Consider what Hesse has said throughout the book about cycles; then explain why it is important that Govinda, not Vasudeva, be the one whom Siddartha converses in the end.

Comes from the Chapter "Govinda"

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As this is the last chapter of his allegory, Hesse not surprisingly takes the opportunity to offer a final presentation of the lessons his protagonist has learned. In this regard, it is not surprising that Govinda asks Siddhartha to express his doctrine of life. Govinda, present the end of every previous period of Siddhartha's life, is here as the reader's surrogate, bidding Siddhartha to offer the novel's moral. Besides this, Govinda's return at the end of the novel helps emphasize the change Siddhartha has gone through since he left his friend at the end of part I. And the contrast between Govinda and Siddhartha's spiritual progress validates Siddhartha's contention that one must follow one's own path to enlightenment.


Govinda has traveled the circle with his friend; one of them experienced the world, all while the other spent his time in studying it. Govinda never had Siddhartha's desire for knowledge, and he could have become the wise man that Siddhartha became, but that wasn't what he wanted. As the circle closed and the two came back together, Govinda was happy to stay in Siddhartha's shadow. They were two sides of a coin, and they will continue their journey together in the river that has once joined itself together.