Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I just finished reading the book Siddhartha* by Herman Hesse.  The book was written after Herman Hesse's journey through India. It takes place many years ago in India. 

Siddhartha is Brahmin as a young boy, and he leaves home with his friend Govinda to try and fulfill his need for knowledge. Govinda loves Siddhartha and sees him like no other person.  Siddhartha is perfect. They become possession-less Samsara, who travel, and think, and fast.

 After many years, Siddhartha decides that life as a samsara isn't right for him, and he Govinda go to see Gotama, the Buddha. Govinda accepts Gotama's teachings and way of life, and becomes a monk, but Siddhartha is not satisfied and he leaves.  

Siddhartha travels to a town, and meets a beautiful woman.  He lives there with her and works and makes money.  He eats rich food and wears fine clothing.  

After many years of this life, he abandons it and moves in with ferryman by the river.  The woman he used to love is traveling to see the Buddha with their son.  She meets Siddhartha again, but she dies of a snake bite and leaves their son to Siddhartha.  The son is spoiled and eventually leaves home, and Siddhartha is saddened.  

Govinda comes upon Siddhartha, after hearing from people about the peaceful god-like ferryman. Govinda realizes that it is Siddhartha and talks to him for a while. Siddhartha realizes that none of the words he followed in the past were real.  He decides that the best thing to do is to love everything.  He says it is okay to love people, animals, food, sins, and riches. After years of traveling, going from being unhappy and possessionless, and unhappy with riches, he realizes that it is all okay and has reached his own nirvana.

*Siddhartha Gotama was Buddhas real name. 

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