By Pankaj Mishra
An finish to Suffering is a deeply unique and provocative e-book in regards to the Buddha's lifestyles and his impact all through background, informed within the kind of the author's seek to appreciate the Buddha's relevance in an international the place type oppression and spiritual violence are rife, and the place poverty and terrorism forged a protracted, consistent shadow.
Mishra describes his stressed trips into India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, between Islamists and the rising Hindu center category, trying to find this so much enigmatic of spiritual figures, exploring the myths and locations of the Buddha's lifestyles, and discussing Western explorers' "discovery" of Buddhism within the 19th century. He additionally considers the effect of Buddhist rules on such sleek politicians as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
As he displays on his travels and on his personal previous, Mishra indicates how the Buddha wrestled with difficulties of non-public identification, alienation, and anguish in his personal, no much less bewildering, occasions. within the approach Mishra discovers the residing that means of the Buddha's educating, on the planet and for himself. the result's the main three-d, convincing e-book at the Buddha that we have got.
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Additional resources for An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World
The Mahasanghikas were thus the first rebels, reformists, or schismmakers (depending on who is writing history), and they ushered in a new way of thinking that eventually coalesced several centuries later into what we today know as Mahayana. Like the eleven schools of Sthavira or orthodox Buddhism, the Mahasanghikas also split, inevitably, into a number of subgroups over a period of time. E. under the aegis of King Ashoka, the primacy of the Sthaviras was established, and the dissenters were excluded from the sangha.
The Brahmins, representing the old learning, concentrated on memorizing the myriad verses of the Vedas, but that was often was the extent of their knowledge. The new learning made it possible for merchants to expand their activities along international trade routes in the northwestern parts of the subcontinent. The Buddha’s revolutionary contribution to the new learning was a language of rational presentation and psychological analysis, which appealed greatly to the urban intellectuals who were challenging the claims of the entrenched Brahminical teachings and power structures everywhere—in politics, society, and religion.
Migrating populations, including foreigners, opportunists, and the displaced, flocked to these urban centers, while conquered chieftains came to the royal courts to pay tribute. This newly emerging urban culture gave rise to novel financial arrangements, such as credit and debt, real estate speculation, and interestbearing loans. These innovations challenged the entrenched caste system of the Aryan civilization since an entrepreneur of any caste could now accumulate wealth and power. Thus arose a new merchant-trader class with increased social and financial power.
An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World by Pankaj Mishra