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Siddhartha Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1981
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Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Siddhartha is one of the names of the historical Gautama and while the life of Hesse's character resembles that of his historical counterpart to some extent, Siddhartha is by no means a fictional life of Buddha and his teachings.
Siddhartha is divided into two parts of four and eight chapters, something some have interpreted as an illustration of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment.
Elements of Hinduism can also be found in Siddhartha. Some critics maintain that Hesse was influenced largely by the Bhagavad Gita when he wrote the book and that his protagonist was groping his way along a path outlined in that text. Certainly the central problems of Siddhartha and the Gita are similar: how can the protagonist attain a state of happiness and serenity by means of a long and arduous path?
Hesse's protagonist, however, seeks his own personal path to fulfillment, not someone else's. It is one of trial and error and he is only subconsciously aware of its nature. Although many see Siddhartha's quest as embodying the ideals of Buddhism, Siddhartha objects to the negative aspects of Gautama's teaching. He rejects Gautama's model for himself and he rejects Buddhism; Siddhartha insists upon the right to choose his own path to fulfillment.
The primary theme of Siddhartha is the individual's difficult and lonely search for self-fulfillment.Read more ›
As the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha would naturally have enjoyed access to all of the finest lessons and things of life. Knowing of his natural superiority in many ways, he becomes disenchanted with teachers and his companions. In a burst of independence, he insists on being allowed to leave home to become a wandering Shramana (or Samana, depending on which translation you read). After three years or so, he tires of this as well. Near the end of that part of his life, Siddharta meets Gotama, the Buddha, and admires him greatly. But Siddharta continues to feel that teachers cannot convey the wisdom of what they know. Words are too fragile a vessel for that purpose. He sees a beautiful courtesan and asks her to teach him about love. Thus, Siddhartha begins his third quest for meaning by embracing the ordinary life that most people experience. Eventually, disgusted by this (and he does behave disgustingly), he tires of life. Then, he suddenly reconnects with the Universe, and decides to become a ferryman and learn from the river. In this fourth stage of his life, he comes to develop the wisdom to match the knowledge that direct experiences of the "good" and the "sensual" life have provided to him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to read it for class. I really don't like the writing style of it. But the book physically was a nice paperback good quality.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
A very nice short read. This put in perspective how short life is and how the most important things in life haven't changed despite the world we live in today.Published 11 days ago by Kindle Customer
I enjoyed this book. It was unlike other fiction novels I've read, in that it almost felt like non-fiction.Published 13 days ago by Delta Stet
Siddhartha is a book that has began to transform my life and see the better aide of the world. It teaches you that instead of trying to picture the world in a different way, to... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Mathew Brown
Have not read all of these books, but I am working on it. Thanks.Published 13 days ago by A. E. Elliott
Bought this as a gift. Originally purchased the Deepak Chopra, graphic novel (somewhat by accident) and while the art of that story was good and well, the actual book lacked... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer