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Siddharth'a three mentors are Kamaswami(business mentor), Kamala (teacher of love), and Vasudeva (mentor of wisdom. Kamaswami teaches him everything about business, but Siddhartha has no interest in business and feels as if he's learned nothing about life and everything about numbers. Kamala is a prostitute; she shares her skills in lovemaking, but they have no relationship. Vasudeva shares his wisdom with Siddhartha; he teaches him the trade of ferryboating and gives him knowledge about the river and how to hear what it's saying as it flows along.
While Siddhartha’s other mentors teach knowledge, Vasudeva is able to guide Siddhartha to wisdom. He teaches Siddhartha a practical trade – that of ferrying a boat – but he also teaches Siddhartha how to listen to the river’s wisdom. It’s important to note that Vasudeva merely helps Siddhartha access the river’s wisdom, rather than dogmatically trying to tell Siddhartha what the river has to offer. As a guide/mentor, Vasudeva is more of an enabler than a teacher – more a librarian than a tutor.