Siddhartha Chapter 1 Summary

The novel opens with this guy named Siddhartha in ancient India. He and his best friend Govinda belong to the elite Brahman caste, which is like the ancient India equivalent of being born into the Hilton family. Siddhartha is the Golden Boy of his community: men want to be him and women want to be with him. Even though Siddhartha participates in the holy sacrifices, meditation practices, and discussions of the adult Brahman, he’s not satisfied. He seeks enlightenment (otherwise known as Inner Peace), and feels that he has learned all he can from his teachers and books. In times like this, meditation under the banyan tree is the only solution. The Siddhartha and Govinda sit and meditate. At dinnertime, Govinda gets up, but Siddhartha remains deep in contemplation. He reflects on the word "Om," which means "the completion." It is the word that concludes all Brahman prayers. He’s thinking about a group of Samanas (wandering ascetics) who once came into his town. He leaves the banyan tree and tells his parents about his new career path. As soon as Siddhartha tells his father about his plans to become a Samana, his father gets upset and leaves the room. Siddhartha remains in the room, standing in the same position. The following morning, Siddhartha is still standing there. His father recognizes Siddhartha’s determination, and gives the young man permission to go. We call this the traumatic version of leaving for college, and by "college" we mean, "wandering around with no food for weeks on end." Siddhartha meets up with Govinda and they leave to find the ascetics.

Siddhartha Summary

How It All Goes Down Siddhartha grows up in a prosperous Brahman family. He’s well-loved, but unhappy despite his popularity. He is spiritually dissatisfied and believes the elders in his community have nothing more to teach him. Siddhartha decides to join the Samanas, who are a group of wandering ascetics. His best

One morning. He then helps his friend Govinda to reach enlightenment. wealth and lust prove too much for Siddhartha. Eventually. and Siddhartha continues to ferry people across the river. Vasudeva passes into Nirvana. Siddhartha travels to a nearby town where he is entranced by the beauty of a well-known courtesan named Kamala. Siddhartha gradually grows wiser and wiser. After considering suicide and briefly encountering his old friend Govinda. self-hatred. overwhelmed by his own depression and troubling dreams. For a time Siddhartha is content with his life and is able to maintain a Samana-like distance from material concerns. Siddhartha finds the ferryman and asks to become his apprentice. Although the two friends learn quite a bit from the Samana way of life. He develops anxiety. Siddhartha achieves enlightenment. Siddhartha begins working for a wealthy merchant named Kamaswami and becomes Kamala’s lover. named Vasudeva. Govinda is impressed and chooses to join Gotama’s community of monks. and a high-stakes gambling habit. clothes. and the two men spend three years with the Samanas learning how to withstand pain and hunger in an effort to flee the body’s limitations. The ferryman. Siddhartha opts not to follow Gotama. The friends part ways. He decides instead that he’s an independent learner and is done with doctrine. Kamala says he needs money. He offers himself to her as a student in the arts of love. however. and shoes.friend Govinda accompanies him. Siddhartha walks out of his fancy home and never returns. With the river as a spiritual guide. they are still dissatisfied and decide to hear the teachings of Gotama Buddha. but is gently rebuffed. . After allowing his son (by Kamala) to leave the river and follow his own path. Despite Govinda’s urgings and despite recognizing Gotama as the Holiest Man Ever. accepts Siddhartha as his companion and together the two men listen to the river.