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What the Buddha Taught

Narrated by: Taradasa
Length: 6 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

Long regarded as one of the best introductions to Buddhism, What the Buddha Taught draws on the actual words spoken by the Buddha to give a lucid and accurate account of the fundamental principles of Buddhist doctrine. Richly supported by extracts from the ancient texts, Walpola Rahula gives clear and direct explanations of Buddhism's essential teachings including:

  • the Buddhist attitude of mind
  • the Four Noble Truths
  • The Noble Eightfold Path
  • meditation and mental development
  • what the Buddha taught and the world today.

What the Buddha Taught also features an illustrative selection of texts from the Suttas and the Dhammapada. The Venerable Dr Walpola Sri Rahula was a Buddhist monk and scholar. He received a traditional training and education in his native Sri Lanka before studying at the University of Calcutta and the Sorbonne. He held a chair at Northwestern University, Illinois, and was Vice-Chancellor of Vidyodaya University, Colombo. He was widely regarded as one of the most qualified and enlightened scholars of the Buddhist tradition with a deep knowledge of the original texts.

©1959 The Estate of Walpola Sri Rahula (P)2016 Dharma Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"By far the best introduction to Buddhism available." (Professor R. F. Gombrich, Boden Professor of Sanskrit, University of Oxford)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Beautiful introduction to Buddhism

I thoroughly enjoyed this well-read text. The narrator has a calm peaceful voice that enhances the text. Whilst there are a few mispronounciations of pali words and names of historical characters, this doesn't detract from the author's beautifllly presented, epic work. this id a highly recommended introduction to Buddhism, a way of life that distills many complex texts into an easy to understand reference book. It is worth listening to many times.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Truly Enlightening

I have listened to this book over and over again and each time I learn something new. Clear explanations and easy to understand. A great book for anyone wanting to learn more about Buddhism and life in general.

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  • victoria breeden
  • 28-05-19

I thought I understood the Buddha’s teaching until I read this book!

I listen to many podcast and read many books and went to talks at various centers and I even earned a Dharma & Yoga teachers training certification from Spirit Rock but after taking a college Buddhism course that began with a thorough reading and compression of this book I realized right away I understood very little and there is where my complete understanding began. Under the guidance of a teacher was very helpful because with the gap in time period and language there is a lot to chew on however, if your wanting to understand the path this book is the one to begin with. Now I know what Buddhism lineage is ideal for me at this time in my life and why. I understand perspectives of Buddhism teachers like the Dalai Lama or Ajahn Chah or writers such as Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodrin and Tara Brach by being mindful of their chosen lineages. This book is for the lay person that holds interest in learning what the Buddha taught without too much bias opinion from other teachers it’s direct and easy to digest once fully chewed.

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  • Peter
  • 28-03-19

Fantastic experience.

I had seen this book recommended on various forums but struggle to find time for reading. As I drive a lot the audio version fits perfectly.

Very well read by the narrator and a pleasure to listen too. I would recommend it to others looking for an introduction into Buddhism.

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  • Sean
  • 13-09-18

Great beginners listen for a deep dive.

Everythi ng about this book was great. The performance , the story and the ease of understanding.

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  • Rawlson Lawrence
  • 27-02-18

Very deep and wise Even as old as the teaching are

Very deep and wise Even as old as the teaching are. The Buddha was indeed enlightened. And I can only hope to apply what I have learned. It is truly amazing.

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  • Jacob Brier
  • 16-11-17

Good book - i think - just not for audio

this seemed a full and engaging look at Buddhism and its history. however, as an audio book, i found the topics to be too dense and it was difficult to follow and learn. recommend reading it; which i plan to give a try on my next vacation.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ricardo
  • 14-08-17

Essential for anyone interested in Buddhism

I read this book several years ago and it was so pleasurable to hear it read aloud by such a wonderful narrator. This book is essential for anyone who wishes to learn about the Buddha's teachings. Beautiful recording! Excellent narration.

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  • Martin Fierro
  • 26-05-19

Excellent Concise Summary of Buddhist Trachings

This summary is old (I think from the nineteen-fiftys) but has aged quite well. I would absolutely buy it again.

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  • oliver
  • 25-09-17

Terrible exposition of Buddhist philosophy

I would not recommend this book for someone wanting to start learning about Buddhism.

It provides to context or interpretation of Buddhist thought but rather focussed on reading out lengthy quotes from the budda himself. When read out of context they provide virtually no insight into how these thoughts came about or how they should be applied in 21st century life.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful