Siddhartha

Siddhartha

An Indian Tale

Book - 2003
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Herman Hesse's Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory the 20th century ever produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.
Publisher: New York, NY : Penguin Books, 2003.
ISBN: 9780141181233
9780142437186
0142437182
9780811202923
0811202925
9780553208849
0553208845
Call Number: HESSE
Characteristics: xxxv, 132 p. ; 22 cm.
Subjects: Buddhism -- Fiction.
Buddhist philosophy -- Fiction.
India -- Fiction.
Classics.
Additional Contributors: Neugroschel, Joachim

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r
Renzy00
Aug 04, 2020

The book, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, is about the life of a young man named Siddartha who is trying to find enlightenment, which is the true meaning of life and having peace. Siddartha sets out on his journey as a young man, and the story ends with him being old. Throughout the story, he goes through a lot of hardships and struggles. He tries many different things in search of his enlightenment, like meditating and doing a lot of holy actions.. Siddartha has many wise words and smart and good deeded actions said and done in his search.

What I liked about this book is that it has a lot of words and actions that the reader can also relate to and do that will help in life. It teaches things like the value of personality and people rather than things. It also teaches that fancy things and being rich isn’t everything. Another thing I liked about this book is that it has a quick paced storyline, in which Siddartha doesn’t spend so long in each scenario for a very long time. At the same time, Siddartha doesn’t move through the story super fast either. What I disliked about the book is that all the scenarios that Siddartha has are very similar to the last one that he just was in, in his journey to enlightenment.

f
fred98115
Mar 21, 2020

Young Indian lad leaves home to pursue the life of an ascetic Samana, only to be tempted by a prostitute, trading his life of purity for one of sin and business. Years later when a rich man, he renounces his wealth and becomes a river ferryman, joining in partnership with a simple soul. A tale reminiscent of the Biblical prodigal son.

a
AMDLibrary
Jan 14, 2020

Remarkably insightful and deeply impacting.
A true spiritual journey leading to the only real destination - knowing and experiencing love.

l
lewis771
Nov 05, 2019

Siddhartha leaves home to go on spiritual quest with his friend and finds out he want more than just words to fulfill his quest. He needs the OM and the Experience to satisfy his quest.

a
alexy93
May 07, 2019

I found a bit of Spinoza in Siddharta's message. Spinoza: "All things in nature proceed from certain necessity and with the utmost perfection". Therefore, no things happen by chance in Spinoza's world. In the universe anything that happens comes from the essential nature of objects, or of God and nature. Perfection therefore abounds according to Spinoza. If circumstances are seen as unfortunate it is only because of our inadequate conception of reality. Spinoza's point is, there is nothing inherent in any thing, to make it either good or bad".

Lord_Vad3r May 05, 2019

Sometimes I think it would be kind of nice to live the life of a monk. You get to hang out all day in an orange robe and contemplate stuff. That samana business of living in the forest and fasting though, that’s not for me though. I prefer showers, food, and a general lack of mosquitoes.

Siddhartha seems to contain several messages about life. The cyclical nature of the world, the forward march of time, and the interconnectedness of everything. The young see the hypocisy in the teachings of their elders: “And among the wise and wisest whom he knew and whose instruction he partook of, none of them had fully reached it, the celestial world, none of them had slaked it, the eternal thirst.” The young push away those teachings and opt to learn from experience instead, only to become old themselves.

People who achieve and accumulate always want more. And because their life is based on possessions, they often find their life lacking: “He had, it seemed to him, been leading a worthless life, worthless and senseless; no living thing, no precious thing, nothing worth keeping had remained in his hands. He stood alone and empty like a castaway on a shore.”

Every person must walk their own path and discover themselves and see their place in the larger world: “But of the secrets of the river, he saw only one today: it seized his soul. He saw the water running and running, constantly running, and yet it was always there, was always and forever the same, and yet new every instant.”

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it. In a modernized version perhaps everybody in the village would join Buddha, only to discover that they couldn’t eat because there was nobody left to beg food from. Also, Kamala would have hit Siddartha up for back child support (and deservedly so). I am just kidding. I read this because I saw George Lopez talk about how the book had changed his life on the Great American Read. Perhaps if I had read at a different stage in my life it would have had a greater impact on me.

I’m not saying it’s bad, just that it didn’t produce any truly novel thoughts or emotions.

w
whatcomhillwalker
Feb 15, 2019

Not all Siddhartha books are the same. The right translation made a huge difference to me. I'm not sure what this edition is like. My favorite has a blue soft cover and is no longer in print as far as I know.
.As with most books that I like, I like them over and over again. This one caught my attention after reading Steppenwolf (back when John Kay was still in the band) and it has stayed with me over the years. The tale of the boy prince giving it all up to experience the divine on his own terms and in his own way helped to fuel my own search and pointed out the value of the journey rather than the destination, which is always somewhere else.

r
ranvapa
Nov 20, 2018

I was underwhelmed by this book.
The language is overly flowery. The message is simplistic.
Maybe a product of its time.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 16, 2018

Siddhartha takes the reader on a spiritual journey inside the mind of a troubled devotee to the Hindu faith. By being brought up with high education, the main character Siddhartha has been allowed to form the basis of his belief but he sets out in the world yearning for a more substantial meaning to his faith. Written in the early 20th century, Siddhartha poses many philosophical arguments that can be transcribed to our current day-to-day life. For much of the novel, Siddhartha is struggling with who he is as a person. He takes many different paths in life in a desperate attempt to help fill this void but ultimately reaches a conclusion which satisfies not only him but the reader as well. Hesse’s novel has been the subject of countless translations, awards, and use in popular culture. It has been a staple in classic literature and after reading it, it makes sense why! So if you want to challenge yourself, and explore within you what defines you as a person, read Siddhartha and obtain everlasting knowledge.
@LordoftheBooks of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

n
NaMe24
Sep 16, 2018

This was on my short book classic recommendation list. I enjoyed it especially as it got towards the end. I can't remember the quotes but I loved the idea that you can only experience wisdom as opposed to being taught it.

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Renzy00
Aug 04, 2020

Renzy00 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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ranvapa
Nov 20, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 25

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sdsheridan
Apr 15, 2014

sdsheridan thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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holdendale
Jul 16, 2010

holdendale thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Summary

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r
Renzy00
Aug 04, 2020

The book, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, is about the life of a young man named Siddartha who is trying to find enlightenment, which is the true meaning of life and having peace. Siddartha sets out on his journey as a young man, and the story ends with him being old. Throughout the story, he goes through a lot of hardships and struggles. He tries many different things in search of his enlightenment, like meditating and doing a lot of holy actions.. Siddartha has many wise words and smart and good deeded actions said and done in his search.

What I liked about this book is that it has a lot of words and actions that the reader can also relate to and do that will help in life. It teaches things like the value of personality and people rather than things. It also teaches that fancy things and being rich isn’t everything. Another thing I liked about this book is that it has a quick paced storyline, in which Siddartha doesn’t spend so long in each scenario for a very long time. At the same time, Siddartha doesn’t move through the story super fast either. What I disliked about the book is that all the scenarios that Siddartha has are very similar to the last one that he just was in, in his journey to enlightenment.

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

Fortunate son Siddhartha discards his earthly pleasures to seek inner peace living the life of a wandering ascetic.

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