In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a
contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He
conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on
again. Near dispair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique
sound. This sound signals the true beginning of life - the beginning of
suffering, rejection, peace and, finally, wisdom.