Hermann Hesse, winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature, presents an Indian tale with Siddhartha. The author’s passion and quest for Eastern literature and mysticism almost merges with Siddhartha. In this integration, the reader sees himself breathlessly in Siddhartha.
Siddhartha is born the son of a Brahman. He has a solid friendship with his friend Govinda, whom he has been with since childhood. However, Siddhathta always carries an awareness with his intelligence, fiery thoughts and will, and his best friend Govinda knows that he will never be an ordinary Brahman in Siddhath. When thoughts strike the mind for the first time, Siddhartha no longer fits into his home, his environment, his family, and with that insatiable hunger for knowing, he wants to set out to find his own way. For this, Siddharta’s path is shaped by his departure from home. Leaving home, of course, will not be easy. However, Siddharta’s desire to find himself with his own truth is so strong that he convinces his father and is sent off to his own birth. His father only says these words to him:
“You saw that you found happiness in the forest, come back and teach me what happiness is. Are you disappointed, come back again, let’s offer offerings to the Gods together with you (…)”
Siddhartha sets off in the evening of that day with his friend Govinda. Together with the ascetic Samanas, they lead to a new teaching, a new life and a new identity. For Siddhartha, who is used to living in very difficult conditions according to the rules of Samana, that secret knowledge has not yet been formed. That hunger was not diminished in any way and was in no way filled. Finally he realizes Siddhartha that no one can attain salvation by teaching!
However, during this journey, they encounter Buddha, who has made many disciples for himself with his teachings. His friend Govinda, following Siddhartha, goes to meet that great person. Although Siddharta is very impressed by this person and considers him as an identity he will never forget, he cannot live there either, leaving his friend Govinda there and continues to seek his own hunger. Siddhartha expresses this hunger as follows:
“And there is nothing in the world that I know as little as myself, as Siddhartha!”
In the second part of the book, another life and teachings from different people await Siddhartha. Now he begins to search for himself in another way and among people he does not know. This period is no longer the path of following the path of scholars or teachings, but of following the path of wrongdoing. Making inferences from the material is a way of stating that wrong should be in our lives.
This path of Siddharha is a path in which every reader is a little more self-contained. First, he goes to a prostitute, Siddhartha, his name is Kamala. She learns a lot about life, people and sexuality from him. Then he learns how to trade and how to make money from a very wealthy merchant. Contrary to the life of the Samanas, he wears very expensive clothes and his body becomes important. This second path of Siddhartha is summarized as follows:
“Was there any other filth left, whether he had not made himself dirty, was he a sin left, was he not committed, was he still a folly, had he not resorted, had he not taken a step that turned his soul into a desolate desert?”
Siddharhta, who lived with Kamala for many years, leaves everything one night without telling anyone. It moves away from there and again on the roads it cruises towards its own birth. Kamala is not surprised at this departure, because Siddharta has already come to go. Becomes a companion to a boatman’s shelter, for the last time he meets Vasudeva. He learns a lot from his dialogue with the river. And finally a son comes to this shelter.
His mother’s name is Kamala, whose eyes are similar to Siddhartha’s. Siddhartha immediately recognizes his son and later learns that Kamala has given up her prostitution, devoted herself to the path of great knowledge, and has taken care of her only child. During the trip, Kamala and Siddhartha meet, but with Kamala’s death, it is Siddhartha’s duty to take care of the child. This little boy, who lives a very rich life next to his mother and has everything he wants, is the opposite of his father in temperament, but they live together in a small shelter. Siddhartha finds himself on this path and reaches his own self-knowledge while raising his son. Vasudeva, his friend with whom he lives in the shelter, warns Siddhartha.
“Do you believe that the follies you once committed were to avoid your son?”
Siddhartha was now releasing his own son on the path he had once left his father to go his own way and give birth to himself. Because now he had learned the true knowledge
“No one could see how far they had come in another’s path.”
Everyone was reaching their own birth on their own journey. Because there was only one right and wrong. Because the sum of everything we call contrast actually presented the right information and teaching to us. Thus, Siddhartha completed the path he had set out. And we too.