Spanning centuries, covering the globe, and encompassing politics, philosophy and religion, The End of Suffering is both unprecedented in its scope and immaculate in its execution. An accomplished and impressive history of the Buddha, it separates the man and his beliefs from the many myths and ideologies that have since become synonymous with his ...
Spanning centuries, covering the globe, and encompassing politics, philosophy and religion, The End of Suffering is both unprecedented in its scope and immaculate in its execution. An accomplished and impressive history of the Buddha, it separates the man and his beliefs from the many myths and ideologies that have since become synonymous with his name. On a more personal level, Mishra describes his travels in search of the Buddha and, in doing so, offers glimpses into his own quest for enlightenment, from childhood to September 11, from family background to friends met and made, from lessons learned to achievements as a writer. The End of Suffering also provides an account of India's post-colonial past -- and hope for its future. A moving and occasionally horrifying description of a country in chaos, the India that emerges in Mishra's writing is one struggling to forge an independent identity for itself amid talk of revolution, amid the legacy of imperialism, the violence and brutality of an oppressive caste system, and the continued influence of the West. In so combining stories of the Buddha, India and Mishra himself, the latter reveals the parallels between their respective jou
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Stunning piece of writing combining deep knowledge of Western philosophical thought with experience and curoisity about one of the most fascinating discoveries of all times. Reads better than fiction. Absolutely a page turner. The writer is a must read for anyone looking for a contemporary Indian writer who has travelled extensively and has deep sensitiviites towards all cultures. Pankaj is also a gifted writer of political commentary.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-08 Mishra (The Romantics) offers an ambitious "book-length essay" that combines an overview of the life, times and teachings of the Buddha with personal anecdotes and extended multidisciplinary forays into realms such as ancient and modern history, philosophy, politics and literary criticism. If Mishra's approach is broad, it is also deep and often effective. For example, his close reading of early Indian scriptures and his historical-political examination of the Buddha's society bring to life a "half-mythical antiquity" that, in turn, helps the reader see the Buddha's teachings afresh: not as generic spiritual truisms but rather as specific responses to particular religious and social conditions. Yet the book fails to anchor its broad perspective in a strong central thesis. While it follows the chronology of the Buddha's life, Mishra intersperses whole chapters exploring topics such as "The Death of God" and "Empires and Nations." These discussions of Nietzsche's opinions of the Buddha or Zen Buddhism's endorsement of Japanese imperialism are themselves compelling, but feel disjointed. Mishra also frequently shifts the focus to his own life; sometimes this artfully illustrates a point, but at other times it borders on the self-indulgent. Nevertheless, for serious readers the book is a rich and challenging-if sometimes meandering-invitation to explore the Buddha's legacy across centuries, continents and cultures. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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