Summary

Buddhism has captivated many millions of people around the world, its vitality and adaptability enabling it to transform the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan, and also become a lively component in the cultures of Europe, Australia, and the Americas. But have you ever wondered how a religion that doesn't even have a god could have accomplished this?
Now you have the opportunity to have your questions answered, as this series of 24 lectures by an award-winning teacher traces the history, principles, and evolution of a theology that is both familiar and foreign.
You'll learn the astonishing story of Siddhartha Gautama - who was to become the Buddha, or "enlightened one" - the Indian prince who abandoned wife, son, and a privileged life to seek the meaning of life and death, and whose "awakening" and subsequent teachings have since impacted the world as few others have.
And you'll learn what happened after his death, as his followers began to share his teachings about the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Path" to Enlightenment. You'll see how Buddhist beliefs underwent significant and even radical change, with different varieties of Buddhism having to take shape as those beliefs spread across India, Central Asia, China, Japan, and virtually every corner of the Western world, such as becoming more respectful of one's duties to family and ancestors in China or becoming reconciled with local deities in Japan.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £32.79

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Buy Now for £32.79

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kingster on 09-12-16

A great look at the development of Buddhism

I love this audible book. I wanted to broaden my knowledge of Buddhism whilst travelling around the country. The narrator brings the subject to life with his wealth of expertise in the subject. Full of stories of experience is different forms of Buddhism and how that's translated in his life. I would recommend this book as a good starting point and well worth your investment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Read more Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Md Lachlan on 29-02-16

Detailed, knowledgeable and interesting

An engaging lecturer who clearly knows his subject in great depth. Too much to absorb at one listen, I will be playing this one again.

Read more Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 14-07-14

Accessible and informative

Any additional comments?

This a really good introduction to the subject. The narrator has a clear skill in making some of the complex cencepts of Buddhism (at least to a western mind) understandable. He is passionate about the subject, speaks clearly and his lectures have a good balance between 'story telling' and theory. I will be keeping this audiobook in my library to listen to again.

Read more Hide me

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jonathan D. Stringer on 11-02-15

Much ado about Nothingness.

What did you love best about Buddhism?

This series of essays did a fantastic job of highlighting the differences between the various forms of Buddhism practiced today. As someone who came into these lectures with only a superficial knowledge of Buddhism, I was struck by just how many different interpretations of Buddhist teaching there are in the world. It makes the Protestant/Catholic divide look more like a small ditch in comparison.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Buddhism?

The bits on Vajrayāna Buddhism were certainly the most memorable parts of the lecture, primarily due to the tradition's enigmatical style of teaching . Contrasting the esoteric tendencies of Vajrayāna with the relative simplicity of Zen is almost like comparing apples and oranges, but it's this rich diversity that I found to be the most compelling aspect of the study.

Have you listened to any of Professor Malcolm David Eckel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Professor Eckel's love of the subject shone through my speakers. He approached the lecture with a zest that I wish more of the Great Courses lecturers possessed. His diction is equal parts scholastic and conversational, with a genial loquaciousness that wouldn't sound out of place coming from the mouth of a Hotei statue.

Read more Hide me

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

See all reviews