Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” Quotes (46 Quotes)


    Govinda was standing in front of him, dressed in the yellow robe of an ascetic. Sad was how Govinda looked like, sadly he asked: Why have you forsaken me? At this, he embraced Govinda, wrapped his arms around him, and as he was pulling him close to his chest and kissed him, it was not Govinda any more, but a woman, and a full breast popped out of the woman's dress, at which Siddhartha lay and drank, sweetly and strongly tasted the milk from this breast.

    Not in his speech, not in his thoughts, I see his greatness, only in his actions, in his life.

    What a wonderful sleep it had been! Never had sleep so refreshed him, so renewed him, so rejuvenated him! Perhaps he had really died, perhaps he had been drowned and was reborn in another form. No, he recognized himself, he recognized his hands and feet, the place where he lay and the Self in his breast, Siddhartha, self-willed, individualistic. But this Siddhartha was somewhat changed, renewed. He had slept wonderfully. He was remarkably awake, happy and curious.

    He has robbed me, yet he has given me something of greater value . . . he has given to me myself.

    Oh, was not all suffering time, were not all forms of tormenting oneself and being afraid time, was not everything hard, everything hostile in the world gone and overcome as soon as one had overcome time, as soon as time would have been put out of existence by one's thoughts?


    What is meditation?... It is fleeing from the self, it is a short escape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against the pain and the pointlessness of life. The same escape, the same short numbing is what the driver of an ox-cart finds in the inn, drinking a few bowls of rice wine or fermented coconut-milk.

    He lost his Self a thousand times and for days on end he dwelt in non-being. But although the paths took him away from Self, in the end they always led back to it. Although Siddhartha fled from the Self a thousand times, dwelt in nothing, dwelt in animal and stone, the return was inevitable; the hour was inevitable when he would again find himself in sunshine or in moonlight, in shadow or in rain, and was again Self and Siddhartha, again felt the torment of the onerous life cycle.


    What is wisdom and treasure to one man always sounds like utter foolishness to another. Siddhartha to Govinda


    One can beg, buy, be presented with and find love in the streets, but it can never be stolen.

    Whether it is good or evil, whether life in itself is pain or pleasure, whether it is uncertain-that it may perhaps be this is not important-but the unity of the world, the coherence of all events, the embracing of the big and the small from the same stream, from the same law of cause, of becoming and dying.

    He saw mankind going through life in a childlike manner... which he loved but also despised.... He saw them toiling, saw them suffering, and becoming gray for the sake of things which seemed to him to be entirely unworthy of this price, for money, for little pleasures, for being slightly honoured....

    One must find the source within one's own Self, one must possess it. Everything else was seeking -- a detour, an error.

    Whither will my path yet lead me? This path is stupid, it goes in spirals, perhaps in circles, but whichever way it goes, I will follow it.

    He saw merchants trading, princes hunting, mourners wailing for their dead, whores offering themselves, physicians trying to help the sick, priests determining the most suitable day for seeding, lovers loving, mothers nursing their children-and all of this was not worthy of one look from his eye, it all lied, it all stank, it all stank of lies, it all pretended to be meaningful and joyful and beautiful, and it all was just concealed putrefaction. The world tasted bitter. Life was torture

    Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.

    With a secret smile, not unlike that of a healthy child,he walked along, peacefully, quietly. He wore his gown and walked along exactly like the other monks, but his face and his step, his peaceful downward glance, his peaceful downward-hanging hand, and every finger of his hand spoke of peace, spoke of completeness, sought nothing, imitated nothing, reflected a continuous quiet, an unfading light, an invulnerable peace.

    I called the world of phenomena an illusion, I called my eyes and my tongue and accident, valueless phenomena. No, that is all over; I have awakened, I have really awakened and have just been born today.

    Siddhartha considered his circumstances. Thinking did not come easily to him. He didn't really feel like it, but he forced himself.

    You show the world as a complete, unbroken chain, an eternal chain, linked together by cause and effect.


    Siddhartha has one single goal-to become empty, to become empty of thirst, desire, dreams, pleasure and sorrow-to let the Self die. No longer to be Self, to experience the peace of an emptied heart, to experience pure thought-that was his goal.



    Alas, Siddhartha, I see you suffering, but you're suffering a pain at which one would like to laugh, at which you'll soon laugh for yourself.


    So she thoroughly taught him that one cannot take pleasure without giving pleasure, and that every gesture, every caress, every touch, every glance, every last bit of the body has its secret, which brings happiness to the person who knows how to wake it. She taught him that after a celebration of love the lovers should not part without admiring each other, without being conquered or having conquered, so that neither is bleak or glutted or has the bad feeling of being used or misused.

    And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life.

    I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.


    More Hermann Hesse Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - World - Man - Love - Time - Wisdom & Knowledge - Happiness - Pleasure - Mind - Death & Dying - Soul - Truth - Liberty & Freedom - Self - Suffering - People - Sense & Perception - Sadness - Night - View All Hermann Hesse Quotations

    More Hermann Hesse Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Demian
    - Siddhartha
    - Steppenwolf
    - The Glass Bead Game

    Related Authors


    Ernest Hemingway - Thomas Hardy - Sidney Sheldon - P. D. James - J. R. R. Tolkien - J. D. Salinger - Fyodor Dostoevsky - Elizabeth Gilbert - Arthur Koestler - Aldous Huxley


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