With the Samanas

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The assignment

To get a feeling for how the Samanas, Indian ascetics that are found in the novel Siddhartha, try to reach enlightenment, we gave up something we enjoy for a week. I chose to give up candy, because it's technically not something I need. Technically.

Getting Started

At the beginning of the week I was excited about my task and inspired to get start and see if I could actually do it. I was much like Siddhartha when he began his journey with the Samanas, "Siddhartha gave away his robe to a poor Brahman on the road. All he still wore was a loincloth" (Hesse 7). Giving away all ones worldly belongings is not something done lightly, but Siddhartha does it out of excitement for his time of living without.
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Mid Week

In the middle of my week was actually the weekend, with which came my marching band competition. During the bus rides home from the competitions everyone always eats lots of candy. I went into this trip thinking that it would definitely be my greatest temptation. I thought there was a pretty big chance that I might crack but I hoped that I would be able to withstand the temptation. Siddhartha also faces a great temptation yet that temptation is turned into nothing through his ability to endure, "Burning with Pain, Burning with thirst, until he felt no pain or thirst"(8). I too was able to overcome my temptation. It wasn't exactly pain, but it was painful to see others eating candy around me and know that I couldn't have any. I overcame this temptation with my because of my strong desire to succeed in the task. I knew I could just have a piece and it wouldn't matter in the least but something inside me really wanted to know that I could do it!

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By the End

Towards the end of the week I spent a lot of time doing homework and I usually like to suck a mint or chew gum when I'm doing my homework. I did find myself reaching for a mint or
a piece of gum but I was able to stop myself in time. I was like Siddhartha when he "took the path of liberation from self through pain, through voluntary suffering and conquest of pain and hunger"(8). I was able to fight the painful lack of concentration that this lack of candy was giving me like Siddhartha was doing. I did really well with this until l the very last day. I had gotten to the point where I didn't even think about wanting candy any more. During math my friend Gus asked me if I wanted a Nerd candy. I unthinkingly said yes and ate about five of those tiny ant sized candies. In my mind I accomplished my task of getting through the week without candy, but technically I failed thanks to five small nerds.


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My idea of Siddharthas' awakening.

My picture is supposed to be the view of the world from Siddharthas' point of view from way under the water (the bottom of the picture) looking up at the world like he describes with "He pondered deeply, like diving into deep water: he let himself sink down to the bottom of the sensation, down to the place where the causes lie" (21). I drew the trees, mountains, and river that he describes; "Here was blue her was yellow, here was green; the sky and river, the forest and the mountains were fixed in their places" (21). I coloured my picture with simple colours of blue, green. and yellow as Siddhartha describes with, "blue was blue, river was river, and if the divine principle lay hidden within the blue and the river that lived within Siddhartha" (21).


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Name: Kamala


Village by the river




High Piled black hair

About Me:

I have "a soft clever face, bright-red lips like a newly opened fig, eyebrows well-tended and painted in the form of high arches, dark eyes clever and alert, and a long fair neck" (28). I love comfort and I am very rich. I am the desire of many men in my town.

Hobbies / Profession:

I love for a living, "many man visit me" (30). I can also teach one how to love. I am very good at kissing and do enjoy kissing very much.

Looking For:

I am looking for guys with money that can support me in my life of luxury. I like men who have "elegant cloths, elegant shoes, money in their purse" (30). I also like men who can think, who have knowledge and who can talk to me. Overall I'm very picky with my men but it could be your lucky day!

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My Daily Routine: Every day I drag myself out of bed and get dressed around 6:45. I then go into the kitchen to make and eat breakfast
as well as to make my lunch. I then drive to marching band with my dad and arrive at school slightly before 7:45. I throw my clarinet together and run out to the field to begin practicing. School starts at 8:55 where I go to all my classes. Then I have marching band again after school. And finally I go home and do as much homework as I can before I cannot keep my eyes open for a moment longer and then fall asleep.
My daily routine can get tiring as my lack of sleep piles higher every day, like Siddharthas' did when he worked for Kamaswami, " weariness descended upon Siddhartha, slowly, every day a little denser" (42).Despite the hectic parts, my schedule does include all of the activity's and things that I do love to do. To an outsider Marching Band might look like it's a drag and is taking up precious time that could be used to sleep or work on homework, however I find it very useful. It wakes me up in the morning and it gives me a break from school work before I have to go home to my homework. I do sometimes wish that I had less homework, but honestly I really love my daily schedule even if it is a bit hectic.

The River

Song: Lazy River by Louis Armstrong


"Linger in the shade of an old oak tree
Throw away your troubles, dream a dream with me"(Armstrong)

Quote from the text:

"Afterward, they sat down on a tree trunk by the riverbank-it was getting on toward sunset-and Siddhartha told the Ferryman about his family and his life," (Hesse 56)


To me a river represents peace and comfort like this song explains it as just that, a place of peace sitting under a tree and watching it flow by. The river appears to Siddhartha when he is in times of distress or need. He is feeling depressed about his life despite his "rebirth" and needs someone to talk to about his troubles, "they sat by a tree trunk by the riverbank" and with the listening comforting ferryman Siddhartha's troubles are thrown away.

Song: River of Time By Lauren Christy


"Winter comes and goes, and the wind it blows,
Still the water flows, and everybody knows," (Christy)

Quote from the text:

"this water flowed and flowed it kept flowing, and yet was always there; it was always at all times the same and yet new every moment!" (Hesse 54)


A key aspect of the river is that it continuously flows just like time, and like Siddhartha says,
"it was always at all times the same and yet new every moment" (54). On one of my camping trips to Colorado I spent a great deal of time sitting by the river and watching it flow by me. I always marveled at the water's endlessness and how it went on forever with seemingly no end. I loved this quote of Siddhartha's because it is interesting to think about every molecule being different but still the same water flowing by all day, just like in the song with the use of a river to compare the speeding of time. Whether you can see individual moments or vast spans of weeks and mouths.

Song: River of Love By Leann Rimes


"Take me away on the river of love
I wanna go where you go" (Rimes)

Quote from the text:

"In profound weariness he detached his arm from the tree trunk and turned his body slightly so that he would fall vertically and perish. His eyes closed, he was dropping to his death" (Hesse 52).


This song describes the rushing of the river flowing on and describes the river as something they want to fall into and be swept away on. This was much like Siddhartha when he wants to "fall vertically and perish" (52). Siddhartha wants to die with the magic of the river taking his body away just like the author of this song wants to fall into her river of love. I have often stared at a rushing river and longed to just jump in and allow the waters to pull me away.