Interestingly and honestly, I had neither heard of this book nor I would have picked it up randomly from a book store. However, I now firmly believe that books that you are meant to read, will come to you, no matter the channel. It was my husband who ordered this book for himself. He told me that it’s quite a popular one and a well praised work! I still wasn’t inclined to read it. I asked him how the book was after he finished it and he wasn’t that full of praises of the book as others were. He liked it but not too much. I, still wasn’t too inclined to read it but I did think to myself that I might give it a read someday.
Inadvertently, I was trapped into reading a series of 7 books, which I will discuss in the next blog, and after finishing the 6th book I had some time before the 7th one arrived. Well, by some time I mean, 7 days! Too many days to go without reading anything at all! So I decided to read any small one that I already had and my choices were between Ikigai and Siddhartha. After almost choosing Ikigai, I finally got tempted to read Siddhartha and I am so glad that I did! 🙂
When we start a book with an apprehension or a doubt that we might not really like it, we tend to not give an unbiased attention or keep an open mind. That’s exactly what happened when I started reading it. The first two chapters sounded confusing to me. A little boring too. Then it struck to me that I shall clear away my mind with any pre conceived notions about this book and read again. I did and that’s when I started to enjoy it.
The story is about a Brahman boy who is extremely respected in the community but is not satisfied. He leaves his house in search of the ultimate truth. In his quest, he goes to live an ascetic life with the Samanas but still couldn’t find what he was looking for. He ends up going to the worldly (sansarik) life which he enjoys and then felt disgusted about himself. His journey from being a Samana, to a wanderer, to experience lust and love, to being a trader, an alcoholic, a gambler and to finally realizing and finding the ultimate truth he was searching for, is quite interesting.
The story is simple yet the message it delivers is so thought provoking! The events that take place in his life, the people he meets and the relationships he had with those people. His outlook towards those people and how it changed when he got trapped in the worldly (sansarik) life. What made him wake up from his slumber and made him feel disgusted about himself. How he finds the one who teaches him the most important lesson, the one he had been searching for all his life. How a common man influenced him, taught him to look beyond, listen more and let go. It beautifully ends with “What is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.” and that is worth pondering upon.
One might not completely, 100% agree with everything being said in this book. However, there are some things that we will connect and agree with. It’s not even necessary to be in agreement with it but what is necessary, is to give it a thought yourself. Just like that statement above “What is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.”, you will either find this book totally rubbish and a waste of time, or, you will remember this book and its words, forever. For me, its the latter.
This book activated a series of thoughts in my mind which started a sort of debate between what all and why I agreed with certain things and with the ones I didn’t! And, this will be the debate that will somehow lead me to the common ground or to “The Truth” which I haven’t grasped yet but may be someday, I will. And, even if I don’t find “The Truth” ever but if I am able to understand, connect and apply even one thing or one lesson from this book, I think that will be more than worth it!
Its been already two days since I finished the book and somehow a few things that touched me deeply and the ones I really connected with, keep popping up in my mind. It has shaken my spiritual energy to a certain extent and I am really liking it. So I guess you already know what my recommendation would be. Read it! 🙂