Best-selling author Deepak Chopra brings the Buddha back to life in this gripping account of the young prince who abandoned his inheritance to discover his true calling. This iconic journey changed the world forever, and the truths revealed continue to influence every corner of the globe today.
A young man in line for the throne is trapped in his father's kingdom and yearns for the outside world. Betrayed by those closest to him, Siddhartha abandons his palace and princely title. Finally alone and face-to-face with his demons, he becomes a wandering monk and embarks on a spiritual fast that carries him to the brink of death. Ultimately recognizing his inability to conquer his body and mind by sheer force, Siddhartha transcends his physical pain and achieves enlightenment.
Although we recognize Buddha today as an icon of peace and serenity, his life story was a tumultuous and spellbinding affair filled with love and sex, murder and loss, struggle and surrender. From the rocky terrain of the material world to the summit of the spiritual one, Buddha entertains and inspires - ultimately leading us closer to understanding the true nature of life and ourselves.
©2007 Deepak Chopra; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"The narrative moves forward simply and inexorably. Especially imaginative and intriguing is the low-key nature of the Buddha's enlightenment experience....An epilogue and concluding "practical guide" offer nonfiction commentary and teaching on core Buddhist principles. (Publishers Weekly)
"The audio version of this text may very well trump the written one because of Chopras deft character performance, authentic Indian pronunciation, and familiarity with the story of a fellow Indian who came to be known as the Buddha." (AudioFile)
Though much of the story of Buddha was from the imaginations of the Author, I would say that the story was very well planned and laid out. I was drawn in by the spiritual presence Deepak created in his portrayal of one of our greatest spiritual leaders. Even for someone with limited understanding, I believe this would be a good start to expanding one's mind to greater possibilities.
This is probably the best audiobook I have listened to. Both parts one and two should be considered together. It is a spellbinding biography of Buddha, masterfully read by Deepak Chopra. If you have any interest in Buddha or Buddhism, this is a must-listen. Very inspiring too.
I have read a few books on Buddhism and Chopra does a great job of telling the story of Siddhartha. I have my own reservations regarding the religion but Chopra does not preach at all, he just merely tells the story. I like the fact that he does the reading himself as well, surprisingly great job.
I found this to be a fantastic fictional work. While the author took liberties with some of the original stories about Siddhartha (think T.H. White's The Once and Future King), he does get a decent general faux-biography going. Chopra's personal ideas get put in characters' mouths and in the discussion of the concepts at the end, but those with knowledge of Buddhism and Siddhartha beyond pop-culture stories like these will be able to spot the inserts and appreciate the story anyway. Chopra does a decent job at narration here (better than his other attempts anyway) and his voice kind of fits his story. I listened to this entire audiobook on a trip and am waiting for the opportunity to listen again once I've explored more of my library.
Basically, it comes to this: If you're looking for a book on historical Buddhism or the real Siddhartha, then look elsewhere. If you have already read some of that material and are just looking for a good story, then this is perfect.
As someone always interested in buddism and never really knowing where to start this was a great listen. It's opened my eyes and made me hunger for more.
Insightful, Inspiring, Moving
The Buddha for his calm, understanding and human aspect.
The Buddha-- I loved the softness in his voice.
As someone with deep respect and appreciation for Deepak Chopra's teachings and perspective, I was eager to hear his perspective on the life of the Buddha.
The story itself was very much a story, presented with dramatic flair, riding the emotional lines of love, hate, searching, and ultimate fulfillment. It was a great read, with, for me, a satisfying ending.
My only disappointment was how the women characters were portrayed and handled. They were merely pawns for the dramatic aspect of the story. In future stories I hope that Deepak will consider the fact that women readers will naturally look to identify with a female character in the story, and both their qualities and how they are treated can leave an impression.
But, otherwise I very much enjoyed the read. I also very much valued the epilogue, with Deepak's insights into practicing Buddhism.
Thank you Deepak, for bringing these teachings into an emotionally tangible realm.
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