Biography of the Buddha

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  • Neika
    Member
    • Dec 2008
    • 229

    Biography of the Buddha

    I am interested in reading some of the biographies of the Buddha, but am not sure which ones are the best. I would love to hear your opinions on what the best books on the subject are.

    Gassho, Ian
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen
  • Shugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Nov 2007
    • 4535

    #2
    Re: Biography of the Buddha

    Hello Ian,

    Karen Armstrong did one that was pretty good. Deepak Chopra has one as well but I haven't read it.

    Ron
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39392

      #3
      Re: Biography of the Buddha

      Ah ... PLEASE, NO Deeprak Chopra! Few people get me so riled up as that New Age Fluff-meister!

      Karen Armstrong (I have not read it ... I like many of her other books such as "A History of God") writes as someone outside and not practicing the Buddhist tradition, and mostly for others outside and not undertaking the tradition ... so I am not sure.

      A very nice one, I felt, and on our Treeleaf Reading List ...

      viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

      • The Life of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Nanamoli

      http://www.amazon.com/Life-Buddha-Accor ... 547&sr=8-1

      It is a wonderful read, based on drawing from the Pali Cannon by a Theravadan priest ... but presenting a Buddha just as at home with Mahayana and Zen practice too.

      I have also heard good things (although I have not read it yet ... it is on the pile) about

      Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh

      http://www.amazon.com/Old-Path-White-Cl ... 663&sr=1-1

      Gassho, Jundo
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Hans
        Member
        • Mar 2007
        • 1853

        #4
        Re: Biography of the Buddha

        Hello,

        may I suggest you consider getting a copy of the following as well:


        http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Buddha ... 0140192034

        The original German version is filled with important historical and archaeological information, written by one of Germany's foremost authorities on Buddhism. I haven't read the English translation though.

        Gassho,

        Hans

        Comment

        • Saijun
          Member
          • Jul 2010
          • 667

          #5
          Re: Biography of the Buddha

          Hello friends,

          I am currently in the third book of Old Path White Clouds. While at first it looks like a daunting read, it is written in a very compelling, novelistic style (and interestingly enough, has many fine Suttas and Sutras as integral parts of the book!). I would, based on where I am right now, recommend the book.

          Much Metta,

          Perry
          To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. --RBB

          Comment

          • Shugen
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Nov 2007
            • 4535

            #6
            Re: Biography of the Buddha

            Originally posted by Jundo
            Ah ... PLEASE, NO Deeprak Chopra! Few people get me so riled up as that New Age Fluff-meister!

            Gassho, Jundo
            So, Tell us how you Really feel. :lol:

            Ron
            Meido Shugen
            明道 修眼

            Comment

            • Unmon
              Member
              • Mar 2009
              • 97

              #7
              Re: Biography of the Buddha

              Stephen Batchelor's latest book has some interesting "Buddha Bio" stuff. Also a lot of Stephen Batchelor bio...but it's a good read (imho).
              Confession of a Buddhist Atheist:
              http://www.amazon.com/Confession-Buddhi ... 494&sr=8-1

              Deepak REALLY bothers me too...which is why I hate to admit that I bought and read that "Buddha" book of his. (I had a long flight, nothing to read, and saw it in a store at the airport. excuses excuses....sad to think now that I gave him my money and consumed his trash. should have just sat zazen.) anyway, the point is that that book is simple, shallow, and full of silliness ....and Deepak Chopra doesn't need your money.

              Originally posted by Jundo
              Ah ... PLEASE, NO Deeprak Chopra! Few people get me so riled up as that New Age Fluff-meister!
              I assume "Deeprak" (you been in Japan THAT long?) appears in your metta practice frequently then...in the "enemy" field, no doubt. After all... "That is perhaps the most valuable and difficult practice of all." -Jundo Cohen
              :twisted:
              Gassho,
              Tim

              Comment

              • Onshin
                Member
                • Jul 2010
                • 462

                #8
                Re: Biography of the Buddha

                Hello,
                May I add my fav to the list, although I am not sure if it is still in print; 'Gautama Buddha' by Iqbal Singh. Oxford University Press 1994 (original Indian publication 1937) ISBN 0 19 563455 1. It starts with a description of the times whern he was born and the philosohical thinking of the age, goes through his life story and teachings and then looks at the impact of his teachings on the world. Of course this bit is not quite so up to date. I liked it but I think a lot of people might think it its style a bit dry and academic, it certainly is not the easy read of Thich Nhat Hahn.

                Gassho

                Joe
                "This traceless enlightenment continues endlessly" (Dogen Zenji)

                Comment

                • Neika
                  Member
                  • Dec 2008
                  • 229

                  #9
                  Re: Biography of the Buddha

                  A deep bow, and many thanks, for all of the suggestions. I have added all of the recommended books to my reading list.

                  Gassho, Ian
                  Neika / Ian Adams

                  寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
                  火 Ka - Fire

                  Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

                  Comment

                  • Saijun
                    Member
                    • Jul 2010
                    • 667

                    #10
                    Re: Biography of the Buddha

                    Hello brother Ian,

                    If you want, I am almost done with Ven. Nhat Hanh's book. I'll be more than happy to loan it to you if you can't find it at a library or somesuch.

                    Much metta,

                    Perry
                    To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. --RBB

                    Comment

                    • Neika
                      Member
                      • Dec 2008
                      • 229

                      #11
                      Re: Biography of the Buddha

                      Perry, thank you very much for the generous offer, however I found a copy at a used bookstore. Found Karen Armstrongs book as well. But thanks.

                      Gassho, Ian.
                      Neika / Ian Adams

                      寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
                      火 Ka - Fire

                      Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

                      Comment

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