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by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Chapter 6 Summary

  • Siddhartha goes to see Kamaswami, the wealthy merchant.
  • The merchant questions him about his skills and needs.
  • Siddhartha has no needs and argues that his ability to fast is an asset: he’s not troubled by the lack of food, therefore no one can force him to do something for food. It has also taught him patience.
  • When the merchant sees that Siddhartha can read and write well, he offers Siddhartha both a job and shelter.
  • Siddhartha begins to live a good life: food, baths, clothes.
  • Siddhartha learns quickly and is well-respected by Kamaswami. However, he looks at his job as a game; his real interests lie with Kamala.
  • Kamaswami keeps trying to get Siddhartha to be more passionate about business, but Siddhartha remains indifferent.
  • Siddhartha visits Kamala daily and she instructs him in the physical act of love. Go read that part; we can’t do it justice.
  • Although he takes great pleasure in the people around him, his experience as a Samana keeps Siddhartha from fully empathizing with them. He sees their lives as if from a distance; their pains, discomforts, and problems seem completely trivial to him.
  • Siddhartha feels understood and satisfied only with Kamala.
  • Siddhartha sees that Kamala has the same stillness that he has. He points out that this quality has nothing to do with intelligence, but everything to do with the resolving to have Inner Peace.
  • Kamala tells Siddhartha that he is the best lover she’s had. She wants to eventually have a child with him.
  • The lovers note that because they share this special sanctuary and distance from the normal ups and downs of life, they can never truly love each other the way other people do.

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