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The Awakened One: A Life of the Buddha (Shambhala Dragon Editions) [Kindle Edition]

Sherab Chodzin Kohn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

story of the founder of Buddhism is one of the world's great archetypal tales
of spiritual awakening. He was born Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century
BCE, the son of a prince who ruled a small kingdom in what is now Nepal.
Siddhartha led a sheltered existence until the age of twenty-nine, when he left
his life of ease and set out to find a solution to the problem of suffering.
For years he wandered as a homeless ascetic, practicing severe austerities that
brought him to the brink of death but no nearer to his goal. He then abandoned
asceticism for a "middle way." Sitting down under a tree, he vowed to
remain there until he realized the truth. After a night of deep meditation, his
Enlightenment came at dawn, and he was thereafter known as the Buddha, the
"Awakened One."

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

What makes Buddhist teacher Kohn's book different from a work like E.J. Thomas's The Life of the Buddha (1969) is his lucid way of combining the various early sources he relies on here. The major events in the life of the Buddha from preexistence to his "utter extinction of final nirvana, parinirvana" provide a framework into which Kohn fits many of the Buddha's teachings, which he presents without analysis. A Mahayana view of the Buddha marks Kohn's work, as evidenced by a description of the Buddha's preexistence and his superhuman powers, such as the ability to make others invisible. Though an index would have made the book more useful, it is a splendid combination of biography and instruction. Highly recommended for any library that needs a concise yet thorough presentation of the Buddha's life and teachings.
- David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Kohn's masterful blend of the life and teachings of the Buddha renders this book a valuable guide for those who would follow the path of the Awakened One."—Publishers Weekly

"A splendid combination of biography and instruction. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"To enable the modern reader to visualize the Buddha's life so vividly is already quite an achievement. Doubtless an even greater challenge is to present the teachings themselves as part of the narrative flow. The author has succeeded admirably. The principal doctrines are presented in a way that is not only clear and succinct, but that—most importantly—enables the reader to understand them not as abstract doctrine, but as insights which were themselves events in the life of the Buddha."—Parabola

Product Details

  • File Size: 264 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (March 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book. Much better for eg. than Paul Carus' Gospel of the Buddha, a perennial bestseller, though it hasn't sold much here. Don't be fooled by the low sales. Kohn manages to convey in extremely readable English, the poetry of the Buddha's life from what is evidently extensive research of the original sources. This is not a book about the Buddha's philosophy, though the when, how and what of his enlightenment is amply covered. It is primarily an account of his life, a biography, and in that, an excellent one. One gets a sense of his life, as also of the times in which he lived. The mythical contexts come alive in a way that one rarely sees, particularly the quaint world-space of the time. All the Buddha's major disciples and those with whom he had significant interactions are covered extensively. The most important thing about this book and what may be seen as it's only limitation is that it is not a scholarly work, but an introduction for the curious seeker.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful account of The Buddha's earliest traditions that are deeply rooted in Hiduism. The book presents the story in a very straightforward path from prelife to death. Not an introduction to Buddhism itself but simply the stories surrounding the man who was its source. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the most ancient stories of The Buddha.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changing book for me September 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I was 19, and this book was still called The Awakened One, I found it in a used book store in Boston. It was my entry point into the Buddhist practice I've continued now for 22 years. I've read several life stories of the Buddha over the years, but this is still my favorite. And being able to have it with me wherever I go on my Kindle is a joy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a short, well-written text that covers the major events of the Buddha's life. It's very informative and precise, but not pedantic.
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