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Siddhartha

By Hermann Hesse (6)

Herman Hesse’s cult classic Siddhartha is the story of a man’s spiritual journey. Siddhartha lives during the time of Buddha. The son of a Brahmin, the youth decides to leave his comfortable home to pursue a life of purity. Along with his friend Govinda, the young man joins the Samanas, wandering ascetics searching for enlightenment. Feeling that there is more to learn, the young men follow, for a time, the religious leader Gotama. Later, Siddhartha comes to a town where he discovers a sensual love with the courtesan Kamala, with whom he later has a son, and in the ensuing years, Siddhartha becomes a rich merchant. Some years later, Siddhartha gives up the life of materialism, and leaves the town. He comes to a river where he meets a wise ferryman, who explains that one can learn all there is to know about life by studying the river. He lives with the ferryman, and some years after, encounters Govinda. Finally, Siddhartha is able to tell his old friend that he has found inner peace. When his son grows up, he too seeks enlightenment. Hesse’s melodic novel will speak to young adult readers poised to begin their own journey of self-discovery.

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