Asceticism In Siddhartha

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Siddhartha’s life mimics the Buddha’s: departure from father’s home, years spent battling/struggling with worldly desires and utmost asceticism, and the realization of the Middle Path as the only road to Enlightenment. The major difference: the Buddha left a body of sermons and teachings, unlike Siddhartha. Being (Gotama) is represented in the existence of a man who has found unity. Becoming (Siddhartha) is represented in the presence of a man who has identified himself with perfection although he is still approaching it. Time, the troubled present in which one seeks the way, is transcended by the timeless fact of the goal already attained. Therefore, Siddhartha is both seeker and sage before he achieves enlightenment in “Om.” Perfection hovers …show more content…
This resembles/complements the Buddha’s celebrated doctrine of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to salvation from human suffering (supports Hesse’s identification of the One-in-Being with the One-Becoming by tracing the seeker’s acquisition of those virtues which are the special wisdom of an enlightened sage). The problem of finding unity was a problem of transcending time and that, paradoxically, the way into this timeless realm led through the multiple fields of the Here and Now. Then, Siddhartha undertakes this journey through experience and arrives at the goal he is …show more content…
“This man, this Buddha, was truly a holy man to his fingertips. Never had Siddhartha esteemed a man so much, never had he loved a man so much.” OR “I did not doubt you for one moment. Not for one moment did I doubt that you were the Buddha, that you have reached the highest goal which so many thousands of Brahmins and Brahmins’ sons are striving to reach,” (Hesse 33). Despite this, unlike Govinda, a follower, Siddhartha doesn’t become a disciple of Buddha. Instead, he articulates a logical flaw in Buddhism. Siddhartha wishes to find his own escape hatch to the karmic evolution as the Buddha did (which breaks logic). Siddhartha says Gotama demonstrates “the unity of the world, and the interconnection of all that happens,” but he had himself broken that unity by advising one to overcome the world and seek salvation outside of it. In contradiction to his own presence, therefore, Gotama seems to Siddhartha to preach that timelessness lies in abjuration of the world and of present time. Buddha responds with the warning, “Let me warn you… against the thicket of opinions and the conflict of words… Be on your guard against too much cleverness,” (Hesse 35). Gotama is aware that wisdom is not confined to his own doctrine and that doctrine has been promulgated solely for the sake of those, like Govinda, who depend upon another’s word in order to receive a hint as to their own way into enlightenment. Eventually, when he has reached

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