Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

Medicine for the Soul

I love this little book so very much, unbelievably soothing and grounding.

I read Siddhartha both in German (Hesse is German) and in English, but the English translation is just as beautiful, nothing gets lost in translation so to speak.

It is such an inspirational read and one of the few books I revisit whenever I'm going through difficult times, when I'm on edge and I feel stuck somewhere in my life.

Everytime I read Siddhartha I understand some of the more subtle meanings. Everytime it gives me insights into my own soul. Remarkable how this simple tale goes so deep, always providing the wisdom I need to understand, but Hesse won the nobel prize for literature for good reason.

In Siddhartha he writes about the eternal truths any human soul is longing for.

The search for meaning in life, for peace, and the big question:

Who am I?

“Truly, nothing in this world has so occupied my thoughts as this I, this riddle, the fact I am alive, that I am separated and isolated from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And about nothing in the world do I know less about than me, about Siddhartha!”

This book isn't a super easy read, it takes a few pages to get into Hesse’s exceptional writing, but once you’re in the flow it’s hard to put down. Especially for anyone on a spiritual quest.

Siddhartha takes you to a different place.

Set in India at the time of the Buddha, the young Siddhartha sets off from home looking for enlightenment. He travels the country, explores different religions, falls hopelessly in love and becomes father to a son who later abandons him. He explores living in wealth, fame and decadence as well as in poverty. And eventually, in the simplest settings, he finds the meaning of life he has been so desperately searching for.

Don’t we all…?

“Within Siddhartha there slowly grew and ripened the knowledge of what wisdom really was and the goal of his long seeking. It was nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life.”

Hermann Hesse sees the true nature of existence, and is remarkable in his ability to put his insight into a beautifully crafted story. His ultimate revelations still give me goosebumps:

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.”

Take your time with this one and read it over and over again...

By Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha back cover