Siddhartha's Many Teachers

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Siddhartha has had many teachers. Although many of these teachers did not teach him what he was looking for, they were still teachers by definition. Siddhartha's main teachers were his father; the Brahmin, the Samanas; the wandering ascetics, Kamala; the lover, and Vasudeva; the ferryman. Each and every one of these teachers taught Siddhartha something that allowed him to continue on his path to enlightenment.

Siddhartha's father is Siddhartha's first official teacher. He raises Siddhartha and enlightens him on the ways of Brahmin life; which includes prayer, sacrifices, and complete understanding of the Vedas. Even though the father is comfortable with just knowing and abiding by the rules of his caste, Siddhartha feels that there is something missing and therefore can't continue with his current way of life. Siddhartha's father didn't teach Siddhartha much in the ways of Enlightenment, but he did show Siddhartha a way of life that will help him understand more on his path to achieve his goal.

The wandering ascetics, called Samanas, teach Siddhartha much in the ways of spiritual discipline. Unlike Siddhartha's prior Brahmin lifestyle, the ascetic life proved to get him closer to spiritual Enlightenment than before. After a while with the Samanas, Siddhartha noticed that the oldest man in the group was nearing sixty and still had not achieved enlightenment. This didn't bode well for Siddhartha. Looking back at his time with the Samanas, Siddhartha found that the only spiritual step he had taken was one that he could have achieved by going to the local bar or sleeping with a whore. The spiritual escape that he was taught was merely a momentary oblivious state that that proved to help with nothing down the road.

The root word of Kamala, kama, signifies the Hindu god of love and desire. The name Kamala in the book foreshadowed that Siddhartha was going to awaken those buried emotions that he had kept hidden for so long. Siddhartha encounter with Kamla...
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