Govinda is Siddhartha’s friend, companion, servant, lance bearer, and shadow. When Siddhartha decides to leave his village to become a Samana, Govinda follows him. Govinda hopes to stay close to Siddhartha, so that he may rise to glory with Siddhartha, instead of finding it himself. Govinda is inspired by Buddha’s teachings. He leaves Siddhartha, and he becomes a monk. Govinda remains a shadow, following behind Buddha rather than being independent on his own.
We see Govinda and Siddhartha meet together, many years later, as Siddhartha is thinking about committing suicide. They are also together many years after that when they are both old men, and Siddhartha is finding peace near the river with the ferryman.
Govinda does not change much thoughout the story. He is always searching to understand the world through the eyes of other people. He is also trying to understand the world through the teachings of others, instead of experiencing things himself. He really doesn’t change and grow at all.
I think that there are too a lot of people like Govinda in today’s society. They are always hiding behind other people, afraid to go out on their own. They need to learn to go out and experience some things first hand, and not always hide behind others. It is good to learn from the mistakes of others, but we need to have mistakes of our own, so we can teach others. We need some firsthand experience if we want to grow and develop and become the best that we can.