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Siddhartha

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  275,244 ratings  ·  7,406 reviews
Herman Hesse, the German-Swiss poet, novelist and painter, was born in 1877 in Calw, Germany. His parents were Christian missionaries, with interests in book publishing, and young Herman grew up in a world of theological discussion. Through his grandfather, who had worked in India as a missionary, he also possessed a keen awareness of Eastern philosophy and spirituality. S ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published January 2nd 2010 by White Crow Books (first published 1922)
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Kemper
So there’s a damn dirty hippie in India named Siddhartha who is supposed to be seeking spiritual enlightenment, but instead of going to a good Christian church like a normal person, he wanders around the woods for a while with some other damn dirty hippies. After he meets Buddha, he finally gets tired of being broke-ass and homeless, and he goes into town where he makes a pile of money. This is good because everyone knows that engaging in capitalism is the only proper way to go through life. As ...more
Stephen
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My apologies if this review reeks of "GUSHness." However, it gave me that ONE-OF-A-KIND reading experience that doesn't come along often and so I think it is certainly worthy of the praise I shall heep upon it. Beautifully written and a deeply personal story, Hesse has created the ultimate expression of the journey of self-discovery.

The book details the story of Siddhartha, the young and brilliant son of a Brahmin in ancient India. The Brahmin are the uber revered caste comprised of poets, pri
...more
Michelle
Whatever. Blah blah blah Samana. Blah blah blah Kamala. Blah blah blah Samsara. Blah blah blah River. Blah blah blah Om.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
If I could turn back time*or perhaps pass through some portal which brings me face-to-face with my 14-year-old self, there are so many books I would recommend to little me, grabbing my shoulders to shake my malnourished frame and insisting that I get to reading them as soon as effin possible instead of waiting until I'm too old and cynical and hyper-critical to appreciate and relate to what they have to say. If this ever is/was the case, this time-warp, today I would probably see a lot more nove ...more
John
I taught this book to juniors, and when I did I became frustrated with a student when I introduced it, because he let his classmates know that he'd already read it and it sucked. I'm happy to report, now that we've finished it, that his comments didn't seem to hurt the class's opinion of the book too badly. In fact, that student himself said it was pretty good and that he'd only skimmed it the last time he read it. Lousy kids.... Another student said it was his favorite book that we'd read so fa ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Most religions know of it as "Enlightenment" - when the individual transcends himself and sees himself as one with the ultimate reality. It can be theistic (the Aham Brahma Asmi - "I am the Brahman" or Tat Tvam Asi - "Thou Art That" of Hinduism) or atheistic (the Buddhist Nirvana, based on the Anatman - "non-soul"); but the person who achieves it, according to all sources, is caught up in profound rapture. To reach this stage, one has to tread an arduous path. Carl Gustav Jung called the process ...more
Sheila
When I edited my high school newspaper, we produced a popular feature called “Phot-O-pinion” where we asked a question about a (sometimes) pressing topic, quoted the student or teacher and snapped their pic. For one issue, at the suggestion of my journalism teacher Mrs. Kelley, I asked teachers to name a book that changed their lives. I can’t remember all the responses, but without hesitation, one teacher told me, “Siddhartha, because it showed me a completely different perspective on life.”

A fe
...more
Keely
By the latter part of the 19th Century, the colonial spread of European powers across the world was in full swing. The British ruled India and Australia and had gone to war with China to force opium on the population. Africa, South America, and the Philippines had been portioned out for Western rule and control of resources.

But tyranny does not travel only in one direction, from conqueror to subject. When Medieval European knights returned from the crusades, they brought with them mathematical p
...more
Shayantani Das
Dec 31, 2011 Shayantani Das rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shayantani by: stephen's review
When I picked up Siddhartha, I was expecting something totally different. Buddha’s life being not on the list of things I am completely unaware of (the list including sports, business, computer etc), I expected to hear stories which my grandmother told me since I was a toddler. Since Siddhartha is the former name of Gautama Buddha, I thought this was his biography. Hence, I was greatly surprised and confused, especially in parts about Kamala. I know, it makes sense that my grandmother wouldn’t m ...more
Dan Schwent
Siddhartha rejects his life as a Brahman's son and goes out into the world in a quest for enlightenment, to live as an ascetic. After meeting Buddha, Siddhartha rejects the ascetic life for a more material one, the life of a merchant, learning the ways of love from a courtesan, and in time leaves that life behind as well. Will Siddhartha ever find what he is looking for?

