First published in 1921, Siddhartha is a book that you can read quickly over the weekend – it’s just 160 pages long.
An amazing, life-changing read is the best way to describe Siddhartha.
And for me, I love the book, while others aren’t so quick to find the same passion that I hold in it. With this said, this is a classic that really puts a new perspective on life.
Siddhartha leaves his home with his best friend in search of spiritual enlightenment. Hearing of Buddha, he and his friend set out to meet the Buddha and become one of his followers to gain enlightenment.
The son of a Brahman, Siddhartha rejects what is considered the ascetic life and decides that life alongside the Buddha is not for him; a path that many people seem to follow in life. There are times when we’re more spiritual than others, but the majority of our lives is consumed by following out ambitious.
Siddhartha leaves his friend and the Buddha behind. He goes to a city to become a merchant. Starting at the bottom of the pile, Siddhartha learns the life of a courtesan and becomes wealthy along the way, gaining fortune before leaving that life behind him, too.
When reading Siddhartha for the first time, it’s difficult to grasp its deep concepts.
The author comes from a different time and culture, and looking back on the book, I can’t help but think that Siddhartha is as much a story of the author’s life as it is anything else.
Siddhartha is about life. Period. The search for understanding, wealth and love fall into Siddhartha’s life like no other. He is also persuaded by a beautiful woman to let her teach him how to become the best lover in the city. And for him, this is a task that he carries on happily before he leaves town for good.
On his travels, he meets a ferryman that he befriends, and the two become connected.
“Wisdom can’t be taught, but it can be learned”
is a quote that resonates with me as a reader. When you read Siddhartha, it’s easy to overlook the nuggets of wisdom that shine through. But as circumstances in life have a way of doing, you’ll slowly start thinking back to this book and wondering how you didn’t understand many of the teachings within.
Life is a trial. Even as an adult, I am not sure I am doing anything in life properly.
Siddhartha learns life lessons right in front of your eyes. While he may leave the side of the Buddha, the story of Siddhartha follows the path of the Buddha in many ways. Questions will linger in your mind as you read the book.
Will Siddhartha meet his friend again? Will Siddhartha go seek out the wisdom of the Buddha?
These are questions I will not answer for you. A short read, you can find out what happens to Siddhartha and what his journey-filled life has waiting for him at the end. You will walk away filled with a newfound wisdom that you don’t even realize you had thanks to Siddhartha.