Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is an excellent book and is written with the spirit of mystery and wonder that also permeates most Buddhist teachings.
At the end of the book, Siddhartha has attained what appears to be Nirvana. He is sitting with his friend Govinda.
Govinda has spent the entirety of his adult life seeking Nirvana, and he is lamenting about this to Siddhartha; practically begging for some guidance and teaching.
Siddhartha, feeling great compassion for his friend's suffering, instructs him to kiss his [Siddhartha's] forehead. Govinda finds this odd, but is compelled by a great love of Siddhartha to accept. As he does this; he attains some kind of enlightenment - and though it's always seemed to me to be less 'significant' or permanent than what Siddhartha has attained - it is still a profound and magical moment of transformation.
Does anyone know what Hesse intended us to derive from this sequence? Specifically, has he spoken upon this issue, or written about it? It's always been completely mysterious to me.
I'm looking for something more solid than unverified speculation. I'm not opposed to opinions, but I'd like that any opinion be informed by some source - either Hesse, or another writing about Hesse's works.