When I 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 would’ve personally awarded Hermann Hesse with a box of her famous hand-made cookies for this book had she been there today.
Now, it was only after a few pages I learnt that I was mistaken. I hadn’t really bothered reading the synopsis, you see. Now, I figured, this book is based on the life on a man who also happens to be Siddhartha who is yearning for wisdom and in his young age, leaves his family and sets out on his spiritual journey to attain reasons and meanings to life’s lessons. He sets out to seek Peace, Wisdom, the purpose of Existence in life.
The book is a less than 200 page story and yet tends to have an effect what some 500+ page books fail to do. One of those few books that are so intellectually rich that it is difficult to put them down without having finished. Yes, I absolutely loved this book. The first that I read of Hermann Hesse‘s works. And I am, if not thrilled, impressed for sure. His writing is lucid yet scintillating.
Siddhartha holds the calibre to leave certain impressions for a life-time. It fills you with a positivity that lingers. That is for someone who prefers reading on spiritual, philosophical grounds. Others simply wont quite like it.
While the short proses are enlightening, there are a number of stanzas that influence your thinking and help you see the truth for yourself. That is one reason why the book is one of the best of its kind. For instance,
“Soft is stronger than hard, water stronger than rock, love stronger than force.”
and what we almost do not find these days is so aptly said by Hermann Hesse in these lines,
Said Siddhartha, “And I also thank you for this Vasudeva, for listening to me so well. These people are rare who know to listen and I did not meet a single one who knew it as well as you did.”
What remains in my memory is the lessons of wisdom, Siddhartha and the ferryman learn from the river.
Although I deeply adore and love the book, I am rating it four stars as I did not really want the book to finish, not at-least this soon. I wish it had some more chapters to it.
I would recommend it equally to all those who do or who do not prefer reading spirituality based works. This you MUST definitely read.