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Siddhartha

Siddhartha

by Herman Hesse

Gotama

Character Analysis

Gotama Buddha is the first character we encounter in the novel that has achieved enlightenment. The Buddha radiates inner light, peacefulness and grace. When questioned by Siddhartha, he smiles widely and responds calmly. Although Siddhartha feels great love and respect for the Buddha, he must learn independently rather than from someone’s teachings. We never know how Gotama attained enlightenment, but since he agrees with Siddhartha that enlightenment is deeply personal and experiential, it’s safe to say that Gotama didn’t attain enlightenment through studying sacred teachings.

Gotama Timeline
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