Siddhartha is a 1922 novel by Herman Hesse who was a German born Swiss poet, novelist and painter. Siddhartha is man from the time of the Gautama Buddha, who embarks on a spiritual journey to find himself. Siddhartha means “he who has found meaning in existence” or “he who has attained his goals.” In the Sanskrit language Siddha means achieved and artha means what was searched for.
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 friend, Govinda, accompanies him, 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.