I finished “Siddhartha”, by Hermann Hesse. The book is a fictionalized account of an enlightened one. The name Siddhartha, of course, is the given name of the original Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. However, the narrative does not follow the known path of the real life Siddhartha. In fact, Hesse may have chosen the name as it is defined as one who accomplishes goal or meaning.
I absolutely loved the book. The narrative is filled with aspects of Buddhism, lessons for enlightenment, and also invested the reader in the protagonist of the story. I had read “Demian” recently (also by Hesse) and although I wondered what would happen to the protagonist, and saw some of the Jungian influences on the author, I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. I certainly didn’t find it as interesting as “Siddhartha”.
I’m not sure if it was the subtle and not so subtle lessons, or that I am quite familiar with them from other readings on Buddhism, or something unknown to me, but a sense of calm enveloped me as I read and after I finished. It was as if this fictional novel reminded me of how I want to be and what I am striving for. I wish there were more novels so beautifully written that brought this feeling in me.