SIDDHARTHA

SIDDHARTHA

by Hermann Hesse
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Overview

SIDDHARTHA by Hermann Hesse

THE SON OF THE BRAHMAN

In the shade of the house, in the sunshine of the riverbank near the
boats, in the shade of the Sal-wood forest, in the shade of the fig tree
is where Siddhartha grew up, the handsome son of the Brahman, the young
falcon, together with his friend Govinda, son of a Brahman. The sun
tanned his light shoulders by the banks of the river when bathing,
performing the sacred ablutions, the sacred offerings. In the mango
grove, shade poured into his black eyes, when playing as a boy, when
his mother sang, when the sacred offerings were made, when his father,
the scholar, taught him, when the wise men talked. For a long time,
Siddhartha had been partaking in the discussions of the wise men,
practising debate with Govinda, practising with Govinda the art of
reflection, the service of meditation. He already knew how to speak the
Om silently, the word of words, to speak it silently into himself while
inhaling, to speak it silently out of himself while exhaling, with all
the concentration of his soul, the forehead surrounded by the glow of
the clear-thinking spirit. He already knew to feel Atman in the depths
of his being, indestructible, one with the universe.

Joy leapt in his father's heart for his son who was quick to learn,
thirsty for knowledge; he saw him growing up to become great wise man
and priest, a prince among the Brahmans.

Bliss leapt in his mother's breast when she saw him, when she saw him
walking, when she saw him sit down and get up, Siddhartha, strong,
handsome, he who was walking on slender legs, greeting her with perfect
respect.

Love touched the hearts of the Brahmans' young daughters when
Siddhartha walked through the lanes of the town with the luminous
forehead, with the eye of a king, with his slim hips.

But more than all the others he was loved by Govinda, his friend, the
son of a Brahman. He loved Siddhartha's eye and sweet voice, he loved
his walk and the perfect decency of his movements, he loved everything
Siddhartha did and said and what he loved most was his spirit, his
transcendent, fiery thoughts, his ardent will, his high calling.
Govinda knew: he would not become a common Brahman, not a lazy official
in charge of offerings; not a greedy merchant with magic spells; not a
vain, vacuous speaker; not a mean, deceitful priest; and also not a
decent, stupid sheep in the herd of the many. No, and he, Govinda, as
well did not want to become one of those, not one of those tens of
thousands of Brahmans. He wanted to follow Siddhartha, the beloved,
the splendid. And in days to come, when Siddhartha would become a god,
when he would join the glorious, then Govinda wanted to follow him as
his friend, his companion, his servant, his spear-carrier, his shadow.

Siddhartha was thus loved by everyone. He was a source of joy for
everybody, he was a delight for them all.

But he, Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no
delight in himself. Walking the rosy paths of the fig tree garden,
sitting in the bluish shade of the grove of contemplation, washing his
limbs daily in the bath of repentance, sacrificing in the dim shade of
the mango forest, his gestures of perfect decency, everyone's love and
joy, he still lacked all joy in his heart. Dreams and restless thoughts
came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from
the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came
to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices,
breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him,
drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans.

Siddhartha had started to nurse discontent in himself, he had started
to feel that the love of his father and the love of his mother, and also
the love of his friend, Govinda, would not bring him joy for ever and
ever, would not nurse him, feed him, satisfy him. He had started to
suspect that his venerable father and his other teachers, that the wise
Brahmans had already revealed to him the most and best of their wisdom,
that they had already filled his expecting vessel with their richness,
and the vessel was not full, the spirit was not content, the soul was
not calm, the heart was not satisfied. The ablutions were good, but
they were water, they did not wash off the sin, they did not heal the
spirit's thirst, they did not relieve the fear in his heart. The
sacrifices and the invocation of the gods were excellent--but was that
all? Did the sacrifices give a happy fortune? And what about the gods?
Was it really Prajapati who had created the world? Was it not the
Atman, He, the only one, the singular one?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012318671
Publisher: SAP
Publication date: 03/28/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 94 KB

About the Author

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. Profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, Hesse’s books and essays reveal a deep spiritual influence that has captured the imagination of generations of readers. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, Demian and Magister Ludi. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Siddhartha 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 137 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Herman Hesses' novel depicts the journey of a boy who seeks knowledge and wisdom and quickly finds himself in times of love, devotion, and wisdom. Determined to find his path to enlightenment he witnesses and encounters the hardships which include the path of addiction and trials of his runaway son consumed by greed. Even through all his heartache he is lead by his guide, a mysterious ferryman, through his losses and recuperates by finally achieving his greatest wishes. Siddhartha shows us that the real goal in life is to be complete and always accept your hardships because in the end it is all worth it.
Aglaia More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing little treat, that you don`t want to miss out on. I like Herman Hesse anyway and it was by complete accident that I found this book. It is short, but you get immersed. A few things about the author: Hesse is a Nobel Prize laureate, born in Germany, but a Swiss writer.He wrote Siddharta in 1922. He had previously, back in the 1910s, visited India.The story focuses on Siddharta, the son of a Brahmin, who leaves his home (the story takes place in Nepal around the time of Gautama Buddha) in search of enlightenment and it recounts the experiences, the events that lead him to reach nirvana. The stories, the people, the events that he encounters all add up to him reaching a deeper understanding of the universe. In the beginning of the story, he actually meets Gautama (Gotama) Buddha, who by then reached the perfect state and listens to his teaching, but decides that he should learn to reach enlightment through his own experiences, not someone else`s teachings. The style is quite simple, yet at times it reaches almost poetic heights. As I mentioned earlier, this is a very short novel, but it took a long time (and surely a long spiritual journey) for the author to write. I highly recommend Siddharta, and other works of Herman Hesse as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this recently during a painful break-up/separation from my wife. At the time I was convinced we were getting divorced. Reading this book made me realize that I was going to be fine whatever the outcome. Once I stopped pouting around and enjoyed life with or without my wife, she came back. I credit this book with saving my marriage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, lousy version! Full of typos, misspellings, repeated words and gibberish. A rip off even at 99 cents. It looks like they simply scanned someone else's and then never bothered to proof or even spell check. I'd like to get my money back from BN if I could figure out how.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoa!! That was such a good story. Had to read for school and didnt expect to like it. I loved it and definitely recommend. Really makes you think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for your own spiritual journey... you will be inspired after reading this book. Simple and meaningful. Definitely one of my all time favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm going to look for a different edition, maybe not an e-version because I can't get through mine from Classic Gems Publishing. I've read Herman Hesse before. This isn't Herman Hesse. This reads like someone ran his manuscript through Google translate and then sprinkled commas EVERYWHERE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book.
Am1226 More than 1 year ago
A book that will make you think.
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I love it
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