Siddhartha’s Path to Defining Nirvana

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In the book, Siddhartha, the main character Siddhartha takes on a journey to find his own truth about life and his own way to Nirvana, eternal peace. Toward the end of his journey, Siddhartha, now an aged man who had experienced the strict doctrine of the Samanas, heard and met the great Buddha (or the Illustrious One as some call him), and ‘sickness’ of the rich after becoming a wealthy merchant. Siddhartha met up with an old ferryman that lived on the river, who’s name was Vasudeva, and they became fast friends. The ferryman taught many things to Siddhartha about the river’s wisdom. Not only did the ferryman teach about the river, but he also stressed the importance of listening.

I, too, think it’s very important to listen. May it either be for school, for a friend, or even just outside with nature. Everything would have its value when it comes to listening. Music has a lot to do with listening, because it’s essential that people hear what one is playing in order to share music. I apply listening to guitar not only by listening to myself, but also listening for mistakes or what could be done to improve, such as suspending a note and such. My guitar teacher would always stress the importance of self-correction through listening. “See, you need to listen for these kind of things and correct yourself instead of me telling you so,” he would always say after pointing out something I missed.

One can also use listening to listen to friends when they are in need. Vasudeva had done the same from Siddhartha when Siddhartha was deeply troubled and sad because of his son. When one my own friends have a problem they are going through, I listen to them intently and give them some advice or simple share their sorrow. It works vice-versa as well, sometimes I would be down about something and my good friends would be more than happy to have their ears and hearts open for me, and I’m grateful for that.

The uses of listening can also be applied at school. For example, in school, a teacher might tell the class of a test date, and one should listen to the words, therefore, using them for a value. Listening is also important because through it, we can communicate with others, taking in information that is going on. If everyone were just talking, and not listening, nothing would be accomplished. Through listening, one can learn much more than speaking alone.

But in the same idea, listening to nature’s sounds also has its values. May it be leaves rustling with the wind, a river, a call of a bird, or all of the above, the sounds have their own amount value to each individual. Like Vasudeva, who is a practiced listener, we all must need to stop and listen, for through this, may we discover much (like how Siddhartha was stopped from suicide by the river’s sound), or simply achieve a moment of peace.


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