With an estimated 350 million adherents, Buddhism is the fifth largest belief system in the world today. This book explores the roots of this faith, from the life of the Buddha through to the early forms of Buddhism that developed into what is practised worldwide today. The opening section looks at the Buddha's life in detail, from his early years as a protected infant through to his spiritual awakening and quest for enlightenment. This book then moves on to look in detail at the Buddha's teachings, from his interpretation of the Dharma and the importance of karma, through to his attitudes towards the consumption of meat and alcohol and the pivotal role of meditation in the search for enlightenment. Written by a leading expert this beautifully presented exploration of early Buddhism is lavishly illustrated with over 200 stunning photographs and illustrations, and is an essential reference for anyone interested in Buddhist teachings and the history if Buddhism. This is an in-depth chronology of the life and times of the Buddha and how his teachings have developed into modern Buddhism. It offers a comprehensive overview of the key beliefs of Buddhism, lavishly illustrated with over 200 photographs and artworks. It examines the life and teachings of the Buddha and explores how they have been interpreted to form the various branches of modern Buddhism. There are special features on the Buddha's travels and the spread of his teachings throughout India. It looks at the doctrines that are central to the Buddhist universe, such as the Dharma, the importance of karma, the four noble truths and the role of meditation. - An in-depth chronology of the life and times ofthe Buddha - Offers a comprehensive overview of the keybeliefs of Buddhism and Buddhist holy days - Examines the life and teachings of the Buddhaand explores how they have been interpreted toform the various branches of modern Buddhism - Looks at the doctrines that are central to theBuddhist universe, such as the Dharma, theimportance of karma, the four noble truths and therole of meditation - Lavishly illustrated with over 200 photographsand artworks
Helen Varley is a journalist and author who specializes in history, religion, travel, Eastern spiritual thought, and yoga. Ian Harris is Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Division of Religion and Philosophy. He was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Lancaster. He is co-founder of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and has written widely on aspects of Buddhist ethics and politics. He was Senior Scholar at the Becket Institute, St. Hugh's College, University of Oxford (2001-04) and is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.