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1. What is the only important thing that Siddhartha wants to know?

The only important thing to Siddhartha was the path to self, and how to reach Atman. The
Brahmins and their holy books knew everything, everything; they had gone into everything--the
creation of the world, the origin of speech, food, inhalation, exhalation, the arrangement of the
senses, the acts of the gods. They knew a tremendous number of things--but was it worth while
knowing all these things if they did not know the one important thing, the only important thing?. . . It
is written: Your soul is the whole world, (Hesse 4). Siddharta wants to know what that statement
means. How can your soul possibly be the entire world if you are so small and insignificant.
Siddhartha's quest starts with his desire for information for that is what pleasures him. He wants to
understand everything that he can.

Why does Siddhartha choose not to join the order of the Illustrious One?

What, if anything, do you think is the Buddhas opinion of Siddhartha at their parting?

The Buddha is spoken of like a God. He is revered and thought of as enlightened. He is a


hero among his people and viewed so highly that when he is finally seen, he is almost nothing.
Siddhartha saw him and recognized him immediately, as if pointed out to him by a god. He saw
him bearing an alms bowl, quietly leaving the place, an unassuming man in a yellow cowl,(Hesse
22). He looks no different than anyone else, he just has an aura about him that people notice.
Siddhartha chooses not to join the Illustrious One because he realizes that this isnt his path.
He also realizes that this is Govindas path. Govinda pressed his friend again and again to tell him
why he would not follow the Buddhas teachings, what flaw he had found in them, but each time
Siddhartha waved him off, (Hesse 25). Siddhartha realizes that this is important to Govinda and
makes sure that Govinda follows through with what he believes, not letting his choices influence his
dear friend.
The Buddha is a powerful man, he has reached the highest goal of enlightenment, and is a
learned and educated man. You have done so [reached enlightenment] by your own seeking, in your
own way, through thought, through meditation, through knowledge, through enlightenment, (Hesse
27). Siddhartha speaks to the Buddha as an equal, telling him that while he believes that he is the
Buddha and that he is enlightened, that his path isnt the same. Siddhartha must learn for himself and
reach enlightenment through his own means. I think this leads to the Buddha having a great respect
for Siddhartha, and them seeing each other and knowledgeable individuals.