Siddhartha Questions and Answers
by Hermann Hesse

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In Chapter 3 of Siddhartha, why does Govinda choose to join Buddha, and why won't Siddhartha join him?

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Govinda and Siddhartha both seem impressed with the Buddha when they meet him. He radiates serenity. He seems genuinely holy. Of all the renunciates they have met, he impresses them both the most. Even Siddhartha thinks that the Buddha is the most worthy teacher: he thinks that the Buddha is the only holy man he has met who is worth bowing before. And his teachings are succinct and compelling: they both think the Buddha presented a clear path to liberation. Govinda decides to enter on this path and take refuge with the Buddha, but Siddhartha does not. It may be that the reason boils down to Govinda being impressed, and willing to follow another. Siddhartha is impressed too, but has too much pride to follow another's teachings.

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