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Siddhartha (shambhala Classics)

by Hermann Hesse
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Shambhala
  • Publishing date: 11/01/2005
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781590302279
  • ISBN: 1590302273

Synopsis

This book chronicles the spiritual evolution of a man living in India at the time of the Buddha—a tale that has inspired generations of readers. We are invited along Siddhartha's journey experiencing his highs, lows, loves, and disappointments along the way. Hesse begins by showing us the life of a privileged brahmin's son. Handsome, well-loved, and growing increasingly dissatisfied with the life expected of him, Siddhartha sets out on his journey, not realizing that he is fulfilling the prophesies proclaimed at his birth. Siddhartha blends in with the world, showing the reader the beauty and intricacies of the mind, nature, and his experiences on the path to enlightenment. Sherab Ch?dzin Kohn's flowing, poetic translation conveys the philosophical and spiritual nuances of Hesse's text, paying special attention to the qualities of meditative experience. Also included is an extensive introduction by Paul W. Morris that discusses the impact Siddhartha has had on American culture.

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  • Inspiring
    From Amazon

    Siddhartha was a book that I did not want to put down. It is about a man on a spiritual quest to find himself. I was so in love with the choices he made and the realization that he came to at the end.
    Hesse is one of the best writers to keep the journey of life at the for-
    front of all of his works.

  • A re-reading after 35 years
    From Amazon

    When I was about to start college, a friend who had just finished his freshman year came home for the summer raving about Hermann Hesse. I had not heard of Hesse but, I later learned that he was a writer who was particularly relevent to college students of that era who were questioning the status quo and seeking spiritual growth.

    On my friend's recommendation, I read Siddhartha. In my recent re-reading of this 20th century classic, I read this edition which is a new translation. Since my memories of 35 years ago are dim, I have no basis to compare the translation with earlier ones but, I will say that this edition was readable and poetically written.

    Siddhartha is a Brahmin youth who has a close friend in Govinda. Upon Siddartha's urging, the two leave their families and comfortable surroundings in a search for spirituality. They join a group of ascetics and numb themselves to the world around them. Siddhatha is seeking to subjugate his ego. After years of this existence, they go to hear the Buddah speak. Govinda becomes a follower but, Siddhartha believes that he has to discover truth for himself and that as great as the Buddah's teachings are, he must nonetheless strike out on his own.

    He goes from his ascetic lifestyle to an oppulent one in which he enjoys pleasures of the flesh. But even then, he ultimately feels the need to move on in his spiritual journey. He joins a ferryman along the river and becomes the ferryman's assistant. He lives in the ferryman's hut and discovers that he can learn much by listening to the river talk. He also discovers that he has a son who he happens upon. However, just as Siddhartha left his father, his own son does not remain with him. His son leaves for a very different reason, however. Siddartha's son had been raised in the opulent style that Siddartha had abandoned and rather than seeking spirituality, the son is seeking to maintain his comfortable lifestyle.

    In this novel, Siddhartha goes from a very young man to an old man. His journey to discover truth is a lifelong one and the stages he goes through ultimately leads to inner peace. This is a book to be read carefully and savored. Of course, it's a translation, not the original German but, assuming a faithful translation, the words are to be carefully considered. Perhaps the stages in Siddhartha's life mirror the stages in our own as we seek spiritual growth.

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