Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse


… Wisdom is not communicable. Wisdom, which a sage tries to impart, always sounds like folly… Knowledge can be imparted, but Wisdom cannot. You can find it, live it, be carried by it, work miracles with it, but you can’t say it or teach it.

Hermann (Karl) Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. He’s famous primarily as a poet, though he was a sensitive observer of nature and the meaning of the existence of all creations.
His best-known works include Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, exploring an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Here I present a poem from one of his famous books, Siddhartha. It’s an Indian Poem, a 1922 novel that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the Gautama Buddha.

Once, he told her:
You are like me; you are different from all people.
You are Kamala, nothing else, and there is peace inside you, a refuge where you can retire at any moment and feel warmth, just as I do.
Few people have this ability, and yet everyone could acquire it.
Not all people are smart, Kamala said.
No, said Sindharta, this is not it.
Kamaswami is as bright as I am, but he can not find refuge in himself.
Others may or may not have young children in mind.
For most people, Kamala is like a leaf that falls, that the wind picks it up, swirls for a while and then soars and clumps to the ground.
But few others are like the stars that follow a fixed orbit, and the wind does not reach them because the orbit and the law that follow are inside them.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

And all these together, all voices, all goals, all longing, all suffering, all desire, all good & bad, all these together was the world. All these together was the flow of events, was the music of life.
Hermann Esse, Siddhartha


28 thoughts on “Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

  1. Oh, I love the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse! Thank you for sharing this extract Aladin. Last year I came across another brilliant book you might enjoy, about him and Carl Jung titled: “C. G. Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships” written by Miguel Serrano. Highly recommended! Love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elainemansfield

    One of those books that changed my life when I was a young seeker. My big brother brought it home from college. Thanks for reminding me of that more innocent time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting poem. It holds an honesty.
    I read Steppenwolf when I was about 17. I did not understand what it was saying, so I don’t remember it. I’m sure I was too, young, reaching to be like all the intellectual around me.
    Thank you for this post, Alaedin!

    Liked by 1 person

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