reached enlightenment.
To continue with, Siddhartha changes his mind concerning his opinion on teachings. He comes to think that the mere essence of teachings will never get him to Nirvana. He wants to find his own way. “[…] [I] have become distrustful of teachings and learning and I have…show more content… Once again, Siddhartha changes his mind concerning teachings; he welcomes it. The first time Siddhartha sees Kamala he is amazed by her beauty, and wants to learn more about this woman. He decides he cannot stay an ascetic (Hesse 52), and he shaves his beard and his hair to impress her (Hesse 55). When he meets her again he says, “I am already beginning to learn from you” (Hesse 54). This implies that Siddhartha will be learning from Kamala. Further, Siddhartha openly states that he wants to learn about love: “[…][A]re you not all afraid of the Samana from the forest, who has come to learn about love?”(Hesse 54-55). Last, Siddhartha has fallen in the material world, and he wants to learn how to be a merchant. “Kamaswami talked to him about his business”(Hesse 65) “Siddhartha learned many new things […]”(65). To sum up, the protagonist falls for Kamala and agrees to learn the ways of a business