At the outset, let me tell you what I knew about the book before picking it up - It is one of the most influential spiritual works of the 20th century, was highly recommended to me by a friend (this one) who had bought her own copy after reading a borrowed one and the book had an Introduction by Paulo Coelho.
To cut the story short, the book came to me with high levels of expectation. Naturally, I was a little skeptical - rebellion against the natural state of things is, for better or for worse, a habit I have since as far as I can remember. So, I started reading and I finished it. I don’t remember much else during those two days.
I was amazed by the ease at which Siddhartha explains the most important questions of life - why we are here, what we are doing here, what is the One single truth - basically, the whole existentialism phenomena. And what’s beautiful is the way Hermann Hesse expresses it.
A lot of spiritual books give you deep, complex concepts and theories and try to explain them to you in easier ways using analogies of real life. But, Siddhartha is different. It takes all these spirtiual concepts and theories as a matter of fact. It treats you with respect in assuming that you will understand. There are no long winding passages on theory of time, space and spirituality. Instead, it explains the beauty and the true meaning in our daily lives and what we feel - love, passion, knowledge, anger, lust etc. It touches upon each one of them and more and treats them with an utmost care.
Siddhartha guides you through the life of a man seeking answers only to tell you that it is not seeking you should do, finding is the answer. That was the most powerful statement for me. Let me say it again: ‘Finding is important, not seeking’. Excuse my paraphrasing. When you seek, you are looking for something, that takes away your mind from so many other beautiful things in life that might come your way. Instead, go finding with an open eye because you never know what you might find.
The book is so relatable that I am sure every one of you would be able to live Siddhartha’s life - inspite or perhaps because of it being so simple. I am not sure if this is the kind of book you might want to draw conclusions out of. I did and am damn happy I could. These are what they are:
What goes around comes back around - just this simple realisation could help us be more empathetic, compassionate and an overall nice person.
Unconditional love is the most beautiful and maybe painful thing in the world - love of a father for his son kind of stuff.
The most important knowledge can never be taught, it has to be experienced.
You can find your spiritual guide in rivers, birds or trees - they all speak to you. Just be a good listener.
Before the start of the post, I was going to suggest you to pick up this book after you’ve already delved into spiritual thinking a bit. But, I’ve changed my mind now. Read it whenever you like :)
Now, I think I’ll have to buy my own copy.
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