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Siddhartha: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1982
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The best thing about this book was that it helped me understand some things about my own journey. Some of the decisions of Siddhartha resonated with me as I have had similar inner thoughts about certain aspects of seeking knowledge and wisdom. I specifically enjoy how he reacted to the Buddah, and while I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, his reasons for moving forward - I find - to be very valid. We are our own best teachers, but it does us no good if we can’t realize it and then figure out how to utilize it.
There are so many insightful words and ideas in this book. Some new, some I already knew. The story is gripping and I read the book in 2 long sessions. This is an absolute must read for the knowledge seeker who is already versed in a variety of general writings. This is also a book that could be read every year or two as you progress on your own personal path of inner growth - you’ll take more away from it each time.
One of the most beautiful and telling things about this book was that as Siddhartha progressed through his life, and with all his wisdom, he still learned from others at every chance he could. This is part of becoming a real master of yourself - never assuming you know it all or that others have no knowledge to offer you. I really felt great after reading (and learning from) this exceptional story. It’s more than a story, however. It’s a tool - another piece of the puzzle in discovering who you really are.
Hesse’s book follows a young man named Siddhartha on his journey to find the true meaning of life and peace. The young man leaves his family of Brahman priests believing that they have spiritually achieved all that they ever will, and embarks with his friend Govinda down the path of a contemplative and restrictive existence. The young man soon realizes that these religious men (Samanas) also are lacking, to Siddhartha, what the path to true enlightenment really is. He continues on his journey coming by entering the company of the real Buddha—Gatama, but soon comes into contradictions with the Buddha’s teaching of removing oneself from the world. This leaves the man frustrated and lost, and eschews him down another path that is quite opposite of the one he originally intended to take.
Siddhartha has now become rather restless with his pursuit of happiness, so he soon discards it for one of sexuality, greed and total reliance on the flesh. He falls in love with Kamala—a beautiful courtesan woman—and embraces the life of a merchant that furthers his greed and lustful desires. Siddhartha and Kamala conceive a son soon after their affair, but after a dream leaves Siddhartha puzzled, he becomes bored and sickened by his lust and greed, and decides to move on to find his enlightened path. With total despair encompassing his heart and soul, Siddhartha comes to a river where he soon hears a unique sound that will change his life forever. This sound signals the true beginning of his new and fulfilled life--the beginning of earthly suffering, human rejection and inner peace, and, finally, ultimate wisdom and enlightenment.
The book is a harrowing tale of man’s lust for greed, power, sex and material gain; however, its ultimate purpose is to show that often times what we are looking for is in the simplest places imaginable. Hesse’s work craftily explains (through Buddhist and Hindu philosophies) that life is an all-encompassing journey that will eventually show all mankind what it is looking for. We suffer and struggle mightily through banal everyday tasks, but perhaps this daily grind of being in a symbiotic relationship with other life is what inner peace really is.
Top international reviews
There's just so much in here that will relate to anyone.
The writing style has such a thought provoking essence to it as well.
What I love the most about this book is how much you become involved with the main character and see how he changes over the course of this book.
Highly recommend it!
It looks like a cheap version knocked out by Seven Treasures Publications and printed by Amazon. I'm a fan of Hermann Hesse and so it's a shame as I'm sure the proper text is a pleasure to read.
"Hermann Hesse's book SIDDHARTHA is immensely beautiful. It repeats the story of Buddha in a different way, but in the same dimension, with the same meaning. It is unbelievable that Hermann Hesse could write it but could not become a siddha himself. He remained a poor writer – yes, a Nobel prize winner, but that does not matter that much. You cannot give a Nobel prize to a buddha; he will laugh and throw it away. Hermann Hesse was not an enlightened one. He was just an ordinary human being, but in a poetic flight he has written one of the greatest books in the world, SIDDHARTHA."
This book really makes you think about your life, your possessions, and what’s really important. Will be reading again soon.
One of my favourite books without a doubt.