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The Awakened One [Paperback]

Sherab Chodzin Kohn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 2000 Shambhala Dragon Editions
The 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."

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Product Description

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
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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Format:Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable and inspiring historical account May 25 2000
By gavin_f@bigfoot.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a history book......but then again, it doesn't try to be June 12 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changing book for me Sept. 22 2012
By P. G. Thornell - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good scholarly work, easy to read and informative March 31 2010
By TT WPB FL - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Well June 18 2014
By Mary Kess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book that tells the story of the Buddha in a simple narrative style, accurately but readable. This one had potential but was sparse.
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