Buddha (Lives) ebook
by Karen Armstrong
Certainly not complete in itself (as if any one book could be!), but it was not meant to be that kind of dharma book.
Karen Armstrong's book admits that the records about Buddha are not really historical, but rather illustrative and instructional. Then she goes ahead and tries to write a more typical biography, tracing the outlines of his life chronologically. We never feel like we know the Buddha, understand him, his motives, time or place. Part of this is understandable-the whole point of Maybe it is not possible to write a good biography of a religious leader from the mists of history.
It was not his life and personality but his teaching that was important. It seems that the process of preserving the traditions about the Buddha’s life and teaching began shortly after his death in 483 (according to the traditional Western dating). He believed that he had woken up to a truth that was inscribed in the deepest structure of existence. Buddhist monks at this time led itinerant lives; they wandered around the cities and towns of the Ganges plain and taught the people their message of enlightenment and freedom from suffering.
Karen Armstrong distils from these the key events of Buddha's life: his birth as Siddhartha Gotama in the fifth century BC and his abandonment of his wife and son; his attainment of enlightenment under the Banyan tree (the moment he became a buddha, or enlightened one; his political influence; the divisions among his followers; and his serene death.
Karen Armstrong Buddha. the Buddha’s life; and the Jataka, stories about the former lives of the Buddha and his companions, to illustrate how a person’s kamma ( actions ) have repercussions in their future existences.
Buddhism is a faith that commands over 100 million followers throughout the world. Buddha revolutionized the religious ideas of his time to advocate a new way of living. All that is known about him comes from a collection of ancient writings that fuse history, biography and myth.
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buddhist art usually depicts the Buddha sitting alone, lost in solitary . The Buddha lived in towns and cities, not in remote forest hermitages. The Gospels tell us next to nothing about Jesus’s early life and only seriously begin their story when he starts his preaching mission.
When he traveled, he was usually accompanied by hundreds of bhikkhus, who tended to chatter so loudly that occasionally the Buddha had to plead for a little quiet.