Siddhartha: Novel Summary: Part 2 - Samsara

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Part Two
Samsara
Years go by. Siddhartha becomes rich, with a house and servants of his own. The things of the world take possession of him, and he loses the spiritual longings of his youth. He becomes more like the ordinary people from whom he had once felt so detached. A weariness settles over him, which becomes more pronounced as each year goes by. He becomes acquisitive, and values possessions and riches in a way that he had never done before. They become a burden to him. He also becomes addicted to gambling with dice. He wins and loses large amounts of money. Eventually, when Siddhartha is in his forties, he becomes sick of his life. It seems empty and worthless to him. One day he sits under a mango tree in his garden and realizes that he must change his life. He can no longer go on living in the same way. That night he leaves town, never to return. Kamala is not surprised, because she always expected that one day he would leave. She also discovers that she is pregnant by him.
Analysis
Siddhartha cannot forever deny his spiritual nature. He was born to realize the Truth, but he allows his spiritual side to become overshadowed by worldly activities. He finds out for himself that what the world offers-riches, sex, all kinds of possessions-gradually obscures the truth. It obscures the reality of Brahman, the universal self, and Siddhartha eventually identifies only with the small individual self, the self that loves and hates, has joys and sorrows, gains and losses, all of which are keenly felt. Throughout all these years of "success," Siddhartha's life was in fact shrinking, even though to outward observance it was expanding with riches and influence. It is not surprising that a man of Siddhartha's spiritual temperament should get fed up with it. He identifies the state he has fallen into as samsara, which is a Sanskrit word meaning confusion or ignorance.

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