Attaining and living the “Good Life” does not always come easily. There are costs to living a fulfilling life and often times sacrifices must be made in order to do so. This is most notable in a few of the readings from the course. Siddhartha, from Hesse’s novel, exemplifies someone who so passionately wanted to find enlightenment that he was willing to give up his family, prior beliefs, and all of his belongings. Rama’s situation in the Ramayana also demonstrates the idea that the good life does not come without sacrifice. A final example of this idea is read in the Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna must put his family in danger on the battlefield to do what is right. After a more in depth look at the situations from these readings, it is ever more apparent that the good life does not come free.
The novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is a clear example of the good life requiring sacrifices. Siddhartha so badly desired attaining Nirvana that he was willing to abandon his beliefs, stray from his family and friends, and give up all of his worldly possessions. With each different belief system with which he orientated himself, he changed his lifestyle in one way or another. Some beliefs required him to give up his belongings, so he did. Siddhartha’s rationalization for this new life he was willing to lead was that in the end, he would find enlightenment, which would be worth more than anything currently present in his life. Most people in today’s world would never be able to handle such a sacrifice but still believe they are living a good life regardless, which argues Siddhartha’s method of attaining enlightenment. I can attest to that in that I find myself living a good life without giving up my possessions. As long I have people in my life who matter, that is all I need to be happy. It is ironic that Siddhartha felt he had to give up people in life in order to be happy when in the end, it was a person (his son) who brought him to the state of total happiness he looked...
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