Daisaku Ikeda is the author and coauthor of more than 60 books on Buddhism and the founding president and leader of the Soka Gakkai International, one of the largest lay Buddhist organizations in the world. He is the recipient of the United Nations Peace Award, the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award, and the International Tolerance Award of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Burton Watson is a translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. His translations include Chuang Tzu, The Lotus Sutra, Ryokan, Saigyo, and The Vimalakirti Sutra. He received the PEN Translation Prize in 1981.
The Living Buddha: An Interpretive Biographyby Daisaku Ikeda
An intimate portrayal of one of history's most important and obscure figures, the Buddha, this chronicle reveals him not as a mystic, but a warm and engaged human being that was very much the product of his turbulent times. This biographical account traces the path of Siddhartha Gautama as he walked away from the pleasure palace that had been his home and joined a… See more details below
An intimate portrayal of one of history's most important and obscure figures, the Buddha, this chronicle reveals him not as a mystic, but a warm and engaged human being that was very much the product of his turbulent times. This biographical account traces the path of Siddhartha Gautama as he walked away from the pleasure palace that had been his home and joined a growing force of wandering monks, ultimately making his way towards enlightenment beneath the bodhi tree, and spending the next 45 years sharing his insights along the banks of the Ganges. The Buddhist canon is expertly harvested to provide insight into the Buddha's inner life and to grant a better understanding of how he came to play his pivotal role as founder of one of the world's largest religions.
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Buddhism is one of the world's major religions. What is the secret of its vigor some three thousand years after the death of its founder, Shakyamuni? This book, 'The Living Buddha, An Interpretive Biography' seeks to answer that question. Surely essential to a full understanding of the continuing impact of this teaching is a knowledge and appreciation of the life and personality of Shakyamuni himself. Unlike most major religions, Buddhism depends neither on divine revelation nor an incarnation of God for its authenticity. Shakyamuni, the Buddha or 'Enlightened One' was a man who through his own efforts attained enlightenment as to the essential nature of life itself. And for this very reason, his life story is meaningful to us today. 'The Living Buddha' is a biography with a double focus. On the one hand, it is a vivid historical narrative based on what is known of Shakyamuni's life and times. One the other hand, it is the inspiring account of a heroic life dedicated to helping all people free themselves from suffering and futility and attain true peace of mind. In this book, exquisitely written by world-renowned author Daisaku Ikeda, Shakyamuni Buddha emerges as the amazing man he was. Yet, he was only a man; not some superhuman deity, just a man who attained a state of life that, according to his own teachings, is inherent in every one of us. Therein lies his true greatness. Through this book, we see that Shakyamuni Buddha lived in a turbulent period and was confronted with the same kinds of social conflicts and personal problems that we all face. The description of how he conquered these obstacles is what makes for an engrossing and inspiring account, and one that is highly relevant to our lives in these modern times. The author, Daisaku Ikeda, as leader of the world's largest Buddhist organization, Soka Gakkai International, brings unique qualifications to this portrait of Buddha. With this book, as with all of his writings, Mr. Ikeda has once again contributed a profoundly useful tool to those in pursuit of greater Buddhist knowledge.