Siddhartha Chapter 6 Summary

Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby
In the sixth chapter of ''Siddhartha'', our protagonist begins to find his way in the business world. However, the calmness with which he approaches life is a source of stress for his new employer.

Siddhartha So Far

By Chapter 6 of Siddhartha, the title character has already been through a great deal. In the first four chapters of the book: he leaves home; learns to be a Samana, but finds that doesn't work for him; thinks about following Gotama the Buddha, and, after a conversation with Gotama, realizes that the only way he will find enlightenment is to do it on his own. However, in Chapter 5, he notices a beautiful woman and decides that perhaps the path to Enlightenment could be through a more normal existence, and include more carnal pleasures.

Making Deals

As Chapter 6 of Siddhartha opens, you can almost feel an air of mild annoyance around Kamaswami. He is a busy merchant and here is some deadbeat with no experience that has shown up offering to work for him. Kamaswami figures that he must be down on his luck and looking for a handout, so he interrogates Siddhartha. However, Siddhartha proves to be too wise for questioning. At one point, after Kamaswami asks him what he is qualified do, Siddhartha answers that he can think, fast, and wait. To Kamaswami's question of what fasting is good for, Siddhartha answers: ''When, for example, Siddhartha hadn't learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would force him to do so.''

Kamaswami ends up asking Siddhartha to come live and work with him, and Siddhartha is soon running a rather sizeable chunk of the total operations.

Easy-going Siddhartha

Siddhartha learns quickly, however, the style in which Siddhartha runs the business is completely different from Kamaswami's. Business seems to just be a giant game to Siddhartha, who shrugs off relatively large losses and takes vacations when he should be working. Luckily, Siddhartha makes much more than he loses. Kamaswami's friend encourages him to give Siddhartha a bigger share of the profits as well as the losses, hoping that could make him more passionate about the business. However, it still remains a game to Siddhartha. He is able to make money but seemingly have a great time in the process. He talks to everyone, gives everyone respect, and generally is very successful. But, for Siddhartha, there is still ''deep in his chest, a dying, quiet voice, which admonished him quietly.'' Siddhartha knows this isn't his destiny.

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