Thursday, January 20, 2011


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested ~ Sir. Francis Bacon.

After reading Siddartha, written by Hermann Hesse, this old quote from Sir Francis Bacon kept on reverberating in my mind, for Siddartha certainly comes under the third kind of books mentioned by him.

The story set in the times of Gautam Buddha tells about the search for the true self by a young man named Siddartha.  Written in simple yet lyrical style, the story leaves a profound impact on the readers mind and poses some very straight, but complex questions regarding life and God, the answer to which Siddhartha himself has been unable to find, which forces him to set off in a non-traditional path for self discovery.

This book is based on the Advaita school of thought, which states that God resides in the self only, but the self because of maya/deception is unable to realize God.

This is also the story of friendship, between Siddartha and Govinda (childhood friends) and also between that of Siddartha and Vasudeva (the boatman), who later on becomes a sort of mentor to Siddartha.

Another amazing thing about this book is that it was written in German, still the translation has been able to convey the subtleties, and thanks to the translation, the thoughts of Siddartha and Hermann Hesse would never be lost to people not knowing German language.


  1. i read narcissus and goldmund when i was very young and it was almost as life changing as was the works of a totally different kind of writing much later. very nice post. write faster.

  2. I have to agree with you, this book is to be chewed and digested. However, I do worry of the possibility of getting constipation. I will try chewing a page and see how it goes. ;)

  3. dont u worry, the market is flooded with products like Colace, Dulcolax, milk of mag just to deal with scenarios like go ahead with your chewing and munching....;-)