"grew up with his friend Govinda"

Govinda, the “one who knows, finds, or tends cattle", is one of the many names of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna. Hesse may have used the name Govinda in this mythological context, or as an homage to the Lama Anagarika Govinda, born Ernst Lothar Hoffmann, who was a famous Buddhist scholar of German origin and contemporary of Hesse. Hoffman practiced Tibetan Buddhism and translated many Buddhist texts.