From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Siddhartha Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more. Written by Hermann Hesse and originally published in 1922, it was first published in the US in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s.
Siddhartha (1922) | Written by: Hermann Hesse | Published by: Random House
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
What’s good y’all? This week we wisin’ up with Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
Stunna Siddhartha got one thing on his mind: gettin’ so turnt up on spiritual enlightenment that he find legit peace by gettin’ rid of his “self.” Sidd been keepin it church as a Brahmin fo years, but he jus’ ain’t jivin’ wit it. I mean, if dem Brahmins really know it all, why ain’t any of em enlightened? So Siddhartha and his back-when brutha Govinda decide to join up wit a group of Samanas rollin through da hood.
Deez cats get they sacred on by denying themselves of food, swag, and even poontang- all so they can empty themselves from errything: thirst, want, sadness, even joy. But afta’ a while, Siddhartha and Govinda realize dat Samana grind ain’t givin’ em da spiritual joose they jonezin fo’. So when he and Govinda get word that there be some bruh named Buddha who got the enlightenment game SOLD UP, they decide to slide on over to his spot.
Govinda really diggin dis Buddhism swagga’, but Siddhartha start thinkin dat ain’t nobody can teach a brutha enlightenment, no matta’ how much street cred yo teacher got. It’s a PERSONAL thang, naw mean? Govinda stay, but Siddhartha hop up on a ferry to experience a new side of life up in the city.
Sidd ain’t got da ends to pay da ferryman, but brutha say “No problem, blood. You’ll hook me up in other ways.”
When Sid hits da mean streets o’ da city, he peep game at a DIME named Kamala. She teach him how to LOOOOOVE. But only after he get rich of course. NEW MONEY! But none of the booze, booty, and dice in da world can give a brutha da answers he itchin fo’. Matta’ fact, it only make it worse- so bad dat Sid thinkin bout snuffin’ it.
So Siddhartha go back to the ferryman, who named Vasudeva, seeking some legit wisdom. Fool say he found inner peace not from religion, not from bangin hunnies and sippin henny, but from da river.
Then one day dat dame Kamala up and dies, leavin her little shit son wit her baby-daddy, who turn out to be Siddhartha. Gotta wrap it up, Sid. Any enlgithened brutha knows dat! Siddhartha try to look afta him, but dis kid such a hater dat he eventually boosts all their cash and bounces to the city. Siddhartha try to catch him, but then he realize: “Shit, I jus’ gotta let him go so he can figure life out fo’ his self”
After studying the river fo’ years, Siddhartha finally recognize da one- ness and timelessness of da universe. All things, all people- it’s all connected, like it part of one big-ass river. There ain’t no past, present, or future neither- cuz time just man made. Straight-up enlightened, yo.
Then Vesudeva goes to da forrest where he gonna chill fo da rest of his days, and Siddhartha start rockin’ da ferryman game solo.
Years later, homeboy Govinda come to the river. He don’t recognize Siddhartha at first, but he all like “bruh teach me yo ways.” Siddhartha like “Look playa, I can give you knowledge, but true blue wisdom can’t be said.” At first Govinda like “You holdin’ out on me dawg?” When Sid realize dat words ain’t cuttin it, he realize he gotta move to da language of da universe- love. So he tell Govinda to give him a kiss on da forehead. BAM- instant enlightenment. Man.
Peeps were ALL BOUT dis book in da late 1950s, specially American kids lookin’ fo meaning- dey were all up on Hesse’s junk sayin dis book got all da answers to life’s craziness.
Now don’t pay no mind to da book bein split in to two parts. It’s
betta’ to look at it like it divided in to three. In the first section, Ol Siddy try to get wise by livin’ da life of da mind. When dat don’t work, he move on to a life of da flesh- or of sippin drank, blowin dank, blowin cash fast and gettin BOOTAY. But neitha’ one givin him legit wisdom. Only by bringin all dat life suffering togetha’ is he able to reach enlightenment by listenin’ to da river.
And dat’s Hesse’s main jam. Like Siddhartha say: wisdom, can’t be passed on playa.
“One can pass on knowledge but not wisdom.
One can find wisdom, one can live it, one can be supported by it, one can work wonders with it, but one cannot speak it or teach it.” (119)
Enlightenment ain’t bout listenin’ to tha right teacher or reading the right book. Even if it’s a book as dank as this one. You gotta figure it out fo yo’self. You gotta LIVE it. Like my brutha from anotha mutha Nietzsche said in Thus Spake Zarathrusta:
“Now I go alone, my disciples. You too go now, alone…One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil…I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you. (The Bestowing Virtue, Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra)
So stop listening to me, get you ass outta yo chair, and go find yo’self. But make sure to hit dat subscribe button first. Catch y’all later, my ballas!