Siddhartha: An Indian Tale

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Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian man named Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. The book was written in German in a simple, powerful, and lyrical style. The word Siddhartha derives from two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (meaning or wealth). The two words together mean "he who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals".

The Buddha's name, before his renunciation, was Prince Siddhartha Gautama. He was Prince of Kapilvastu, Nepal. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama". A major preoccupation of Hesse in writing Siddhartha was to cure his 'sickness with life' (Lebenskrankheit) by immersing himself in Indian philosophy such as that expanded in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

The story takes place in ancient India. Siddhartha, the son of a Brahmin, decides to leave behind his home in the hopes of gaining spiritual illumination by becoming an ascetic wandering beggar of the Samanas.

 

 

 

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