An Analysis of the Topic of the Nowhere Without a Mentor and the Gotama Buddha
As the journey called life unfolds, imagine what one would be without mentors. Mentor is a vague word used to describe a person who helps another, who is trusted by another, who is a counselor to another, but most of all is someone who influences another. With no mentors or guides the title character in the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, would not have found self. The three characters that have the greatest influence on Siddhartha are Gotama Buddha, Kamala and Vasudeva.
From Gotama Buddha, Siddhartha realizes he would rather walk his own path than follow another’s. After pursuing Buddha’s followings with his companion Govinda, Siddhartha has a revelation while he is conversing with Gotama. “‘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’ “(34). This quote shows how Gotama has influenced Siddhartha to seek Self unaccompanied, marking a significant turning point in Siddhartha’s journey. Subsequent to Siddhartha’s encounter with Buddha, he meets a beautiful woman named Kamala who drastically changes him. The author of Siddhartha explains in detail how the title character slowly takes on characteristics of average citizens while living with Kamala. “Gradually, along with his growing riches, Siddhartha himself acquired some of the characteristics of the ordinary people, some of their childishness and some of their anxiety”(77). At this point in the novel, Siddhartha begins to be disgusted with himself, and recognizes that life with Kamala is not the place he should be in to find peace. Shortly after he apprehends this, Siddhartha leaves Kamala only to find a peaceful Ferryman, named Vasudeva who introduces Siddhartha to a river. In the following quote, Vasudeva explains to Siddhartha the power of the river that they live by. “The river knows everything; one can learn everything from it”(105). This quote shows how Vasudeva introduced Siddhartha to the river that led him to find peace.
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After Siddhartha’s long journey and his encounters with many people who influence him, he finds peace within himself. The three characters that have the greatest influence on Siddhartha are Gotama Buddha, Kamala and Vasudeva. Gotama Buddha helps Siddhartha realize that peace is found without teachers, Kamala changes Siddhartha into an ordinary citizen and Vasudeva introduces Siddhartha to a river that leads him to find peace. Although Siddhartha has much help during his journey to find peace, his own strong will is the deciding factor in him reaching his goal.