In the beginning of the book Siddhartha is already living in one extreme. He has a perfect life and is sheltered from all harm by his father, the Brahmin. He has plenty of food. He is loved and respected by all of the Brahmins. The women of his village all want him. He has everything he could ever want, or so you would think. He has learned all that he feels he could learn from the teachings of the Brahmins, however, his thirst for knowledge is not satiated. One day a group of a ascetics, called Shramanas pass through his town. They believe in attaining Nirvana through the rejection of worldly pleasures. This teaching is different than the way of the Brahmin's. Siddhartha and his friend Govinda, who is like Siddhartha's shadow, both go and join the Shramanas. They relinquish all of their worldly possessions and wander the forests. Siddhartha, after living the life of a Shrama for many years, no longer looks like the young boy he was when he left his father and the Brahmins. After some time, he has become a well respected member of the Shramanas. However, he realizes that though his elders have achieved many things both physically and spiritually, none of them have ever fully attained spiritual enlightenment. He realizes that this path is not the path to Nirvana. He has learned all that he feels he has needed to learn from the Shramanas and it is time to move on.
During the time that Siddhartha and Govinda decide that it is timeto depart with the Shramanas they hear stories of a holy man named Gotama. He... [continues]
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