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Publisher's Summary

Buddhism began with Gotama the Buddha in the sixth century BCE and has developed two chief forms: Theravada (or Hinayana) is found especially in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand; Mahayana is found in Japan, China, Korea, and Indochina. Zen, a more recent form of Buddhism, is found throughout the world. Some believe Buddhism is not properly understood as a religion, though this presentation describes its religious qualities: a belief in transcendent reality, sacred scriptures, monastic life, and views on a future life and the goal of human existence.

The Religion, Scriptures, and Spirituality series describes the beliefs, religious practices, and the spiritual and moral commitments of the world's great religious traditions. It also describes a religion's way of understanding scripture, identifies its outstanding thinkers, and discusses its attitude and relationship to society.

Don't miss the rest of the Religion, Scriptures, and Spirituality series.
©1994 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products (P)1994 Carmichael & Carmichael, Inc. and Knowledge Products

What listeners say about Buddhism

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

well written and well spoken

his work is well written and equally well narrated by Ben Kingsley. The only place where I did not agree with the author was when he said that Brahmanical "Moksha" was renamed to "Nirvana" by Buddha and its ritualistic dependence was de-emphasized by Buddha. This is not fully accurate, IMHO. All pre-Buddhist Upnishads had essentially said the same thing as Buddha when they said that rituals do not lead to "Moksha" and it can be attained only through knowledge of Brahman acquired through meditation and self-reflection. This is why the ritual section of Vedas is called "Karma Kanda" , or "Ritual Section" and liberation or "Moksha" related section of Vedas , i.e., Upnishads/Vedanta is called "Jnana Kanda" or "Knowlege Section". In Buddha's time the corrupted Brahmin clergy emphasized mainly the "Karma Kanda" section of Vedas, ignoring the "Jnana Kanda" section which has a higher authority within vedic framework. So there was nothing radically different in Buddha de-emphasizing the need of rituals for Moksha or Nirvana. It was more of revival of an earlier Vedantic Sharaminic tradition, rather than a revolt against it, which was very much also a part of Brahmanism even before Buddha. Upnishads were a product of this tradition much before Buddha appeared on scene. What Buddha did that was a bit radical was to open the gates of this teaching for all and sundry rather than keeping it esoteric and restricted to certain groups.

The book has been written with a great deal scholarly rigour and is far superior to other works on Buddhism written by hobby Buddhists or some other New-Age teachers based on their own self-projections (on what Buddha ought to have been ... like being a "rebel", "atheist", "rationalist", etc) rather than on what the academic facts say. This work has neutral tone which is very good.

I recommend this book.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Understanding Buddhism

This book was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to know the history of Buddhism and this book said it beautifully. I have shared this story with my mom who listens to it regularly while she works with her plants. If ever I wish to be at peace with my day, listening to this story changes my outlook and brings my mind at ease. I have also listened to "The Middle Way (Unabridged): The Story of Buddhism" which I also love.

11 people found this helpful

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Sexist

Had to stop listening when I learned about the history of excluding women. Not interested in this anymore.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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too intellectual for a Buddhism PRIMER

This audiobook is NOT a good PRIMER for Buddhism because it takes too long to understand the ESSENTIAL elements/aspects of Buddhism.

I much prefer "Buddhism for Beginners" (ASIN B00OTWCY2C), which is an OUTSTANDING PRIMER for Buddhism.

Perhaps this Buddhism audiobook by Dr. Winston King might possibly be enjoyed AFTER one has first learned the basics from ASIN B00OTWCY2C.

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    1 out of 5 stars

Nepal not India.

its not ancient india, it is Nepal. fix yourself. do your research well. thanks.

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History of Buddhism

Easy to comprehend for the person person who would like a short overview.
Terms are defined .

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A good audiobook

I liked this book. Gives basic information about this religon, and has alot to teach on this subject.

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Entertaining intro to Buddhism

Like the rest of the series this work provides a quick intro to a world faith with fairly minimal time spent diving into minute details. Performance by Ben Kingsley is engaging and the use of additional voices adds to the experience in my opinion though may not be for everyone. Writing style may be a bit dry but will give you the info in a straightforward and easy to understand manner.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • E.Deivanayagam
  • 06-30-07

A meaningful introduction

I heard this by chance - Not particularly looking for Buddhism but in general seeking anything that would stimulate my long driving journeys everyday. This rendering of Buddhism will defintiely waken up one's dormant intellect towards asking some relevant and improtant questions. My interst in Buddhism has now grown 10 times. Infact I started hearing the another book I had downloaded long back about similar thinking 'The Power of Now'. Now I am once again a seeker in my life. So it is definitely worth a listen.

The only thing I didnot like is the artificial accents of different buddhist leaders. It was quite annoying.

4 people found this helpful

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  • AnnaJ
  • 11-14-21

Clear and far reaching, but accents disappointing

A comprehensive introduction to Buddhism, helpful to anyone approaching with no or partial knowledge of the subject. For me, however, the narrator's use of different accents for each of the different quotes was more of an offputting distraction rather than an elucidation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Quinn
  • 08-25-21

Very insightful

I like the ideas and teachings on this subject and I enjoy listening and reading everything that surrounds Buddhism

This book is very good, in my opinion.