Siddhartha

By Hermann Hesse
Binding:Mass Market Paperback
Publisher:Bantam Classics, (1/1/1982)
Language:English



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A young Indian mystic, a contemporary of Buddha, sacrifices everything to search for the true meaning of life.
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"Siddhartha"
By Hermann Hesse

Average Rating:

This book has not been rated


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 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

  1. What does Siddhartha mean when he refers to the "path of paths" that must be found (p. 17)? Why is he so certain that neither the Brahmins nor the samanas have found it? 

  2. Does Gautama adequately answer Siddhartha's contention that "no one is granted deliverance through a teaching" (p. 32)? Why doesn't Siddhartha become one of Gautama's followers? 

  3. What is the connection between Siddhartha losing his friend Govinda to Gautama and Siddhartha's "awakening"? What does it mean that "the awakening man was on the way to himself" (p. 37)? 

  4. What is the meaning of Siddhartha's dream in which Govinda becomes a woman? 

  5. Why does Siddhartha both love and despise the "child people"? How is it that having been a samana separates him from them? 

  6. After waking up by the river, why does Siddhartha say, "I have nothing, I know nothing, I can do nothing, I have learned nothing. How wondrous this is!" (p. 84)? 

  7. How is Vasudeva's ability to listen so deeply related to his being "no friend of words" (p. 94)? 

  8. Why is seeing Siddhartha just as good for Kamala as seeing Gautama? 

  9. When Siddhartha can no longer distinguish the many voices he hears in the river, why does he feel that "he had now learned all there was to know about listening" (p. 118)? 

  10. Why does Vasudeva leave Siddhartha? 

  11. Why does Govinda think Siddhartha's teaching sounds foolish? 

  12. Why does the story end with Govinda thinking about "everything that he had ever loved in his life," when he had previously reminded Siddhartha that Gautama had "forbade us to fetter our hearts in love for anything earthly" (p. 132; p. 128)?

For Further Reflection

  1. How can we know who is the right teacher for us?

  2. Can wisdom be taught?

  3. What is the relation of words to wisdom? Do words tend to enhance or limit wisdom?

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