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A Hero's Journey: Siddhartha

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Chris Cervantes

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of A Hero's Journey: Siddhartha

Call To Adventure
Siddhartha begins to feel discontent with his life and what he can learn from the Brahmins

" Siddhartha had begun to feel the seeds of discontent within him. He had begun to feel that the love of his father and mother, and also the love of his friend Govinda, would not always make him happy, give him peace, satisfy and suffice him" (3).

" Siddhartha was going his own way, his destiny was beginning to unfold itself" (6).

Disupts the ordinary world of the hero
presents a quest/ task for the hero

Refusal of the Call
There is no outstanding refusal of his journey
Meeting the Mentors
Siddhartha has many mentors throughout his journey to enlightenment, however he follows his idea that salvation can not be attained by pure following but learned by

1) Samanas - The first way of life he accepts going into his enlightenment journey
Learns to live with bare minimum
2) Kamala - The second mentor
follows Kamala and lives a life of luxury
3) Vasudeva - His final mentor and most influential to enlightenment
Learns to listen to the river and ultimately reaches his goal

" That is why I am going my own way, not to seek another or better doctrine but... to reach my goal alone-or die"(28).

uses them as guides to enlightenment
lives the experience of the path
learns valuable lessons from each ( the extremes)

Ordinary World
The Ordinary World for Siddhartha is his life before his jounrey to enlightenment; before he for to become a Samana, and meet Kamala and others.

Well Admired
Experienced Brahmin

"Siddhartha-strong, handsome, supple-limbed... Love stirred in the hears of the young Brahmins' daughters when Siddhartha walked through the streets of the town, with his lofty brow, his king-like eyes and his slim figure" (2).

Introduces the main character
Generates mindset of the character
The life of the the Hero before his journey

Hero - Siddhartha
Mentor - Samanas, Kamala, Vasudeva
Threshhold Guardian - Gotama
Shadow - Kamala

A Hero's Journey:
Crossing the Threshold
Meets the famed Illustrious One and is committed to enlightenment but not with him.

Gotama is the Threshold Guardian - provides the first test of the hero's intellegence and outwitting the guardian and to follow his own path

" If i were one of your followers I fear that it would only be on the surface that i would deceive myself that i am at peace and had attained salvation..."(28)

commits to his journey - starts
affects the hero (experience rather than following)
brings back to central conflict

Test, Allies, Enemies
Approach to the Inmost Cave
Kamala leads Siddhartha for the hardest part of the journey to enlightenment

She is the one who makes the enlightenment hard on Siddhartha
he has fallen in love
he has given in to material possessions
lost the path of enlightenment (momentarily)
"It has no difficulties. Everything was difficult, irksome, and finally hopeless when I was a Samana. Now everything is easy... I require clothes and money, that is all" (49).

hooked on material things - opposite of what he learned
sets him up to let go of everything
last major mentor before the ordeal

The Ordeal
Most taxing challenge on Siddhartha is now to let go of all the material things he has come so reaccustomed to wtih Kamala

"Then Siddhartha knew that the game was finished, he could play it no longer. A shudder passed through his body; he felt as if something had died" (68).

"He wished passionately for oblivion, to be at rest, to be dead" (70)

He has overcomed his ordeal of material possessions
has given up what he cared for most
his internal stuggle
He has overcome his
in his endeavors
has faced the death of himself as a person - leads to enlightenment

Reward / The Road Back
Meeting the ferryman, Vasudeva, once again and making him and the river the last mentor. He provides the last step in completing his journey

"Above all he learned from it how to listen, to listen with a still heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion without, desire, without judgement, without opinions"(87).

Last experience he needs
found what "enlightened means"
introduces the main conflict - to be enlightened
its his path back on enlightenment after Kamala
Kamala comes back and brings Siddhartha's son with her and he relives his past until he runs away

"At the same time he looked he saw his face and hers, young, with red lips, with ardent eyes and he was overwhelmed..."(93).

He is reminiscing of the times with her
wanting them to come back
reintroduces the conflict of material possessions and life before enlightenment
its the final purification of the new life

Return with the Elixir
The final part of Siddhartha's journey, he returns to the ordinary world, in this case his ordinary world is being with his old friend Govinda
" Never, since the time our Illustrious Gotama passed into Nirvana, have I ever ment a man with exception of Siddhartha abut who I felt: This is a holy man" (120).

Home is Govinda the only constant being
The elixir is the wisdom and knowledge of being enlightened through experiences
He has brought it back home to share - same as the last stage of Hero's Journey
He is adamant on quest to enlightenment even with the shocked response of Govinda and the denial of his father permission
Siddhartha is tested and meets many allies during his adventure to enlightenment, testing his will and emotions and discovering new mentors that he trusts
N/A - he meets multiple allies through his journey each one impacting Siddhartha with different tests

by Chris Cervnantes
Full transcript