In Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, there are many people of wisdom. They all help Siddhartha trough his life to try and find enlightenment. Siddhartha tries many different people and ways to try and find enlightment. There are three major people of wisdom, first the group of Samanas who teach Siddhartha to care and give to the poor, second Kamala who teaches him to love, and third the Ferryman named Vasudeva, teaches him about the river and will lead Siddhartha to enlightenment.
The Samanas are one of the three people in Siddhartha’s life that teaches him valuable life lessons. “Siddhartha gave his clothes to a poor Brahmin on the road and only retained his loincloth and earth-colored unstitched cloak” (13). The Samanas taught Siddhartha to not be selfish and to look after people in the world. When Siddhartha goes with the Samanas, it is a large part of his life. When he leaves his father and goes with the Samanas, the goal that Siddhartha has is, to find enlightment. “He only ate once a day and never cooked food. He fasted fourteen days. He fasted twenty-eight days. The flesh disappeared from his enlarged eyes”(13). There are almost three stages in Siddhartha’s life. At this point in Siddhartha’s life, he is wearing scrubby cloths and fasting for days at a time. When Siddhartha is in the moment with and as a Samana, he does not truly know what he is learning. He has not yet found what he is searching for. Later on in his life when he is living with the Ferryman, will he truly understand what the Samanas are trying to teach him. Teaching Siddhartha to be generous to people, does not stick with him for very long. He soon decides that he cannot be taught. The Samanas are teaching Siddhartha to be kind and help people however Siddhartha is not listening. Later in his life he will understand what the Samanas are trying to teach him. This is why the Samanas are people of wisdom in Siddhartha’s life and in the text.
Kamala is the second person that has wisdom in Siddhartha. After Siddhartha has left the Samanas, he meets Kamala. Siddhartha now has a new goal in life, he wants to “learn the art of love”(54). Kamala will become Siddhartha’s lover later in life. Siddhartha, earlier in his life however said, “I am not in need and have never been in need”(63). This is strange because now Siddhartha is realizing that he really does need somebody in his life. This part of Siddhartha’s life is the most important because Kamala does not only teach Siddhartha to love, she teaches him to learn. Finally in Siddhartha’s life somebody gets through to Siddhartha. “When you throw a stone into water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal”(60). Soon enough Siddhartha will learn that he needs to slow down in life. When he was with the Samanas, Siddhartha would always find some way to get a task done as fast as possible. Siddhartha would push everyone and everything out of the way so he could get the task done. He was living the life of the stone dropped into the water when a task or a goal was set infront of him. When Kamala finaly gets through to Siddhartha, he does not keep going this way for a long time. Once Kamala is about to die, she reviles that her son belongs to Siddhartha. Now that Siddhartha has a son he will be taught how his own father felt when he left his father when he was a young boy.
Lastly, the person of wisdom in Siddhartha’s life is the Ferryman. The Ferryman named Vasudeva showed Siddhartha that the goals he has are no good. When Siddhartha leaves Kamala, he sees the Ferryman for the first time sense he crossed the river a long time ago. Throughout Siddhartha’s life, the river has meant a lot to him. In the end, the river shows a path of enlightenment in his life. Vasudeva shows Siddhartha the true meaning of the river and the way to enlightenment. Siddhartha has searched his whole life to find enlightenment in his life. Vasudeva may not have actually been teaching Siddhartha, but Siddhartha wants to cross the river. “In his heart he heard the newly awakened voice speak, and it said to him: Love this river, stay by it, learn from it”(101). When Vasudeva helps him cross the river, Siddhartha finally finds his enlightenment. “I should prefer not to go further. I should prefer it if you would give me some old clothes and keep me here as your assistant”(103). After Siddhartha finds enlightenment, he himself becomes a ferryman and helps people find what enlightens them. He eventually helps Govinda find his enlightenment. Vasudeva is not like the other teaches that was trying to directly teach Siddhartha. Vasudeva led Siddhartha towards his enlightenment, however Siddhartha had to figure out what is truly was.
In Siddhartha there are three major people of wisdom, first the Samanas who teach him how to care and give to the poor, second Kamala who teaches him to love, and third the Ferryman named Vasudeva, teaches him about the river and will eventually lead Siddhartha to enlightenment. All of the people in Siddhartha’s life are very important in his life. However Vasudeva is the teacher that means the most. Vasudeva eventually leads Siddhartha to enlightenment late in Siddhartha’s life. Siddhartha is so enlightened at the end of his life that he becomes a ferryman and even helps Govinda find his own enlightenment.