Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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A son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha defies his father's wishes by leaving home and learning the ways of the Samana. Soon after, he joined Govinda in their quest to become empty. "To become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow "" to let the Self die." They heard of rumors of the Buddha and his teachings, which convinced Govinda to become a monk and follow the Buddha. Siddhartha left the Buddha and Govinda and found himself lost in the world, mourning the loss of a good friend. After deep reflection, Siddhartha realized that he was just reborn and awakened on his path to find his SELF. Eventually he entered a city where he crossed the path of Kamala. He had a yearning to learn how to love so he goes to Kamala where she teaches him the ways of a person of a city. Disregarding the ways of the Samana, Siddhartha now wears fine clothes, has money, and oils his hair.

He follows a path opposite of a Samana, one that leads to corruption. One day he realizes his state of unhappiness and leaves for the forest to live the life of a Samana once more. Siddhartha comes across Vasudeva who lives a humble life alongside the river. He becomes the Vasudeva's apprentice and discovers the great happiness that the humble life of the ferryman lives. Vasudeva listens and guides Siddhartha in his search. Hearing of the nearing death of Gotama, Kamala seeks to see him before he passes on. On her journey, she gets bitten by a snake nearby the river and eventually dies, leaving Siddhartha's and her son behind. The adjustment to rural living is tough for the son and he runs away to the city to the dismay of Siddhartha. Filled with rage and frustration, Siddhartha has trouble finding inner peace but regains his composure after time. With the guidance of Vasudeva, Siddhartha finds peace from the voices of the river and Vasudeva, a god-like figure, sees that his work is done and leaves for the woods. Govinda, seeking the wisdom of the ferryman he heard so much of, meets up with Siddhartha once again. He tells Govinda the secret to happiness "" love.