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The Death of Buddha, Japanese print, 17th century, detail (public domain image);
The Death of Buddha, Japanese print, 17th century, detail (public domain image);

The Life of Buddha

by Andre Ferdinand Herold


tr. from the French by Paul C. Blum


Contents    Start Reading    Page Index    Text [Zipped]

This is a biography of Buddha retold in a simple and engaging style. It strings together a coherent narrative arc from the several classic Buddhist texts, particularly the Buddhacharita of Asvaghosa (see SBE49), the Lalita-Vistara, and the Jataka. It is thankfully free of technical Buddhist terminology. This book dimensionalizes the story of Siddhartha, born into luxury, who seeks and find enlightenment, the sometimes painful growth of the Buddhist community, and his eventual departure for Nirvana. It is short and very readable, and can be recommended for young adults.

Title Page
Table of Contents

Part One

1. King Suddhodana And Queen Maya
2. Maya's Dream
3. The Birth of Siddhartha
4. Asita's Prediction
5. Siddhartha at the Temple
6. Siddhartha's First Meditation
7. The Marriage of Siddhartha
8. Siddhartha Leads a Life of Pleasure
9. The Three Encounters
10. Gopa's Dream
11. Siddhartha is Eager to Know the Great Truths
12. Siddhartha Leaves His Father's Palace
13. Siddhartha the Hermit
14. Gopa and Suddhodana Grieve
15. The Doctrine of Arata Kalama
16. Siddhartha and King Vimbasara
17. Siddhartha Deserted by His First Disciples
18. Siddhartha Under the Tree of Knowledge
19. Mara's Defeat
20. Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha

Part Two

1. Trapusha and Bhallika
2. The Buddha is Prepared to Preach the Doctrine
3. The Buddha Leaves for Benares
4. The Buddha Finds His Former Disciples
5. The Story of the Hermit and the Hare
6. The Story of Padmaka
7. The Buddha at the Bamboo Grove
8. Sariputra and Maudgalyayana
9. The Buddha Pacifies the Malcontents of Rajagriha
10. Suddhodana Sends Messengers to His Son
11. The Story of the Crane and the Fish
12. The Story of Visvantara
13. The Story of Dharmapala
14. Gopa's Great Virtue
15. Nanda Renounces Royalty
16. The Buddha Leaves Kapilavastu
17. Anathapindika's Offering
18. The New Disciples
19. Nanda's Pride
20. The Death of Suddhodana

Part Three

1. Mahaprajapati is Admitted to the Community
2. The Buddha Exposes the Imposters
3. Suprabha
4. Virupa
5. Sinca's Deceit
6. The Buddha Tames a Wild Buffalo
7. Dissension Among the Monks
8. Kuvalaya the Dancer
9. The God Alavaka Defeated by the Buddha
10. Devadatta Expelled from the Community
11. Ajatasatru's Treachery
12. The Death of Devadatta
13. Prasenajit and Ajatasatru
14. The Buddha Teaches the Doctrine
15. The Buddha and the Shepherd
16. The Buddha Instructs the Monks of Vaisali
17. The Meal at Cunda's
18. The Buddha Enters Nirvana