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An Indian Tale

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Author: Herman Hesse
Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 40,186 / 117 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54
LoC Categories: PT, BQ, CT
Downloads: 7,214
Added to site: 2008.04.07 20511

An allegorical novel that follows the spiritual journey of an Indian man called Siddhartha during the time of Buddha (6th century B.C.). Beginning with the main character's departure from his Brahmin home the search for enlightenment takes Siddhartha through a series of changes and realizations.

Show Excerpt

selves, physicians trying to help the sick, priests determining the most suitable day for seeding, lovers loving, mothers nursing their children--and all of this was not worthy of one look from his eye, it all lied, it all stank, it all stank of lies, it all pretended to be meaningful and joyful and beautiful, and it all was just concealed putrefaction. The world tasted bitter. Life was torture.

A goal stood before Siddhartha, a single goal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy and sorrow. Dead to himself, not to be a self any more, to find tranquility with an emptied heard, to be open to miracles in unselfish thoughts, that was his goal. Once all of my self was overcome and had died, once every desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, the great secret.

Silently, Siddhartha exposed himself to burning rays of the sun directly above, glowing with pain

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
S Radha Prathi

The book encapsulates the fact that everybody and everyone is networked.
It is easy for an Indian reader to see the essence of the Vedas and Bhagvad Gita percolated throughout the narration without using words like Karma, Hetu, Janma and punar janma etc.
Stunning philosophy in a nutshell, a must read for people who wonder about the purpose of our existence and also to the ones who have never paid much attention to it.


It has been a while since I read this book, but it is one that has been very memorable and has stayed with me.

The main character, Siddhartha, is on the path looking for enlightenment and on that path he discovers so much about life and what it truly important.

Great story!



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