Siddhartha Gautama: The Ideal Person
Siddhartha is the ideal image of a person to all those who want to be the perfect son or daughter. Handsome and well-respected by the town, Siddhartha still lives with a feeling of dissatisfaction and still somewhat depression. Siddhartha longs for something more because he feels his father has passed on all the wisdom he has, yet it does not fulfill his desire to reach enlightenment. He has a best friend, or a fan, called Govinda who is quick to praise the Samanas who walk through the town in search of enlightenment. The two buddies join. Govinda feels that they both have changed and improved both spiritually and mentally. Annoyingly, Siddhartha is still unsatisfied. He rants, “Everything I have learned to this day from the Samanas, O Govinda, I might have learned more quickly and simply. In some bar in a street full of whores, my friend, among the cart drivers and dice players, I might have learned these things” (2.15).
Siddhartha feels that he could have gone to, for example, Vegas and sat there and watched drunks play cards and gamble and learn more from that then he did wasting his time with the Samanas. A little bit of arrogance being shown here. But, he points out that the most aged Samanas have lived life for numerous years but are yet to obtain true enlightenment. The Samanas have left Siddhartha feeling like the way the Brahmins did. Siddhartha says, “Always have I thirsted for knowledge, always been filled with these questions. Year after year I questioned the Brahmins, year after year questioned the holy Vedas” (2.17). Siddhartha feels he needs no teachers. He can go off into the world and seek enlightenment with no help. Not even from Govinda. Not even from Buddha himself. For he feels even his philosophy has holes and errors.
After this, Siddhartha begins to hear about a new holy man named Gautama the Buddha who has attained Nirvana. Govinda persuades Siddhartha that both should depart from the Samanas and forage for Gautama. Siddhartha and Govinda apprise the eldest of the Samanas of their decision to depart. The leader is clearly displeased, “The Samana, however, was filled with anger at the thought that these two youths wished to leave him; he raised his voice and used coarse, abusive language” (2.21). But, Siddhartha hushes him by catching “…the eye of the old man with his own eyes and bewitched him to his own will…” (2.21). Siddhartha hypnotizes the elder just the way he did his own father back at home. Just in less aggressive terms.
This all shows that Siddhartha has learned the tricks, but not the lessons. This is why he will never find enlightenment let alone Nirvana, for he is not willing to look deep enough and to learn. He wants all to be mapped out for him and everything to make perfect sense. That’s not what this is all about. Siddhartha does not want to find peace, clearly.
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Siddhartha is the ideal image of a person to all those who want to be the perfect son or daughter. Handsome and well-respected by the town, Siddhartha still lives with […]