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Deepak Chopra brings the Buddha back to life in this gripping New York Times bestselling novel about the young prince who abandoned his inheritance to discover his true calling. This iconic journey changed the world forever, and the truths revealed continue to influence every corner of the globe today.
A young man in line for the throne is trapped in his father's kingdom and yearns for the outside world. Betrayed y those closest to him, Siddhartha abandons his palace and princely title. Face-to-face with his demons, he becomes a wandering monk and embarks on a spiritual fast that carries him to the brink of death. Ultimately recognizing his inability to conquer his body and mind by sheer will, Siddhartha transcends his physical pain and achieves enlightenment.
Although we recognize Buddha today as an icon of peace and serenity, his life story was a tumultuous and spellbinding affair filled with love and sex, murder and loss, struggle and surrender. From the rocky terrain of the material world to the summit of the spiritual one, Buddha captivates and inspires—ultimately leading us closer to understanding the true nature of life and ourselves.
Eastern philosophy popularizer and mind-body pioneer Chopra has done novels before, and critics have not found fiction his long suit. That should change with this tale of how the Indian prince Siddhartha came to be the enlightened one, the Buddha. The subject is tailor-made for Chopra. He can draw on what he's familiar with: the ancient Indian culture that shaped the historic personage of the Buddha, and the powers of mind that meditation harnesses. Although the novel begins a little slowly with exposition and character introduction, once the character of the Buddha is old enough to occupy center stage, Chopra simply portrays the natural internal conflict experienced by any human seeking spiritual wisdom and transformation. Centered on a single character, the narrative moves forward simply and inexorably. Especially imaginative and intriguing is the low-key nature of the Buddha's enlightenment experience. In case Chopra's fans want something more direct, an epilogue and concluding "practical guide" offer nonfiction commentary and teaching on core Buddhist principles. Chopra thanks a film director friend for sparking the project, and the novel has clear cinematic potential. This fast and easy-to-read book teaches without being didactic. Chopra scores a fiction winner.