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by Hermann Hesse

Vasudeva Timeline and Summary

  • Vasudeva gives Siddhartha, who has just left the Samanas, a ride across the river and shelter overnight. They discuss the beauty and voice of the river and Vasudeva says he is sure they will meet again.
  • After abandoning his life as a wealthy merchant, Siddhartha seeks out Vasudeva and asks to live with him and learn about the river.
  • Vasudeva rarely speaks, but he’s a great listener.
  • Vasudeva and Siddhartha work and listen to the river together. Vasudeva listens to Siddhartha’s revelations about the river.
  • Vasudeva discovers Kamala injured on the riverbank. He brings her and her son back to his hut and helps Siddhartha to tend to Kamala.
  • The following morning, Vasudeva and Siddhartha construct a funeral pyre.
  • Seeing that Siddhartha’s son is unhappy, Vasudeva advises Siddhartha to let the boy leave and return to the city.
  • After Siddhartha’s son steals their boat and runs away, Vasudeva helps Siddhartha build a raft to retrieve the boat. He allows Siddhartha to leave in search of the boy.
  • Vasudeva finds Siddhartha in the town near Kamala’s garden and brings him home.
  • One evening, Vasudeva brings Siddhartha out to the river and says there is still one thing Siddhartha needs to hear from the river.
  • Siddhartha hears the voices of the river as a single, timeless continuum and reaches enlightenment.
  • Having completed his task of guiding Siddhartha, Vasudeva goes into the woods and enters Nirvana.