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River as a friend in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

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River as a friend Siddhartha by Herman Hesse Praveen Ravi The river is a source of knowledge. It symbolises a teacher, a guru, one who knows and is aware of this knowledge and who imparts it to those who seek knowledge from it. In Herman Hesse's novella Siddhartha, the protagonist Siddhartha is deeply mystified by the secrets and puzzles of the river. He seeks to unravel and them and gain knowledge from the river in order to achieve his goal of attaining nirvana, enlightenment. He is helped in his course by a ferryman Vasudeva, who has lived all his life close to the river, transporting people from one side to the other. He too has learnt a lot from the river. He helps Siddhartha in understanding the river and at instances, clarifies his doubt. ...read more.


It flows continuously but it always there. This statement foreshadows that Siddhartha will stay for a longer time by the river, trying to gain more knowledge from it. Siddhartha meets the ferryman Vasudeva whom he recognises instantly despite the big gap of time. Siddhartha recounts his life to him which Vasudeva listens with intense concentration and attention. Vasudeva tells him "The river has taught........the other thing too". Vasudeva, being quite experienced about the river, tells Siddhartha that he will definitely learn much from the river. He says that Siddhartha had already learnt one thing about the river that it is good to seek, to go into depth and this was very good. Vasudeva says "The river knows everything" on pg 170. The river is a universal source of knowledge and it would impart knowledge to Siddhartha since he whished to seek knowledge from it. ...read more.


In conclusion, the entire story has a greater meaning to it that is applicable to our present world. The story is not asking us to follow Siddhartha's way or to spend hours near the river, trying to understand it. The story's greater meaning is that to achieve any goal, it is us who need to take the path. We may or may not accept teachings; we may or may not reject teachers who are our guides. However, it is our Self that will have to reach its final destination. Our guides, who are experienced, who have walked on the path we are about to take, who are full with knowledge and wisdom can impart all what they to know to us but these can only show the way to attain our goal. It is only us who have to walk the final path of attaining our goal. ...read more.

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