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The Life of the Buddha: According to the Pali Canon

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

This unique biography presents the Buddha's revolutionary solution for humanity that leads to the end of ill will, craving and delusion. Though born a prince surrounded by luxuries, Gotama the Buddha was transformed by realizing that no one escapes unhappiness. He spent the remainder of his life discovering, then imparting, the answer to the great question: "Is there a way

Paperback, 1st edition, 397 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Pariyatti (first published 1972)
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Jul 21, 2013 Marian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-buddhism
The beauty of this book is hard to describe. It is not an ordinary account of the Buddha's life. Using translations from the Pali Suttas, chronologically ordered and supplemented with the author's own introductions and additional information found in the Pali commentarial tradition, Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli has created an outstanding Dhamma book, offering not only a comprehensive account of the Buddha's Life, but also of his Teachings and the Path towards their actualisation. I highly recommend this boo ...more
the gift
my interest in buddhism has always been philosophical, more on the way, less on biographical details. so this is different for me. this is translation and quoting of the oldest extant written work on the buddha, his life, his doctrine, his community. while this gets to the source, do not know if this gets you closer to the contemporary state of buddhist practice and thought, any more than the bible before king james got ahold of it, leads you to current Christianity...

so this tells the life and
Joseph Harriott
Feb 24, 2010 Joseph Harriott is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. You really need to want to read this book, because it works straight from the Pali Canon, but with a helpful narrator trick to smooth the story for us. If the Lord Buddha means something to you, try this book. It's an accepted classic among western Theravadans, and has a timeless feel to it.
Craig Shoemake
Best biography of the Buddha I've read, directly from the oldest strata of texts (the Pali).
Jul 12, 2012 Maura rated it did not like it
Ugh. I couldn't finish.

Supernatural events treated as fact in texts make me identify less with any religion. This book read like a dry hagiography more than a biography.

The fact that the Buddha decreed that female monks had to be subservient to male monks in all ways depressed me. I guess it was nice that women got to choose to be Buddhists at all around 500 B.C.
Evie Smith
Aug 18, 2013 Evie Smith rated it liked it
Not always an easy read but an interesting one. It helps to have previous knowledge of the Buddha's life and teachings. I am concurrently reading "Awakening of the Heart" by Thich Nhat Hanh and find the historical context reinforcing.
Apr 14, 2013 Fraser rated it it was ok
This book wasn't for me. It came recommended but I have to say I struggled with both the organisation and style.

I much preferred and found more instructional and satisfying "In the Buddha's words" by Bikkhu Bodhi.
Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani
May 16, 2012 Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any buddhst
Recommended to Dharmamitra Jeff by: Varada
All the Dhamma you will ever need.
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