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Publisher's Summary

This unique biography, told in a lively manner through six 'voices', presents the Buddha's revolutionary solution for humanity that lends to the end of ill will, craving and delusion.

It goes back to the earliest sources of the Buddha's life and teachings, drawing as it does from the Pali Canon which was said to record the words that the Buddha spoke, the events that happened, and his specific teachings on which the world-wide religion was based.

It is an absorbing, edifying and even entertaining collection of reportage, myths, wisdom, kindness, human insight - and decisiveness. For 45 years after his enlightenment he walked around North-Eastern India, encountering and teaching kings, courtesans, matted-hair ascetics, murderers, men and women on spiritual quests - and many ordinary people living ordinary lives in 5th century BCE, but who were grateful for his compassion and advice.

Sometimes he teaches through rich metaphors. Sometimes he teaches through scientific analyses of mental states. In one tender moment, he helps his own son, Rahula, to gain enlightenment. The Buddha was not only clear about life, and how, and why, it should be lived, but endeavoured to create a practical framework that monks, nuns and laymen and laywomen could follow to 'disentangle the tangle' and reach enlightenment.

Not a god or a divine, but a truly remarkable and fulfilled human being. Bhikkhu Ñanamoli's remarkable work - an innovative biography that has become a classic treasured by Buddhists of all traditions - speaks directly, giving us a flavour of what it was like to be around Siddhattha Gotama, the Buddha.

Bhikkhu Ñanamoli (Osbert Moore) was born in England in 1905 and graduated from Exeter College, Oxford. In 1948 he came to Sri Lanka to be ordained as a monk. During his 11 years as a monk, he translated some of the most difficult texts of Theravada Buddhism.

In The Life of the Buddha, however, he made the teachings accessible to all.

©1972 Buddhist Publication Society (P)2016 Ukemi Productions Ltd

What listeners say about The Life of the Buddha

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  • David Reimer
  • 26-04-2019

Fantastic performance great book five stars +++++

The best book I’ve listened to so far on this subject as it clarifies so many questions for anyone on the path to enlightenment on the origin of Buddhism and much much more. Highly recommend, especially for vipassana meditators or those interested in attending a vipassana retreat I.e. a modern day Sangha for householders. Lastly, this recording of the book was fantastically read and wonderful to listen to. Thank you.

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  • CrimsonArrow
  • 30-12-2017

Too many narrators

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

There were too many people narrating the book which is sad, because it is a really great book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Brett F. Warnecke
  • 14-02-2021

Very Helpful

Amazing work that will help anyone with an interest in the Pali Cannon. It provides context for many familiar passages.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-11-2020

Good Story - Take Intense Focus

It is a tough listen with the constant repetition of sayings. However it is difficult to listen to anything written many centuries ago. The story is interesting and I would still recommend.

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  • Adhipsb
  • 17-10-2020

All time classic Brilliantly narrated.

In these senseless times of terror and violence this is a must hear. Buddham Saranam Gacchami.

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  • Elizabeth Renee Blue
  • 14-07-2019

HIghly engaging narration brings history to life

This book is one of the best audiobook renditions I’ve ever listened to. Given the didactic and Socratic nature of the presentation of the Buddha’s teaching life, the dramatic style makes it easy to follow the cast of characters and to readily distinguish between the different types of content. Great job!

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  • isaac
  • 30-06-2019

excellent

Having several narrators threw me off at first but I got used to it. In the end it was an incredibly inspiring and has the taste of Dhamma

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  • SJRod
  • 19-07-2017

Brilliant

Loved every minute and will listen again and again. So much. So well presented. This is a fitting tribute to The Buddha

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-11-2018

bhavadu sabba mangalam

This is a wonderful account of the life of the Buddha.
May all who listen to it become established in Dhamma and share that merit.
Thank you Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, Metta.

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  • Adrian Samuelsberg
  • 04-07-2021

Finally a reading that does justice to the Suttas!

Narration really brings life into the Suttas and the character of the Lord Buddha. Sometimes people say the Suttas are difficult to understand or boring, but this narration demonstrates it most certainly is not. Totally in love with it and will definitely listen to it over and over again.

In terms of content, it is perfect. Mostly consisting of texts taken directly from the Sutta pitika and Vinaya Pitika, with the author explaining the traditional commentarial accounts and makes remarks only when necessary. Ñanamoli takes you on a journey of the Buddha's life with utmost authenticity according to the Theravada tradition of Buddhism.

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  • KIMI 3
  • 04-05-2021

MAINLY GOOD THOUGH LOTS OF REPETITION

Even though I've been a buddhist for a long time,I learned some new things. Quite a bit of repetition as Buddhism was originally an oral tradition where disciples memorised the teachings and repeated them,the Buddha then giving his approval that they'd been remembered correctly. It includes some of the challenges the Buddha faced such as his cousin Devadatta trying to create a schism.If you're new to Buddhism,I'd suggest something less detailed,otherwise its good..

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