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Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha Paperback – International Edition, September 9, 1996
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I'm not sure if it's the story itself or this telling of it, but it is very thought provoking for my children. What would it be like to have never seen sickness? What would it be like to give up your family to seek truth? Some people have many luxeries and others suffer a great deal, what can we do about that?
I originally bought this book for my nephew to read. I wanted to expand his horizons on subjects he wasn't familiar with, so I figured this book would be a great introduction to Buddhism. I never read it myself, but when it arrived in the mail today, I was tempted to jump right in.
Wow! It was so good, I finished it in one session. So often, I came across Buddhist books and teachings that seemed to complicate the Buddha's simple message of inner transformation and showing kindness and respect for others. It was difficult for me to find information on the Buddha's life without it complicating things, so this book was a breath of fresh air. Colorful illustrations wonderfully complemented the exciting story of how Prince Siddhartha came to be the Buddha. This book was both easy to understand and inspiring. I was particularly excited at the vivid account of Siddhartha meditating under the Tree of Enlightenment as Mara (the evil force representing our negative thoughts and emotions) tried everything in his power to thwart his efforts ('The Great Battle', pages 92-97). I feel this represents the struggle we all face to overcome our limiting, self-destructive selves.
Even though I'm not a Buddhist, reading about the Buddha's interactions with all kinds of people inspired me to practice my own spiritual exercises more fervently in hopes of one day attaining the same conscious state of bliss the Buddha experienced. The Buddha's behavior and lifestyle very much reminded me of the Gnostic Jesus.
Please keep in mind that this book is an introduction to Buddhism. Don't expect to find any detailed description of practices used to attain Buddhahood. That's beyond the scope of this book.
This book isn't just for Buddhists; it's for anyone open-minded and willing enough to learn from a great human being. It's all about LOVE. :-)
What more can I say? I loved this book from start to finish, and I'm sure my nephew will too.
Thanks for your time. Take care.
I am not a Buddhist (although I am Hindu, a religion which has been influenced by Buddhism), and I have sometimes found other Buddhist writings to be difficult to understand. This book brings the story of Buddha to life in a way that is easy for children and adults to grasp. Both of my sons have thoroughly enjoyed this story.
As an adult, I read this book just to get a feel for it, and it brought a certain tranquility that I have not felt in a while.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to introduce their children to one of the world's most influential spiritual beings.