Normally, a Nobel prize winning book wouldn't get a second look from me. I'm more into people getting pistol whipped and big mo
...more
Megha
Jan 04, 2014 Megha marked it as just-like-that  ·  review of another edition

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning.
...more
Matthieu
Eh.
Lithium
Siddartha is an allegory; a story wrapped around the ultimate premise 'Happiness for Dummies'. Okay, maybe not so simplistic, but it deals with the attainment and nature of happiness nonetheless.

Premise

Like its eponymous protagonist, the novel breaks down in several milestones or turning points that signal the development of the story and the growth of the character, marking the changes that have been wrought at each stage by happenstance or when the central character experiences, what they gene
...more
William
I really loved this one. It's especially illuminating if you have some understanding of Vedic religion and how that fed developments in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, though that's not essential. Set on the Gangetic Plain about 2600 years ago, it's about one man's search for enlightenment. This man, Siddhartha, son of a Brahmin, even in the presence of Gautama Buddha himself, is unable to find a way if it depends on the teachings of others. There is, Siddhartha comes to believe, no single illu ...more
Florencia
* There may be a little spoiler *

The time: an old one. The place: India.
There's this guy named Siddhartha, who was everyone's love and joy. A wise and decent young man who inspired everyone around him, but himself. He was not content with his life and everything around it, spiritually speaking. He felt it was not enough. And why wasn't it enough? I don't know, but it is in human nature to wonder about the essence of things, like the existence of God, of any god. He was in a better position, tho
...more
Rakhi Dalal
What would I say about “Siddhartha”? It’s a book; I had long cherished as to read someday. And now when I have read it, how do I feel? Do I feel enthralled? Do I feel that it has added to my knowledge of the unknown and the mysterious? Sadly, I don’t. But then the author doesn’t attempt to do that, does he? He gives an account, of the life, of a seeker. Of how the seeker moves forward in his quest, how he goes through the phases of his life (inspired by the Hindu religion’s Four Ashramas, namely ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 24, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core
Prior to reading this book, my knowledge of Buddha was limited on what experiences I had while traveling to Asian countries whose population is predominantly practicing that religion. When I had a vehicular accident in a highway in Rayong, Thailand in 2002 my lady officemate showed her pendant with an image of Buddha. To my surprise, it was an image of thin, serious looking and old Buddha. I asked her: "Isn't Buddha supposed to be fat, smiling and surrounded by children?"

This 1922 novel of Herma
...more
Jana
Frank and I were having a conversation the other night in which we were discussing one of our usual topics: religion / spirituality... though I guess the other favorites (art, film, food, books, money woes, professional woes, traffic rants, geography, bad weather, family woes, music, soccer, our friends and our beloved cats) were probably discussed as well... But we were both expressing our mistrust of inexperience, and how we'd never want to take "wisdom" from someone who hadn't lived a bit. Sp ...more
Matthew
The most epically boring book I've ever read. I had successfully blocked this from my memory, but a recent poll on Goodreads about your least favorite required read in high school opened the floodgates and brought the pain back.
Milo
After having finished this book mere minutes ago I am left feeling enlightened. Herman Hesse's literary prowess and philosophical points resonate within me. This book exudes worldly knowledge that, being of a younger age, I couldn't fully appreciate yet. Nonetheless, like all of us, I have been frustrated with life. I have suffered, felt hate, sought peace, and I too fear the end of this life. Hesse's work has served to quiet my soul and at the moment all I feel is quiet contentment, much like S ...more
Gorfo
This is the kind of book that people say they like because they're too afraid to admit they don't understand its spiritual mumbo jumbo. First off I thought this book was going to be about the Buddha not some random sinful man who coincidentally shares the same name!

Siddhartha is a patronizing, stuck-up, heartless young brahmin who believes that he's pretty much superior to everyone else around him, despite that fact that his only skills are the ability to "think, pray, and fast" which let's face
...more
Mohammed
I knew nothing about this author and the book when i read this. It was refreshing i could let his words decide how i picture him, his works.

