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Thread: A man's duty towards the society ?

  1. #1
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    A man's duty towards the society ?

    Siddhartha by Hesse was on of the greatest books I ever read. It was an involving story of a seeker through the vagaries of life. Neverthless, Siddhartha as a man, as a seeker, failed in his duty to bring up his son. It is his bound duty to nurture and raise his son till he can decide and take care of himself. Much like Siddartha's father, he too must have raised his son appropriately till a certain stage. As a result of this his son might end up becoming a social evil. In a nuttshell , I humbly feel Hesse has failed in considering the important fact that every man has a social responsibility.

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    Lightbulb Brilliant Analysis!

    Neglecting the most basic of human responsibilities, caring for and raising our children, is hardly enlightenment!

    This enlightenment is false. Now I realize why this book never quite sat well with me. Thank you.


  3. #3
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    Neglecting the most basic of human responsibilities?

    Well, Siddhartha is a book influenced by Buddha Gautama's life and Buddhism. From this point of view, who decide your responsibilities? If society decide what you should do and how you should act, then how can you say you living as yourself, you living free? Is human responsibilities and expectations of society more important than human's himself?

    Siddhartha is a man who search himself and goal of his life. You can't simply blame him. And btw, as i remember he doesn't know he had a son until that woman (mother of his son, i can't remember her name right now) came him and tell he had a son.

    And a last word, Hesse's character and desires strongly influenced this book. Even i think he mixed himself and Buddha in this book. As i can see most of Hesse books satisfies his own desires and dreams. Siddhartha is a good book for some people, especially for young people who likes to think, but not my style, i passed philosophic level of this book. (but without reading it, i couldn't know it)

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    In the end, we account to ourselves

    I remember Leo Tolstoy's short story: What Men Live By. I won't spoil the ending but invite all to read it instead. The story may give a clue to on eof the messages behind Siddharatha's apparent poor parenting.

    Writers like Hesse have the license to use exaggerations as powerful images to stress a point. IMHO, his point was this. To parents, one of the lessons we must learn is that children aren't possessions at all but are souls independent of the parents. Until they make their own decisions & live up to be responsible for them, parents are merely stewards.

    Great indeed is the parent that raised a great child, especially by example. Corrolary, greater still is the child that takes full responsibility & account for his own thoughts, decisions & actions that transcend influence, legacy & even heritage. Remember that in life, we have all been children.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prasanz View Post
    Siddhartha by Hesse was on of the greatest books I ever read. It was an involving story of a seeker through the vagaries of life. Neverthless, Siddhartha as a man, as a seeker, failed in his duty to bring up his son. It is his bound duty to nurture and raise his son till he can decide and take care of himself. Much like Siddartha's father, he too must have raised his son appropriately till a certain stage. As a result of this his son might end up becoming a social evil. In a nuttshell , I humbly feel Hesse has failed in considering the important fact that every man has a social responsibility.
    I think Hesse would show that Siddhartha could live serenely and peacefully also without follow all the responsabilities that society imposes to us. Also the most important responsabilities...like raise a child.

  6. #6
    Siddhartha is a man who is searching for meaning in his life. Because he was a very rich Brahmin's son, it's very hard to change to a normal life. You can't simply blame him -- that's how he grew up. The only thing from my point of view, I thought he would want to change his life because when he met Kamala he was very filthy poor. She introduced him to the wealthy businessman, Kamaswami, to learn to do business. Still he doesn't want to adopt a normal human life. He left everything and went to the river. Siddhartha's path is very hard, and I wouldn't even recommend reading this book!

  7. #7
    Tralfamadorian Big Dante's Avatar
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    The religious belief is that one has no duty to society. It is up to the individual to achieve enlightenment for themself. Siddhartha left his father to find his own enlightenment and he knew that for his son that achieve it he had to find it himself. This was the centre of Siddhartha's learnings throughout the novel. It was within himself to find enlightenment. The teachings of the Buddha nor anyone else could help him and while he never proclaimed they would not help others he never mentioned this out of respect. By allowing his son to go and make mistakes for himself he was giving him the best chance to find his own enlightenment.

  8. #8
    The caffeinated newbie SFG75's Avatar
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    The boy in the story did not desire to be a samana, or to live life as one. Contemporary Zen authors have written about how ordinary acts in life can lead to spiritual insight and enlightenment. Raising a child isn't quite as simple as living on the streets and begging for food, but it also has its challenges. I have been rather disturbed by Gautama's(the real one) abandoning of his child. Siddhartha paints a picture where he does the best thing and his friend by the river asks him to accept the inevitable that the boy has run away and doesn't want the samana life as his own. From my own selfish vantage point, I don't know how a person could do such a thing and live with themselves.

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