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The Life of the Buddha (Penguin Classics)

250.00 (as of April 20, 2018, 8:16 am) & FREE Shipping. Details 185.00

The story of Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism who lived two and a half thousand years ago, is perhaps the most important narrative in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Yet

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The story of Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism who lived two and a half thousand years ago, is perhaps the most important narrative in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Yet it is a story that, like the Buddha himself, exists in manifold incarnations. Tenzin Chögyel’s The Life of the Buddha follows the traditional twelve-act form of the story of the Buddha to give an captivating classical account of his life. It is a story of commonalities shared by man and god alike the cycle of life, suffering and rebirth. The Buddha was a god descended to live among men. Born into the lap of luxury and destined for a godly kingship, he came to understand the frailty of all human life that disregards class and wealth. By way of daring escape, he became an ascetic until the physical cost of that life became too great. He then undertook a journey to Bodhgaya where he vanquished the Demon Mara in battle before famously achieving pure enlightenment beneath the Bodhi Tree. In his remaining years, he traveled as a teacher, revealing his understanding of the nature of human suffering and creating the Buddhist tradition. His death preceded by a memorable reunion with his son depicted here with heart-wrenching grace catalyzed the spread of Buddhism.
Originally written for the Buddhist novice, Tenzin Chögyel’s The Life of the Buddha is a storyteller’s rendition: full of wisdom, yet intended to be enjoyed for its compelling, poignant narrative. Unskewed by modern interpretations, it returns us to a full classical understanding of the Buddha and what his life meant. This full picture is not just one of men, but of gods as well. Whereas many tellings of this story eliminate the gods, Chögyel’s gods are almost Homeric in their exercise of influence and interference. Translator Kurtis Schaeffer faithfully renders Chögyel’s lively, clear language into English, presenting a tale at once majestic in scale, yet also revealing of microscopic detail. Destined to become a standard and beloved religious studies text, The Life of the Buddha is a quintessential story with the power to engage people across cultures at a simple, deeply human level.

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