It was a novel that worked on many levels for me, storytelling technique wise it was simple but very effective. Prose wise it was written like it was beautiful old colorful poetry, it sang to me. I was moved by the insightful ideas,thoughts in the novel. I cant believe how powerful, important things he said with only 123 pages. Its easily the best book i hav
...more
Lauren
Siddhartha’s choices lead him on a journey into the inner psyche. Siddhartha is open to any experiences that will give him added insight into himself. His approach to achieving enlightenment varies from one extreme to another, from total self-deprivation to complete submission of will to carnal desires. While his approach to attaining enlightenment varies throughout the different stages of his life, one thing remains constant: Siddhartha’s determination to attain self-actualization. Siddhartha c ...more
Idle Hippo
Ehm.. "terintimidasi" dan "terprovokasi" oleh seorang Amang yang telah menyelesaikan buku ini (sori, sempet dilibas dulu ama Harry Potter 7, hehe). Awalnya hanya "mark as to read" saja karena sempat melihat bukunya di toko dan berharap mungkin suatu saat akan membacanya. Akan tetapi seorang Amang juga pada hari yang sama melakukan "mark as to read" pada buku ini, akhirnya berunding, tawar menawar (emangnya dagang) dan sepakat untuk membacanya bersama (balik lagi deh ke toko beli bukunya :D)

Awaln
...more
Tatiana
Philosophy is not really my thing. It was by far my least favorite subject in school. So it's no surprise that I was extremely reluctant to read anything even remotely philosophical for my reading challenge. Thankfully, "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse turned out to be much better than I though it would.

"Siddhartha" is a story of a young man who abandons his home and family to search for the essence of his self, for happiness, for peace, for contentment, for Nirvana. He searches for this knowledge i
...more
Meagan Swingle
I think I had to read this in high school and was bored by it, but I gave it another shot, and I really liked it a lot more this time. I think I "get it" more now, 15 years after I read it the first time.

I am drawn to one of the central themes - that everyone's path to enlightenment is different. I am a Christian and that is my chosen path to bring me closer to God and salvation, but I have great respect for other religions, and I can't bring myself to believe that they are "wrong" and I am "ri
...more
Maria
Siddhartha, son of a Brahman, is on a quest to find the meaning of life. We follow him as he struggles on through his journey, through many different life experiences. He is on a spiritual journey to find out for himself who he really is. Along the way he meets rich people, poor people, holy people, and becomes part of their world for a short time. Through his many encounters, he learns much more about himself and the world, but for a long time he is still not satisfied and still feels a deep ne ...more
Book'd
Dec 08, 2012 Book'd rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You SHOULD read this book. No reasons. No exceptions.
Recommended to Book'd by: High-School Teacher
When I first started reading this book, I was under the impression that the book is based on the life of the Prince of Kapilvastu, Siddhartha, who later became known to the world as Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism which was the reason why I so wanted to read the book. Also, I was repeatedly reminded by one of my high-school teachers about how today's generation ought to read books like 'Siddhartha' for their good, the family's good, the nation's good, the planet's good, etc..etc.. She wou ...more
Himanshu
Aug 04, 2014 Himanshu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a quick spiritual tour
Has it ever happened to you that you are standing, facing a magnificent, breathtaking view, in solitude, and a strong wind hits you in the face? You try to stay still, with eyes closed and then an involuntary smile comes on your face. This book was like that.
Thaer Dieb
رواية رائعة تاخذك في رحلة روحية عبر مراحل متعددة من التجارب والاتجاهات هدفت في مجملها للبحث عن أصل الوجود
انتقل فيها سدهارتا (البالغ لهدفه وهو بطل الرواية من )
البرهمية وهي التعبد لبراهما اله الهندوس
الى السامانا وهي التنسك في الغابات تدريبا لنفسه على تجاوز عالم الشهوات الى العالم الروحي
لم يشعر بالوصول الى السلام والسعادة بل شعر بانه يحطم ذاته بحثا عن نواة الاشياء جميعا
فانطلق الى الدنيا وغب من ملذاتها ولكنه ندم فيما بعد ووجد انه جعل من نفسه دنيئا حقيرا محتقرا لنفسه
الى ان التقى بملاح بسيط يعيش في
...more
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BookBunnyPR: Siddhartha 2015 Reading Challenge 1 4 Oct 30, 2014 04:40AM  
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only ca
...more
More about Hermann Hesse...
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“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” 745 likes
“When someone seeks," said Siddhartha, "then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.” 532 likes
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