• The Buddha Before Buddhism

  • Wisdom from the Early Teachings
  • By: Gil Fronsdal
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $14.95

Buy for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

This book is in the tradition of the best-selling Dhammapada, a translation with commentary of one of the earliest of the surviving Buddhist texts, which reveals the teachings to be remarkably simple and free of religious trappings.

One of the earliest of all Buddhist texts, the Atthakavagga, or Book of Eights, is a remarkable document, not only because it comes from the earliest strain of the literature - before the Buddha, as the title suggests, came to be thought of as a "Buddhist" - but also because its approach to awakening is so simple and free of adherence to any kind of ideology. Instead the Atthakavagga points to a direct and simple approach for attaining peace without requiring the adherence to doctrine. The value of the teachings it contains is not in the profundity of their philosophy or in their authority as scripture; rather, the value is found in the results they bring to those who live by them. Instead of doctrines to be believed, the Book of Eights describes means or practices for realizing peace. Gil Fronsdal's rigorous translation with commentary reveals the text to be of interest not only to Buddhists, but also to the ever-growing demographic of the spiritual-but-not-religious, who seek a spiritual life outside the structures of religion.

©2016 Egil Fronsdal (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

More from the same

What listeners say about The Buddha Before Buddhism

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    61
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    57
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A treasure (except the verse numbers)

For those really looking to dork out, this is good stuff. It’s probably the 20th Audible title I’ve consumed on Buddhism, and definitely some new goodies. Each chapter begins with a summary of the ensuing passage, and those are really good. That said, the grievances on here about the verse numbers being read incessantly are totally valid. That really busts up the flow, and I bet they regret doing it that way. At least they should. Anyway, still worth checking out.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well narrated but verse numbers annoying

The preambles to the translations are interesting and seem to make sense and the narration is excellent ,however the reading is structured in verses and personally I found this interrupted the flow. For me it would be a far a more immersive experience if the narrator , who does an excellent job, simply read the text sans verse numbering . I would probably prefer to read this rather than listen to staggered audio but others may appreciate the verse numbering .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Esoteric an interesting.

Not sure why Gil didn't narrate his book personally as he has a wonderful voice. a good book diving into a text not often discussed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good read.

I enjoyed this. I have been going through the many discourses and this was an interesting side quest. Other reviews identify the verse announcements as annoying and problematic, but they didn't bother me. I will likely add this book to my shelf, so the verse notes will be helpful in the future. The narrator, Edoardo Ballerini, is my favorite when the subject is Buddhist texts. I gave it 4 stars just because I need to leave room for masterpieces like Thich Naht Hanh's "Old Path White Clouds."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simple and direct but full of Eastern Wisdom!

A wonderful treasure. Never disappoints.... Be still and enjoy!
Nothing beats a gr8 audible book and Narrator

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful look at Buddhism.

I listen to Audio Dharma and this is a very useful translation of some important topics in Buddhism.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve
  • Steve
  • 08-30-20

Insight to the historic Buddha

A good exposition on The Book of Eights. Explaining its verses and relationship to later Buddhist texts. Essential for students differentiating between the various developments in Buddhism.