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Publisher's Summary

While many accounts of the Buddha’s life mix legend and history, this compelling new biography discriminates between fact and fiction to reveal Gautama, the remarkable human being behind the myth, and sheds new light on his teachings.

Plunging us into the noises, 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 to within touching distance of one of history’s greatest figures.

©2011 Vishvapani Blomfield (P)2015 Ukemi Productions Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Master of clariety and simplicity, Vishvapani presents throught the life of the Buddha an understanding of Buddhism of immense relevance to the way we live now." (Dorothy Rowe)

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Brilliant book and excellent narration!

This audiobook has all that I was looking for - history and life of the Buddha, interpretations of his teachings, history of Buddhism and its spread across Asia. The author describes himself as a practising Buddhist, but is careful to separate out historical facts from legends and myths that could have crept into the literature over time. Thus, we get a nearly objective history of the religion from someone within the religion - a difficult feat! I am an Indian, and am pleasantly surprised by the narrator’s grasp over names of places and people here that could normally be tongue twisters to westerners.
Would highly suggest keeping a map of North India handy and trace the journeys of the Buddha though various cities of North India.

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  • JK
  • 07-18-21

INFORMATIVE

This book is written and narrated so well. I listened to “Old Path, White Clouds” about the Buddha’s life some time ago. “ Gautama Buddha” is also about the Buddha’s life, but from a different perspective. Both books are very good and a MUST read/listen if you are interested in Buddhism. My thanks to all involved in making this available to us, JK.

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a background look in to buddha

this story tries to explain everything around the great soul. not a book on spirituality

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Objective account of the historical Buddha

This is the most objective account of the real Buddha I have listened to. There seems to be two different versions of the Buddha; the historical person that the Theravada tradition focuses on, and the almost supernatural/ mystical version that is more common in the Mahayana traditions. This of course is a broad stroke. Every tradition that I have encountered is open to other school's thoughts of the Buddha and his Dharma.

No matter what tradition you prefer, Blomfield has done his research! Blomfield brings together separate versions of Buddha's life, and gives his take on what is likely to be true. Buddha has to be one of the most consistent characters in history, especially for the age he lived in. Like Socrates (during Buddha's lifetime), and Jesus about 500 years after his life, Buddha didn't write anything down, but his followers did an astounding job on recording his teachings. That, combined with other historical documents and events recorded all over Asia, Blomfield presents a very robust account of Buddha's life.

Jonathan Keeble is my favorite narrator of all time; I actually found this book by looking up Keeble because I enjoy him so much. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Keeble narrated a book like this. He usually does novels, and books about Western philosophies and religions. This is a rare match made in heaven for me!

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Thorough and inspiring

A very thorough, down to earth yet at the same time inspiring book. The material seems very well researched and presented in a concise and easy to grasp way.

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Great book about the Buddha

A pleasant surprise. I would almost call it a biography as much as it is possible to write one about the Tathāgata. Unassuming, the author does a pretty good job of presenting his life in an chronological and contextual manner. You get a vivid picture of the man, the teacher and the Buddha.

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  • BabaOne
  • 04-08-16

Blessed book of peace, love, joy and wisdom.

I never written a review before but this book captivated me from the start.

A wonderful story brought to life by Jonathan Keeble.

I've gained a deeper understanding of the roots of Buddhism, of peace, love and joyful wisdom.

I couldn't put it down. It was vivid and informative and pleasure to listen to all the way through.

Out of my 152 audio books this is the best one I've listened to so far.

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  • Karen
  • 10-05-19

A supberbly written history of Gautama Buddha

I’ve read a few bookson Buddha. However this is the best of the best. Wonderfully researched and magnificently read by Jonathan Keeble, who bring the book alive with his tone and diction

Loved it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-23-22

Really interesting

I love this book for the way it tries to portray a picture of the 'real' Buddha (rather than a purely religious stereotype). Vishvapani also paints a fascinating picture of the sights, sounds and culture of ancient India. A truly readable and altogether remarkable work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-21

Brilliant

so much in insight and information coming out of this book, it is incredible .I loved it.

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  • BadBoy
  • 10-15-21

Utterly sublime

I loved this. I just returned from my first ever vipassana Dhama Dipa at Hereford and was keen to know about this, pretty cool, smart, and insightful guy..what a way to get to know him through this book. Atreat (equanimous of course 😀)

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  • max whittle
  • 09-18-21

Brilliant book well read

A great listen for anyone interested in consciousness, life and living it with awareness. Thanks for your efforts.

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  • Thamesis
  • 08-07-21

A tremendous achievement.

If you want to know about the Buddha and his impact on the world,
listen to this. The research carried out in preparation for this must have been colossal and the story of his life grips you. Add to that the wonderful narration of Jonathan Keeble and you have, in my eyes, a very precious audiobook.

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  • Mr L.
  • 07-10-21

Very interesting

Good background info & description of the life & times of the Buddha. Also what happened after his death. Very interesting. We'll narrated.

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  • Rumcelt
  • 08-10-20

The Buddha

Over arching view of Buddhism It took several weeks but it was worth the time.

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  • Allie R
  • 01-07-20

A deeper understanding

This book/audio book gives a deep insight into the life of Buddha and addresses queries some may have. A long listen - but well worth it for anyone wishing a deeper understanding

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  • L. A. Brimacombe
  • 07-29-18

Excellent Book on the Buddha

Have not found a better book on the life of the Buddha. Captures the key points of the Buddha's Life and their meaning. Brilliantly narrated too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-23-18

Very well written and very informative

For anyone who has ever found the history of Buddhism daunting and overwhelming, this book untangles and explains a huge amount.
It provides a clear and personable account of the Buddha and brings him to life in a way that I have not found in other books.
Brilliant!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 02-21-18

Enlightening

Really enjoyed this book, I like that it tries to differentiate of what happened and what has been embellished. I'm going to listen to it again to pick up things that missed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alec
  • 08-03-16

A great historical overview to Buddhism

If you are looking for a concise overview of Buddhism and the life of the Buddha I would highly recommend this text. It is a historical account with little practical application but I found it invaluable in establishing a strong understanding of the Buddhist faith and its history. The narration is exceptional which I find critical in such a long book. Great job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • adam
  • 09-01-21

highly recommend,

Well read, and a fantastic book.
something I can return to time and time again.

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  • Davide Di Florio
  • 06-22-20

Amazing concise and historical

The book touched in the main teachings of the Buddha in a clear and well presented way.