This essay has a total of 655 words and 4 pages.


Siddhartha and Govinda

Siddhartha, written by Herman Heese, is a book about a man’s journey to find his
inner self beginning when he is young and ending when he is of old age. Siddhartha, while
on this quest, searched for different mentors to teach him what they know, hoping to find
truth and balance in and of the universe. At the end of the novel, Siddhartha reaches the
enlightenment through many teachings.

Govinda, Siddhartha dearest friend and confident, is often viewed as his
Siddhartha’s follower, or as his shadow. In the beginning, Siddhartha goes with
Gotama to hear the teachings of the Buddha, and Govinda remains with Buddha to become his
disciple. Siddhartha believes that each person must find his or her own way to salvation
and does not stay with Buddha. He says, “That is why I am going on my way-not to
seek another and better doctrine, for I know there is none, but to leave all doctrines and
all teachers and to reach my goal alone-or die. (28)” This quote is the underlying
message portrayed for the rest of Siddhartha’s quest. This tells that life
experience is the best teacher, which in turn is the core of Buddhism. As the two friends
part to go their separate ways, Siddhartha again voices the central idea of the novel: he
reminds the Buddha that the process of enlightenment which he underwent is unteachable,
and that there is no way of communicating first-hand experience to the disciples.

As the last part begins, Govinda has arrived to cross the river, meeting Siddhartha, who
is now an old man. Immediately upon being reunited, Govinda knows that Siddhartha has
found his own way and then realizes that he did it without the formal system of the
Buddha. After being asked how he was able to reach enlightenment, Siddhartha draws the
distinction between knowledge and wisdom. He says, “ No, I am telling you what I
discovered. Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be
forfeited by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
(115) .

Siddhartha shares many teachings he has learned with Govinda. Siddhartha holds up a stone
in example, showing that one thing is enfolded in the past, present, and future. He also
stated that language is only a device, and that wisdom is not communicable. This means
that, through experience, wisdom is attainable, but if you trying to teach enlightenment,
the meaning will not be fully appreciated to whom it is taught .

We also learn that not only Samana has left its mark on Siddhartha, but that also his
Continues for 2 more pages >>