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Posted March 9, 2000
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.
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Posted July 13, 2009
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