Monthly Archives: October 2013

Reinterpreting Siddhartha in Light of Oriental Philosophies

In your quest for meaning of life, a Buddha will be always near you

In your quest for meaning of life, a Buddha will be always near you

Siddhartha: An Indian Poem by Hermann Hesse is a misleading novel. Despite sharing the first name, it is not a biography of the historical Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Hesse called it an ‘Indian poem’ and Hindu philosophy was indeed crucial to the story but one commentator has seen it as another typical Western work not dissimilar to Moby Dick or Huckleberry Fin. Some saw the novel as a mélange of Indian and Western ideas, while others viewed it as a work of excellence for its integration of Hindu and Christian mysticisms. Siddhartha: An Indian Poem is a novel so riddled with conflicting views that a reinterpretation seems not only proper but desirable. 

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