Siddhartha Study Guide

Siddhartha Study Guide

Original title:
Published December 1st 1981 by Bantam Books (first published 1922)
ISBN 0553208845 (ISBN13: 9780553208849)

Discover yourself and look at the world around you differently with this spiritual book by Herman Hesse. Published in 1922 it still preserves its relevance for those who are looking for something beyond everyday routine life.

The novel is about Siddhartha, son of Brahmin, that has all the components for a happy life: he is handsome, he is from a well-respected family, he has means for living a good life. Nevertheless, he leaves his father’s home to find the meaning and nature of existence.

Together with his friend Govinda he follows Samanas and lives in poverty and deprivation. Rejecting everything physical and material brings some enlightenment for Siddhartha, but soon he decides to look further and leave Samanas.  Now he wants to learn from Gotama Buddha, the famous almost-God, for whom people give up their property and families.

At the Gotama followers camp, Siddhartha embraces the new religion of Buddhism. It provides him with some answers and useful teachings, but there are still questions left unanswered. He escapes into the city where discovers the world of trade, love, drinking and gaming.

In “Siddhartha” Herman Hesse is looking for answers to questions we all ask ourselves on a daily basis: what is happiness? How much is enough? Does every living creature have a Self inside or is it the utmost wisdom to find it? Is it bad to take pleasure in simple mundane things?

The philosophy of the book allows readers to look differently at religion and dive into its origins.  The author won’t give you answers, but he will show you one of the ways to look for them. Read this text about spiritual path of a regular man. It truly doesn’t matter what confession, race or country he is from. His way to understand life and meaning of it through learning and experiencing is universal.

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