Saturday, November 16, 2013

Old Path White Clouds" - by Thich Nhat Hanh - A Short Read

I bought this book from the Flipkart ebook store for a very affordable price. Book details are
Book Title : Old Path White Clouds
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Epub ISBN 9781448175192

This book covers the life of the founder of the Buddhism. Sidhartha son of Sudhodana of Sakya clan earns enlightenment after leaving his life as a prince behind and meditating in the jungle, living a life of Bhikkhu.
He teaches his path of enlightenment to a large number of peoples of that time, and gets a new name Buddha "awakened one" from the children Svasti, Sujata and others after getting enlightened near to the Uruvela village where those children lived.

Tree under which Buddha got enlightened was named as Boddhi Tree is is currently a world famous religious place in India. Life of Buddha is told through the memories of Svasti, Mahapajapati(Gautmi- Stepmother of Sidhartha), and mostly from Ananda(Attendant of Buddha).

All his teachings were recorded and were named as "Sutra" by the Sangha formed by Buddha at that time, and lately are converted into other languages. I have not searched much about history before and after Buddha so I am not the right person to tell you much about that.

Author claims that he has taken most of the information for this book from  "Lalitavistara Sutra" and some other book which is mentioned at the end of the book.

This book records all of the teachings of the Buddha in brief and covers most of his life's precious events, starting from his birth to death. This is a good book to learn about the life of this precious gem from our history whose teachings reformed our society and its religious view.

I have learnt that Hinduism which is known as the oldest religion got better after Buddha's teaching. Buddha was against the cast system and thought that Vedas, and spiritual learning can be done by anyone, and should not be restricted to Brahamanas. He chose the way of peace and was a very big influence for king Bimbisara, and his son "AjjatShatru" kings of Maggadha.

Many wars remained silent because many of the parties got influenced by Buddha's teaching of peace. King Ashoka is a big example of the influence of Buddha's teachings who left the way of violence and spread peace. His teaching was so profound that today Buddhism is followed by a large population of this world.

This book contains the life of Buddha, how he felt the strong urge to leave the palace and to find the path of peace and enlightenment, how he gets the enlightenment and then how he spreads his teaching to this world. Author claims that most of the stories which tells about miracles by Buddha are not covered in this book so Buddha is depicted as an ordinary man.

This is the first book I read on life of Buddha after getting over 21, and I loved it. Book is parted into 81 chapters, each one is short enough to read in five minutes and covers almost different scenes from the life of Buddha. I think I got the meaning of the enlightenment from the book, but reaching the enlightenment is another journey.

This is a good book to spend about INR 311 (approx) to learn about Buddha's life. I feel that I learned many things from this book which will help me in many ways.
Thank you!