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Publisher's Summary

Long regarded as one of the best introductions to Buddhism, What the Buddha Taught draws on the actual words spoken by the Buddha to give a lucid and accurate account of the fundamental principles of Buddhist doctrine. Richly supported by extracts from the ancient texts, Walpola Rahula gives clear and direct explanations of Buddhism's essential teachings including:


the Buddhist attitude of mind
the Four Noble Truths
The Noble Eightfold Path
meditation and mental development
what the Buddha taught and the world today.

What the Buddha Taught also features an illustrative selection of texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada. The Venerable Dr Walpola Sri Rahula was a Buddhist monk and scholar. He received a traditional training and education in his native Sri Lanka before studying at the University of Calcutta and the Sorbonne. He held a chair at Northwestern University, Illinois, and was Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University, Colombo. He was widely regarded as one of the most qualified and enlightened scholars of the Buddhist tradition with a deep knowledge of the original texts.
©1959 The Estate of Walpola Sri Rahula (P)2016 Dharma Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"By far the best introduction to Buddhism available." (Professor R. F. Gombrich, Boden Professor of Sanskrit, University of Oxford)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jacob Brier on 11-16-17

Good book - i think - just not for audio

this seemed a full and engaging look at Buddhism and its history. however, as an audio book, i found the topics to be too dense and it was difficult to follow and learn. recommend reading it; which i plan to give a try on my next vacation.

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By oliver on 09-25-17

Terrible exposition of Buddhist philosophy

I would not recommend this book for someone wanting to start learning about Buddhism.

It provides to context or interpretation of Buddhist thought but rather focussed on reading out lengthy quotes from the budda himself. When read out of context they provide virtually no insight into how these thoughts came about or how they should be applied in 21st century life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Adisha on 07-16-17

Beautiful introduction to Buddhism

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-read text. The narrator has a calm peaceful voice that enhances the text. Whilst there are a few mispronounciations of pali words and names of historical characters, this doesn't detract from the author's beautifllly presented, epic work. this id a highly recommended introduction to Buddhism, a way of life that distills many complex texts into an easy to understand reference book. It is worth listening to many times.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Coatsie on 11-26-17

Truly Enlightening

I have listened to this book over and over again and each time I learn something new. Clear explanations and easy to understand. A great book for anyone wanting to learn more about Buddhism and life in general.

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