These days we see images of the Buddha everywhere – from hotel foyers and ornamental gardens to fitness clubs and health spas. He always looks so tranquil, almost unreal. It comes as a shock to learn that his life was lived in the most challenging of times and that his famed serenity was achieved in the face of malicious accusations – and even assassination attempts. He had to cope with monks behaving badly, complex family issues, dynastic rivalries, and the perennial threat of war.
In this concise and engaging book Graham Dixon explores the Buddha as a ‘flesh and blood’ figure and shows how the many challenges he faced can provide a source of hope and inspiration for all of us in these difficult and uncertain times.
I thoroughly recommend this book for its learned but accessible readability and its sensitivity to simple perspectives often missing in hagiographic biographies and accounts of his life events: the Buddha as a human being and problem solver, as well as an inspirational teacher.