has a serene smile when Siddhartha
first sees him, and this smile is symbolic of the man’s perfection, his childlike love for the world and his tranquility, and becomes a symbol of the ideal state of enlightenment that all the novel’s characters are searching for. As Siddhartha’s measure of spiritual wisdom changes and matures, thanks to the natural world, he sees the smile again on Vasudeva
’s face, showing that enlightenment can come with listening and living and isn’t reserved for philosophers. In the final chapter, faced with his past and present and at ease with everything, Siddhartha smiles with this perfect smile and shows Govinda
that he has reached his goal.