Siddhartha

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Siddhartha’s father Character Analysis

is a wise Brahmin and tries to teach his talented son, but Siddhartha soon outgrows the Brahmin teaching and needs to follow his own path. His father is reluctant to let him go, but when he sees how stubborn Siddhartha is, he sends him away, in the knowledge that Siddhartha can return if he does not find the truth he seeks. When Siddhartha reaches the final stages of his wisdom, it is through realizing the cycle he is part of, and how his love and sacrifice for young Siddhartha is the same love and sacrifice that his father showed him in his youth.

Siddhartha’s father Quotes in Siddhartha

The Siddhartha quotes below are all either spoken by Siddhartha’s father or refer to Siddhartha’s father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Siddhartha published in 1999.
Part One, Chapter 1 – The Brahmin's Son Quotes

He had begun to sense that his venerable father and his other teachers, that the wise Brahmins, had already imparted to him the bulk and the best of their knowledge, that they had already poured their fullness into his waiting vessel, and the vessel was not full, his mind was not contented…

Related Characters: Siddhartha, Siddhartha’s father
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

As a Brahmin's son, Siddhartha has been raised in an atmosphere of people seeking enlightenment in wisdom passed down through the community. Siddhartha has been a model student – he is very good at meditation, he is a quick learner, and he has an aura of success and charisma that makes him much admired. However, while his community assumes that he will be successful in the traditional ways they have defined for him, Siddhartha instinctively knows that the life that he has been born into is not enough.

Though he, like his community, seeks enlightenment, he is suspicious that he can attain enlightenment through received wisdom from elders who, frankly, seem not to have achieved enlightenment themselves. Siddhartha feels that he has already learned from them what they are able to offer, and to remain in his community would not continue to move him towards enlightenment. This is a first instance of the dissatisfaction that will propel Siddhartha throughout the book. This dissatisfaction is presented in the novel not as a negative emotion, but as an indication and result of Siddhartha's intuition about experiences that are not contributing to enlightenment. This quote also marks the beginning of Siddhartha's skepticism towards received wisdom, and initiates his journey to gain experiential knowledge from the world. 

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Siddhartha’s father Character Timeline in Siddhartha

The timeline below shows where the character Siddhartha’s father appears in Siddhartha. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, Chapter 1 – The Brahmin's Son
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
Nature and the Spirit Theme Icon
Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Theme Icon
...encompasses the whole universe and promotes clarity. His gifts bring joy to his mother and father, and his good breeding also attracts the attention of the girls in the town. (full context)
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
Nature and the Spirit Theme Icon
Direction and Indirection Theme Icon
Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Theme Icon
...no Brahmin seems to be living the life that they preach. He thinks about his father, a wise, venerable man, but even he does not live with peace in his heart.... (full context)
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Theme Icon
Siddhartha’s father is troubled and restless that night and gets out of bed, but sees Siddhartha out... (full context)
Part One, Chapter 4 – Awakening
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
Direction and Indirection Theme Icon
Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction Theme Icon
...that, though he had intended on leaving the samana life and going back to his father’s house, he no longer belongs there. For the first time he feels really homeless. All... (full context)
Part Two, Chapter 11 – Om
The Path to Spiritual Enlightenment Theme Icon
Nature and the Spirit Theme Icon
Direction and Indirection Theme Icon
Visions appear to Siddhartha as he watches, the faces of his lonely son and lonely father, and himself. The voice of the river is lamenting and determined. Vasudeva urges Siddhartha to... (full context)