The Awakened One

Overview

The story of the founder of Buddhism is one of the world's great archetypal tales of spiritual awakening. He was born Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century BCE, the son of a prince who ruled a small kingdom in what is now Nepal. Siddhartha led a sheltered existence until the age of twenty-nine, when he left his life of ease and set out to find a solution to the problem of suffering. For years he wandered as a homeless ascetic, practicing severe austerities that brought him to the brink of death but no nearer to...

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The Awakened One: A Life of the Buddha

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Overview

The story of the founder of Buddhism is one of the world's great archetypal tales of spiritual awakening. He was born Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century BCE, the son of a prince who ruled a small kingdom in what is now Nepal. Siddhartha led a sheltered existence until the age of twenty-nine, when he left his life of ease and set out to find a solution to the problem of suffering. For years he wandered as a homeless ascetic, practicing severe austerities that brought him to the brink of death but no nearer to his goal. He then abandoned asceticism for a "middle way." Sitting down under a tree, he vowed to remain there until he realized the truth. After a night of deep meditation, his Enlightenment came at dawn, and he was thereafter known as the Buddha, the "Awakened One."

Drawing on traditional sources--including the Lalitavistara Sutra, the Buddhacharita by Ashvaghosha, the Mahavastu, and the Pali canon of scripture--Kohn has created a simple and beautiful retelling of one of the world's great spiritual biographies for a contemporary audience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kohn's masterful blend of the life and teachings of the Buddha renders this book a valuable guide for those who would follow the path of the Awakened One."— Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
What makes Buddhist teacher Kohn's book different from a work like E.J. Thomas's The Life of the Buddha (1969) is his lucid way of combining the various early sources he relies on here. The major events in the life of the Buddha from preexistence to his ``utter extinction of final nirvana, parinirvana'' provide a framework into which Kohn fits many of the Buddha's teachings, which he presents without analysis. A Mahayana view of the Buddha marks Kohn's work, as evidenced by a description of the Buddha's preexistence and his superhuman powers, such as the ability to make others invisible. Though an index would have made the book more useful, it is a splendid combination of biography and instruction. Highly recommended for any library that needs a concise yet thorough presentation of the Buddha's life and teachings.-- David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
From Barnes & Noble
Filled with stories of wisdom and compassion, this retelling of the life of Siddharta Guatama, who attained "Enlightenment" and became the founder of Buddhism, offers inspiration and insight into the wellspring of Buddhist beliefs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570625510
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Shambhala Dragon Editions Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherab Chödzin Kohn is coeditor of the best-selling anthology The Buddha and His Teachings. He has been teaching Buddhism and meditation for more than thirty years, and he has edited a number of the books of his teacher, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa. He has also published numerous translations, including an acclaimed version of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    A Slendid Spiritual Biography

    The way this book enabled me to visualize the Buddha's life so vividly astounds me. The way the teachings of the Buddha are woven into the narrative flow is a work of beauty. The life and teachings of the Buddha are clear and insightful and raised my understanding of the principal doctrines of Buddhism profoundly. I highly recommend this book for it is a literary gem.

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