Siddhartha passes through a village and sees a beautiful woman being carried by several servants. He makes it his goal to have this woman, Kamala, become his friend and teacher. She requires him to acquire clothes, shoes, and money to be good enough for her. Eventually Siddhartha does all these things, and wins her affection. He works as a businessman until he is in his forties, as a friend to Kamala. He starts to feel empty, though, and realizes he has been caught up in the material world, and desires change.
Siddhartha believes that it was necessary for him to reach the depths that he did in order to reach great heights. He leaves the village and Kamala, though not before impregnating her on his last visit.
If becoming rich and successful and learning of love from a beautiful aristocrat is a necessary decline one must experience to find oneself, where do I sign up? This part of the story doesn't really work for me. If it was just a sexual relationship, I can understand feeling empty. However, the book seems to treat the relationship between Siddhartha and Samala as something much more than that. Its not really clear what Siddhartha needs in his life to attain nirvana. Maybe he just needs solitude, simplicity of life. But if every person had a profession like monk or beggar or ferryboat captain, the society Siddhartha lives in probably could not have existed, much less the society we live in. Posted by mill1991 at June 24, 2004 4:20 PM