About the author:
Hermann Hesse (1877 – 1962) was a German author who later became a Swiss national. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.
My thoughts on the book:
Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha is a good book! It takes us on a journey through philosophy, through the eyes of the protagonist Siddhartha, a Brahmin boy. He is the traveler, the person curious to find answers to the questions only he seems to have, and loved equally by all around him. For finding those answers, he decides to go on a journey and become a traveling ascetic, a Samana. He travels with the Samanas along with his friend Govinda, living in and with the pain that is part of a Samana’s life. When he realizes that even being a Samana doesn’t have all the answers, and that he’s learnt his fill from the Samana group he is traveling with, he moves to find a new teacher, the Illustrious one, Gautam. There he realizes what he needs, that can’t be taught. After a talk with the Buddha, he realizes he’s lost a friend but found himself. He leaves there and finds a teacher in Kamala, the well known courtesan. He binds himself to riches for her, but still can’t get out of the restless state of his mind. He leaves there soon as well.
The beauty of this story lies not just in its narration but in its philosophy as well. Through Siddhartha, we find our own lives at times. The restlessness to learn more, to get some unanswerable questions answered, and still not be satisfied. We may not always travel physically, but we let our minds travel through thoughts. We want to find ourselves, our dreams and our goals, and not just in our learning. I saw all this. The narration doesn’t get visualized, but the effect of the narration in my mnd stayed longer. Even nature can teach us things, that is also a wisdom from this book.
Enjoyed the story, and I would read it again as well.
Author: Herman Hesse
Translated by: Joachim Neugroschel
Price: INR. 250
(July 28th, 2013)