When you take a journey, do you know what it will turn your life into? Do you know what will happen to you along the way? Do you know for sure that it will make you a better person, or for that matter, a worse person? Well, Siddhartha, a young man takes a journey that will forever change his life. He makes choices that later on he will regret, and others he will be very happy he made them. In this
essay, I will sum up his journey and the key points that followed along inside of it. I will tell you what the consequences were for his actions, and whom he was with and loved. You will now find out what Siddhartha’s journey changed his life into.
I think the first significant milestone in the beginning of Siddhartha’s journey is when he leaves home with Govinda and becomes a Samana. Siddhartha grew up as a Brahmin, considering he was a Brahmin’s son. He had everything he’s ever wanted, but then at an early stage in his life, he realizes he is not happy and does not want to grow up in the environment that he and his family members live in. Knowing that he wanted more from his life just goods and other than possessions, he asks his dad for his approval to leave the house. Although he says no at first, he is soon to realize that Siddhartha needs to find his own path. Siddhartha and Govinda successfully catch up with the Samanas the next morning and join them on their journey. From the Samanas, Siddhartha figures out how to think, fast, and wait. These attributes are very important to him. By joining the Samanas, Siddhartha planned to “Conquer Self, the greatest secret” (11). He believes that after he rids himself of “thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow”, (11) he will be able to “experience pure thought” (11).
After being a Samana for three years Siddhartha doesn’t think he is taking the right path for him, and leaves to go on yet another journey. The passage “what is meditation? What is abandonment of the body? What is fasting? ... It’s only a flight from Self, a temporary escape” (13), explains that he does not believe in that being a Samana is helping him, or will help him, accomplish his goal and that he should move on. This milestone seems important because it gives Siddhartha perspective on what he wants to become and achieve. Another huge milestone for Siddhartha is when he meets Kamala. She informs him that he needs “fine clothes, fine shoes, and money” in order for her to teach him. She then introduces him to the merchant, Kamaswami. Kamaswami gives Siddhartha a job and also a place to stay. He is also taught by Kamala, the “ways of a woman.” At the beginning, Siddhartha is kind and doesn’t let the wealth overpower him. But as time goes on, Siddhartha’s facial expressions were often turning into those of the rich peoples, “expressions of discontent, of sickliness, of displeasure, of idleness, of loveliness” (63). This passage explains how Siddhartha let loose of his morals and let the “pleasures of the world overtake him.” Siddhartha then began gambling and demanding money from leisurely paying debtors. On one fine day, he looked in the mirror and realized how shallow his life had become over this course of time. So that night he had a dream about “the rare songbird Kamala kept in a small golden cage.” It was about this bird he had dreamt about before. This bird, which most of the time sang in the morning, became silent, and as this action astonished him, he looked in the cage and the bird had passed. As he threw the bird on the road, he felt like he had gotten rid of “all that was good and of value in himself” (66). This dream symbolized what his life had turned into and made him realize that a part of him had died. This dream helped him grasp that his goal was no longer “pure thought and salvation,” but of «riches and possessions.” So the next morning Siddhartha left in search of a new path. I believe that this milestone is imperative because at first it creates a side of Siddhartha that is based upon possessions and desires, but it helps him realize that in order to reach nirvana he has to start over as a child with “no knowledge or wealth.” I believe that the last highlight in Siddhartha’s life is when he goes to live with the wonderful ferryman. As Siddhartha looks into the river about to take his own life, he hears the “one word: Om.” That one word gives him the mighty courage to carry on and he then remembers the ferryman, Vasudeva, who helped him cross the river to Kamala’s town. Siddhartha searches for the ferryman and when he finds him, Vasudeva invites him to be his guest. Siddhartha learns from the river that there is no such thing as time and he tells Vasudeva his knowledge about what he has previously learned. One day a group of monks were passing by and with them was Kamala and her son.
She was resting under a tree when a snake bit her, leaving the son with Siddhartha. His son was “accustomed to a different life and to a different nest” (96) and one day ran off. The passage “how can I part from him, give me time yet, my dear friend. I am trying to reach his heart,” (97) explains that even though Siddhartha realized that his son wasn’t happy and the lifestyle he lived was troubling him, he still tried as best as he could. At first Siddhartha is crushed by the disappearance of his son, but one-day when he looked into the river he saw the face of his father and after looking deeper he sees Kamala and Govinda. He had finally reached nirvana and reached his final goal. Do you now know what might happen to you, and the consequences you might have to face during your life long expedition? Do you know what or whom you might turn into? Well, you should recognize it now. After reading this you should have some idea of that bumps and bruises you might run into during your journeys. Hopefully you might not have as many as young Siddhartha did; but those bumps and bruises may help you later on in life and to become a bigger and stronger person, maybe not physically, but mentally as well.
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