English 10B, 6th Period
May 22, 2001
Siddhartha, Chapter 1
Chapter 1 of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was out of the ordinary.
Siddhartha, a young son of a Brahmin, was seeking to become a Samana, and
his friend, Govinda, would follow him as “…his companion, his servant,
his lance bearer, and his shadow” (Hesse 2). Siddhartha’s father was
hesitant to allow him to become a Samana, but he later notice Siddhartha
had already left spiritually.
The bond between Siddhartha and Govinda is comparable to superiority
and insufficiency, and religion. Siddhartha has a “servant”, Govinda, who
will dedicate his life for the prosperity of Siddhartha, and in return he
gains the reputation of disciple, in the event of Siddhartha becoming a
god. Amazing! This is far beyond the barriers of friendship and
associated loyalty, to a rather hierarchical system of class; religion.
Many people insist that hierarchical form of governing is obsolete and
unnecessary, and other absolutely forbid such arrangement, yet they return
to their homes, churches, temples, synagogues, and any other institution
that relates to religious practice, to attend and be a player in the game
of religion. The chain of command initiates within “God”, and disciples
and saints are issued the next order, the clergypersons are then
positioned, and atlas, we the people who follow the beliefs of the
“almighty” stand among our millions of members to bask in “God’s” presence.
Govinda is preparing to be inferior.
India has class order to their society, as many other countries do,
but India’s barriers are more conspicuous. The Brahmin division ranks high
explicitly because they are priests and their responsibility is the cosmic
revelation according to the Rig-Veda. Similar to the tasks of Christian
priests and related church members who have a direct “link” to God and
distribute sermons and bible reading that are direct readings from the
bible and opinionated comments (usually reinforcing the bible’s teachings)
for the sole purpose of rendering and teaching individuals and promote the
religion, Brahmins’ goals are to education the populace of their teachings,
and perhaps, have some people adopt their religion. Yet, they are often
depicted as power-hungry, egotistical, arrogant people. Just imagine if
Christian priests were considered in this manner.
Siddhartha tends to exhibit discontent towards himself. He mentions
the love of his friend Govinda and parents is not sufficient enough to
grant him happiness. And his religion is apparently not keeping up to his
intellect. Hopefully, becoming a Samana would meet his requirements for
contentment and aptitude.