The Theme Of The Importance Of Soul In Siddhartha

“Your heart is the world,” says Hesse 7. Although the importance of a soul cannot be overemphasized, it does not mean that the entire world is inaccessible to others. Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse) is the title character. He searches for answers all his life, but discovers that they are inside him. Siddhartha comes to this realization after he’s abandoned all his loved ones. He calls it the “justifiable title of the soul”. Siddhartha is happy, he finds his peace of mind, body, and soul. But it’s not his only cost. He leaves his parents to go to the Samanas. He also abandons Govinda and the Samanas in favor city life. Only to discover what he considers his place in this world, a life of a ferryman. Siddhartha makes it seem that his family is irrelevant, unimportant, or even unnecessary when he gets restless. Siddhartha’s selfishness is so great that he doesn’t deserve the contentment he finds from living as a ferryman. But he does deserve to suffer the agony and abandonment he has forced upon his mother, father and friend Govinda.

Siddhartha abandons his mother and father to follow the path of ascetic Samanas. This is his first act in desertion. He sets a precedent that he will follow his entire life. He understands why he had to leave his parents. But it is not impossible to see that it was a waste of time. “When someone seeks…then he easily sees the thing he seeks. He is able to find no other thing, to take in no because his mind is always focused on the goal he is striving for, because it is his only goal. Siddhartha doesn’t see beyond his own needs. He only sees the world as it is. He longs to see the whole world, to gain knowledge from it, and to achieve his goals. As a Samana, however, he finds it only disconcerting. This is why he has to leave his family. He realizes that his efforts to get the best from others, such as wisdom and understanding, have not resulted in much. Siddhartha doesn’t stop to consider that maybe he was wrong and that perhaps abandoning his father and mother wasn’t the best way to reach enlightenment. Siddhartha fails in his ability to understand the unrestrained love of his family and the same amount of love he receives from Govinda. Govinda leaves behind his home, family, and entire life to serve Siddhartha. The ungrateful narcissist has also taken Govinda with him. Siddhartha decides to follow Siddhartha and leave Govinda behind. This is because he believes there is a flaw to Buddha’s teachings. Siddhartha’s inability to return the love he received from Kamala and Govinda is tragic enough. Surprisingly, and even disgustingly, Siddhartha has the uncanny ability to tell Govinda, “It seems to be me…that love” (147). Siddhartha finds the peace he seeks with nature, river, and the people he feels so repugnance towards. But, ultimately, this can only be achieved through the deliberate, repeated abandonment of those who love him, and their sacrifices. Siddhartha finds happiness at the expense and is completely unacceptable. Siddhartha, while a parent should love their child more that anything and everything, loves only himself. Siddhartha does not give his young Siddhartha any reason to doubt him.

He gives him every reason for doubt. Siddhartha is the one who is absent from Kamala and he is not there for them. Kamala is in danger because of his abandonment. His abandonment also leaves Siddhartha without any knowledge or acknowledgement of a world that does not provide for every desire.

Siddhartha is responsible for Siddhartha leaving him. He also left his parents. Siddhartha’s son leaves him, finally. Siddhartha immediately releases himself from the guilt and shame. “His speech and thought are not what I consider him a great man. But his life and deeds” (148). Siddhartha’s actions and life do not indicate greatness. His selfishness is a death sentence for the mother he loves, and it is a theft of his son’s right to absolute power, not privilege. This is unacceptable. Siddhartha never realized the incredible value of a loving family, despite all his wanderings, searching, fasting, meditating and other “awakenings”.

Siddhartha is a constant exchanger of his family and its love, which he regards as “the most precious thing in the universe” for his own selfishness and narcissistic tendencies. Ironically, this is also where he makes mistakes. He can’t see the self as valuable because he considers himself and the soul to be the most precious thing. When the most essential thing is family, the best thing is love. Siddhartha said to Buddha that he understood what it meant, but that he doesn’t realize that he is responsible for so much destruction. Siddhartha may find his happiness and peace as a ferryman but he doesn’t deserve it. He is not worthy of understanding what it means for someone to abandon them, which he has done repeatedly, most horribly to his child.


  • stanleybyrne

    Stanley Byrne is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher. He has degrees in education and political science from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in various teaching and research positions since he graduated in 2014. He is the author of a number of educational blog posts and has written for Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Salon.