Vishvapani Blomfield, Quercus Books, 2011
Many accounts of the Buddha’s life mix legends and history. This compelling new biography discriminates between fact and myth to reveal Gautama, the remarkable human being behind the legends, and shed new light on his teachings.
Plunging us into the noise, smells and jostling streets of Gautama’s world, Vishvapani Blomfield brings the Buddha to life as a passionate and determined individual — a strikingly modern figure who rejected contemporary beliefs and found his own answers by mastering his mind.
Even after he gained Enlightenment and became the Buddha (‘the Awakened One’) Gautama experienced struggles as well as triumphs as he trod India’s dusty paths. Vishvapani shows how he sought to establish a community of practitioners amid his society’s divided culture and perilous politics and how the ideas that became the Buddhist teachings grew from Gautama’s efforts to address the needs and beliefs of his listeners.
Drawing on years of meticulous research into original sources, ‘Gautama Buddha’ takes us within touching distance of one of history’s greatest figures.
Paperback 5th January 2012 £8.99 ISBN: 9780857388308
Hardback 6th January 2011 £25.00 ISBN: 97818491640928
Published by Quercus
‘Master of clarity and simplicity, Vishvapani presents through the life of Buddha an understanding of Buddhism of immense relevance to the way we live now’
Dorothy Rowe, Psychologist & author of Beyond Fear
‘This is a highly accessible study of Gautama’s life and teachings which gives a very strong impression of him as a person through his encounters, teachings, frustrations and successes. Thorough, carefully researched and well-written … this is a very readable and impressive account of one of the world’s most important religious leaders’
Dr Joyce Miller, Vice Chair of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (AREIAC Newsleter)
‘(Vishvapani) extracts the biographical information in ways that leave you free to come to your own conclusion. That makes the book eminently readable. His attention to detail and lucid prose make it a pleasure … Undoubtedly, it won’t be the last Buddha Biography. Others will shine their own lights on the figure of Gautama Buddha. This one does so with great integrity. I highly recommend it.’
Stephen Schettini, author of The Naked Monk (The Secular Buddhist)
‘Clear and very accessible … students will find this book both useful and inspiring’
Bruce Gill, Chair of the National Association of Standing Committees on Religious Education (NASACRE Journal)