The Power of Love in Siddhartha
Love is a strong emotion that dictates most of a person’s decisions in life. The Siddhartha is a novel by Hesse that narrates Siddhartha’s life in pursuit of happiness and spiritual enlightenment. The story revolves around two main characters, Siddhartha and Govinda, his best friend, who move from one religious belief to another in a quest to find joy and relate with God. The protagonist seeks enlightenment and follows any path that leads to fulfillment, and whenever it comes to a dead end, they abandon it and pursue a new way. Siddhartha’s spiritual progress is synonymous with the ordinary person’s journey toward success. The only difference is that while an ordinary person is motivated by posh lifestyles, Siddhartha is motivated by spiritual enlightenment. Love played a significant role in Siddhartha’s life, and the concept of love highly choreographed most of his decisions and the pronouncements of other characters in the play. It is judicious to note that love introduces bias to decision-making and clouds judgment.
The early days of Siddhartha’s life are characterized by parental love, making him a devoted Brahman religion member. Though Siddhartha could not find the spiritual enlightenment he desired, he could not walk away from the religious practice because of the love he had for his parents. He performed all the religious offerings and ablutions on behalf of his father, and all people thought that he would live to be a priest like his father. After many years of practicing his father’s religion, he discovered that repeating prayers and religious norms did not lead him to spiritual enlightenment. When Siddhartha finally realized that following his father’s religion did not add value to his enlightenment journey, he started yearning and fell in love with another religion, the Samanas, who spent most of their time meditating. As he observed the dusty, poorly fed, and highly secluded Samana priests, he fell in love with their ways of life since he concluded that their way of life was the antidote to reaching spiritual fulfillment.
Siddhartha’s love for Samana’s ways of life clouded his logical reasoning and made him ditch his father’s faith to join them as a means to reach spiritual enlightenment. Moving from his father’s religion to a new way of life, his heart breaks his father, but since the love between the two is strong, the father asks his son to seek God in whatever ways he deems fit. The father’s love for his child blinded his judgment, and he could not teach him the advantages and disadvantages of other religious beliefs. As a result, the excess love between the father and son blinded their reasoning and made Siddhartha’s father allow his son to navigate spiritual wellness through the Samana religion. The journey to spiritual enlightenment depends entirely on exterior guidance and a sense of direction. Since love blinds the sense of judgment and introduces bias in reasoning, the father does not advise the child accordingly and makes him enter a second religion which did not lead to enlightenment.
Friendship is paramount in decision-making since it increases a person’s sense of belonging. Since people have a tendency to act in a way that will make them accepted by their peers, their decisions can be manipulated. Love thrives in friendships and may end up blinding friends from making the right decisions. Govinda is a character in the novel whose sense of reasoning and decision-making is jeopardized because of his love for Siddhartha. “He loved Siddhartha’s eye and sweet voice; he loved his walk and the perfect decency of his movements; he loved everything Siddhartha did”. Although Govinda does not have a stronger conviction about religion and spiritual enlightenment, he moved from one religion to another following Siddhartha’s convictions. Siddhartha believes that a person cannot find spiritual enlightenment through other people’s writing. Govinda is therefore blinded by his love for Siddhartha and follows him through all his life as he navigates from one religion to another to find happiness and peace of mind through a stable relationship with God.
The two friends left Brahman’s religion because of their love for the Samana ways of life. They enrolled and focused on meditation, fasting and prayers as they took a journey to improve their spirituality. Siddhartha later realizes that he was wrong in his quest to find God through the Simana spirituality, as the devotions they performed were synonymous with alcoholic behaviors. The same way, alcoholics go on a drinking spree to avoid daily stress. Samana spirituality also encourages its followers to fast, pray, and meditate to avoid daily stress. Siddhartha, therefore, concluded that it was impossible to learn new things and reach spiritual enlightenment when all a person does is repeat a cycle of prayer and meditation. The two friends then realize that they were blinded by their love for the Simana priests, which blinded their judgment, and they could not think beyond the love for the Simana lifestyle. Determined to find spiritual enlightenment, the two friends abandoned Simana’s spirituality and fell in love with Gautama.
Gautama Buddha or commonly known as Buddha, was a famous spiritual leader whose ideology is widespread in the Asian continent. Siddhartha and his friend fell in love with his fame and started looking for him in a quest to attain spiritual enlightenment. It is prudent to note that the love for spiritual enlightenment and the famous religious guru did not allow them to analyze their spiritual journey and what made them leave their father’s religion and later leave the Simana. A sober mind conducts a comprehensive analysis before following a given ideology. If the love for the spiritual guru did not blind Siddhartha and his friend, they would have analyzed the situations that made them leave their previous spiritualities before joining him in his spiritual ideology. The power of love blinded Siddhartha from reasoning and consequently made the same mistakes of joining a spirituality without knowing the pros and cons of the same.
Siddhartha initially thought that love was an affection a person shows to another human until the day he experienced Kamala’s love. The love he shared with Kamala made him abandon his faith, and spirituality moved to other ways of the world that were previously thought to be bad. The worldly possessions initially appeared to be bad for Siddhartha’s spirituality. However, the love he experienced made him forget about his spirituality, and he was employed and lived a city life, a life he had previously abhorred and thought about it as evil. As the relationship between Kamala and Siddhartha grows, she convinces him to abandon his faith, way of life and spirituality and start learning the ways of life by living like an ordinary person without any spirituality dictating how he should perceive life. Through love, he discovered that love between two people could be beneficial, and he gets more benefits from his relationship with Kamala. Through Kamala’s teaching about love, Siddhartha begins to enjoy the things ordinary people enjoy in their lives, such as nice clothes and cars.
Siddhartha undergoes different episodes of love, altering his judgment to change his ideology and spirituality. Although he always wanted to participate in activities that would facilitate his enlightenment, the motivation came to an end when he fell in love with Kamala. His obsession with spiritual enlightenment makes him reject his father’s ideology, and later, he rejects Buddha’s ideology of compassion in a quest to ensure he finds spiritual enlightenment. Siddhartha maintained a single trajectory of spiritual enlightenment until he fell in love with Kamala. The love they shared made him change his way of thinking and view material possessions as essentials of life and not evil as he perceived them before.
Siddhartha is an inspirational novel that shows how people move toward spiritual enlightenment and shows the power of love in making decisions. Siddhartha’s journey to enlightenment faces hurdles because of love and obsession. In his pursuit, he is blinded by the love which impairs his judgments, and most of them are biased. His movement from Brahman’s ideology, Simona’s, Buddha’s, and finally to Kamala are indications that prove how love can make a person act without logical reasoning. Kamala made him experience love which made him abandon his initial plan of pursuing spirituality. Love must therefore be treated with care because it has the power to blind a person and hinder them from making the right decisions.