Love is tricky in Siddhartha. On one hand, Siddhartha’s worldly love for his son presents the most formidable challenge to his spiritual progression in the novel, so love is bad. On the other hand, it is only when Siddhartha is able to appreciate his love-pains as love for the entire world that he reaches enlightenment. Furthermore, once he reaches enlightenment, Siddhartha is best able to describe the experience as a profound feeling of love for everything around him. OK, we think we get it now – universal love is the end goal, while narrow, individualistic love is an obstacle to true enlightenment.
Siddhartha’s increasing ability to love over the course of the novel parallels and informs his growing spiritual awakening.