Unlike stiff biographies of the Buddha or biographies that are replete with mystery and magic, Footprints in the Dust enables us get to know the Buddha as a human being—a deeply compassionate and wise person who not only actualized the path to enlightenment but also shared the way to accomplish that path with countless others so that they too may gain supreme peace. We learn of the challenges Gotama faced—many similar to our own—and how he dealt with them. We see his responses when praised and blamed, when confronted with crises within the Order and disputes among kings and couples. We see how he guided monastic and lay disciples with their diverse personalities and dispositions. In getting an insider’s glimpse into how his wisdom and compassion manifested when engaged in situations that we too may experience, we learn how to work in a constructive way with whatever life brings us. This is an inspiring and engaging book that you will read and reread many times.
—Bhiksuni Thubten Chodron, Dharma teacher, author, and abbess of Sravasti Abbey
What was the Buddha like as a human being? How did he relate to others? With great care and an eye for detail, Venerable Dhammika pieces together the life events we can 'read' from very early texts. The result is a truly authoritative biography. It shows that as a man, as well as a teacher, the historical Buddha was remarkable indeed. The chapter headings are refreshingly original: a day in the life of, his humour, his debating style, his background. I really enjoyed thinking about Gotama Buddha simply as a person - and clearly an extraordinary one, as Ven. Dhammika shows us. I recommend this book to anyone who would like a down-to-earth, accurate and readable appraisal of the founder of this great world religion, seen through modern eyes.
Oxford, March, 2021
Bhante Shravasti Dhammika was born in Australia in 1951 and became a monk in India in 1976 under Anagarika Dharmapala's last disciple Venerable Matiwella Sangharatana. He subsequently lived in Sri Lanka and Singapore before returning to his homeland in 2017 where he now lives in semi-retirment. Bhante's numerous books have been translated into over 30 languages.