Siddhartha

by: Hermann Hesse

Kamala Quotes

Quotes Kamala Quotes
No my dear, he does not yet suffice. He must have clothing, lovely clothing, and shoes, lovely shoes, and lots of money in his purse, and gifts for Kamala.

Siddhartha wants Kamala to instruct him in the art of physical love. After he asks Kamala if she will take him “as is,” she laughs and says no. In order to be her lover, Kamala demands that Siddhartha have clothing and money, two things Siddhartha has none of since he’s just left the forest as a Shramana. Kamala functions as Siddhartha’s entry back into the world of the senses, but he will need to make some changes to learn what she has to teach.

Why should I fear a shramana, a silly shramana from the forest, one who comes from the jackals and knows nothing of women?

After Siddhartha asks Kamala if she fears taking him, a Shramana, as a lover, Kamala dismisses his concerns. As revealed by her reaction, Kamala finds humor in the idea of her fearing a wandering ascetic with no clothing. Kamala has broad experience with worldly men of wealth and favor. Even though Kamala possesses knowledge of the outer world of the senses, she remains a stranger to Siddhartha’s knowledge of the inner world of insight.

Lovely and red is Kamala’s mouth, but try to kiss it against Kamala’s will and not a drop of sweetness will you have from it, which is so capable of dispensing great sweetness!

Kamala argues that if a man takes a woman against her will, that man loses what he seeks: a woman’s sweetness. Kamala’s answer to Siddhartha shows that she can go head to head with Siddhartha in argument, indicating the value she brings to lead Siddhartha’s exploration of the world of the senses.

“You are the best lover,” she said pensively, “I have ever had. You are stronger than others, more flexible, more willing. You have learned my art well, Siddhartha. Someday, when I am older, I want to have your child. And nonetheless, my love, you have remained a shramana, nonetheless you do not love me, you love no human being. Is this not so?”

Kamala wisely senses the deep inner detachment in Siddhartha and airs her observations here. Kamala and Siddhartha have become profoundly connected to each other through friendship and physical intimacy, but the connection has a different meaning for Siddhartha. In his strategy to achieve enlightenment, he plays a game with Kamala, just as he plays a game with Kamaswami. Siddhartha stays with them to learn their ways, not to entwine his life with theirs.

Kamala pointed to her boy and said: “Did you recognize him too? He is your son.”

Just before Kamala dies, she reveals to Siddhartha his son, the child they conceived together. Siddhartha was unaware of Kamala’s pregnancy when he left her years earlier. Kamala and Siddhartha’s union might not have blossomed into the fullness of human partnership and marriage, but their relationship did produce a divine gift—a son.