Siddhartha: The Search for the Inner Self Siddhartha had
one single goal - to become empty, to become empty of
thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow - to let the Self
die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an
emptied heart, to experience pure thought - that was his
goal. When all the Self was conquered and dead, when all
passions and desires were silent, then the last must awaken,
the innermost of Being that is no longer Self - the great
secret! (14) Siddhartha, according to his actions, was
constantly in search for knowledge, regardless of what kind,
or what he had to do to obtain it. In the book titled
Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, this is shown to us by
Siddhartha's leaving home to join the Samanas, and all the
actions leading to his residence alongside the river. Leaving
his loving family and home where all loved him, shows us
that Siddhartha not only knows what he wants but will do
anything to attain it. As described on pages 10 through 12,
Siddhartha did not leave his father's chambers until he had
gotten his way, until his father had submitted to Siddhartha's
wishes and agreed to let him leave home to join the
Samanas. This stubbornness, this patience with people and
situations is also a large part of Siddhartha's character. It
enables him to out wait anyone or anything, which teaches
him how to do without and also helps him through his time
with the Samanas. "Siddhartha learned a great deal from the
Samanas he learned many ways of losing the Self" (15).
Despite the new knowledge he acquired, Siddhartha realized
that it was only " . . . a temporary palliative against the pain
and folly of life" (17). And with this, his next decision was to
leave the Samanas and go in search of the Buddha in order
to learn perhaps something he did not already know.
Through this we learn that Siddhartha, having learned all that
is possible in one place, moves to another in search for more
wisdom in search for the secret of how to obtain inner
peace, how to find the Self. This action also shows his
change by showing us that Siddhartha no longer has the
patience to stick to certain routines as he did when he was at
home in his youth. Finding the Buddha in a garden,
Siddhartha and Govinda spend an evening and afternoon in
the " . . . Jetavana grove" listening to the teachings of the
Buddha. Although what he has to say is all important and
thought to be flawless by all, Siddhartha finds that the
Buddha's " . . . doctrine of rising above the world, of
salvation, has a small gap. [And] through this small break,
the eternal and single world law [which the Buddha
preaches] breaks down again" (32- 3). This realization that
teachings are not flawless shows that Siddhartha has started
thinking on his own. He no longer practices routines of
cleansing or chants verses in order to obtain a moment of
inner peace. Once again, Siddhartha renews his journey,
leaving Govinda and the Illustrious One behind, believing
that no one finds salvation through teachings. Siddhartha was
a deep thinker. He had found a flaw with the flawless
teachings of the Buddha. He had realized that he would
never attain inner peace through others teachings, but that he
alone had to seek it. And this is what he did, stopping next
for a lesson in love from the beautiful courtesan, Kamala.
Because of this experience, he shed his Samana robes and
became a merchant. He gambled and acquired riches all for
the love of a beautiful woman. As the years passed,
Siddhartha's soul became corrupted with characteristics of
ordinary people. He relied on luxury now, when before he
could have fasted or begged for his food. His goals were
lost and forgotten until a dream one night awakened him and
" . . . overwhelmed [him with] a feeling of great sadness"
(82). Siddhartha, realizing he had lost his path, now decided
it was time to get back on it. This stubbornness, as
mentioned before, now helps him carry out his newly found
goal., also making his parting from Kama! la a lighter
burden. His soul had been corrupted. His goals had been
lost. Now Siddhartha had to start his search anew, but the
beginnings of the ability to love another person were now
implanted in his heart. As he reached the river, Siddhartha
was overwhelmed with a feeling " . . . of desire to let himself
go and be submerged in the water. [The] chilly emptiness in