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This classic of twentieth-century literature chronicles the spiritual evolution of a man living in India at the time of the Buddha—a tale that has inspired generations of readers. We are invited along on Siddhartha’s journey, experiencing his highs, lows, loves, and disappointments along with the beauty and intricacies of the mind, the natural world, and everything he encounters on the path to enlightenment.
Sherab Chödzin Kohn’s flowing, poetic translation conveys the philosophical and spiritual nuances of Hesse’s text, paying special attention to the meditative experience. The introduction to this edition explores Hesse’s own spiritual journey as evidenced in his journals and personal letters and the wide-ranging impact Siddhartha has had, and continues to have, on American culture.
This book is part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series.
The Shambhala Pocket Library is a collection of short, portable teachings from notable figures across religious traditions and classic texts. The covers in this series are rendered by Colorado artist Robert Spellman. The books in this collection distill the wisdom and heart of the work Shambhala Publications has published over 50 years into a compact format that is collectible, reader-friendly, and applicable to everyday life.
About the Author
HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877 in Calw, Germany. He was the son and grandson of Protestant missionaries and was educated in religious schools until the age of thirteen, when he dropped out of school. At age eighteen he moved to Basel, Switzerland, to work as a bookseller and lived in Switzerland for most of his life. His early novels include Peter Camenzind (1904), Beneath the Wheel (1906), Gertrud (1910), and Rosshalde (1914). During this period Hesse married and had three sons.
During World War I, Hesse worked to supply German prisoners of war with reading materials and expressed his pacifist leanings in antiwar tracts and novels. Hesse's lifelong battles with depression drew him to study Freud during this period and, later, to undergo analysis with Jung. His first major literary success was the novel Demian (1919). When Hesse's first marriage ended, he moved to Montagnola, Switzerland, where he created his best-known works: Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927), Narcissus and Goldmund (1930), Journey to the East (1932), and The Glass Bead Game (1943). Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. He died in 1962 at the age of eighty-five.
"Filled with timeless truths and told so beautifully with images that burn deep into your being, Hesse's novel speaks powerfully to every generation of spiritual seekers. . . . A fresh translation of Siddhartha that offers greater authenticity than any other translation—while still preserving the unique beauty of the original prose."— Branches of Light