2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not just for Buddhists,
This review is from: The Buddha and the Terrorist: The Story of Angulimala (Paperback)
This book tells just one of the stories of the Buddha's life following his enlightenment. It is of the Buddha's encounter with a man terrorising local communities, committed to the gaining of personal power and revenge through murder. A familiar story in any age and certainly for our own . . Following Angulimala's encounter with the Buddha he reforms and the rest of the story is of his own illumuination and redemption and how the anger and grief of the community he has devastated handle the unexpected outcome.
Satish Kumar dramatises this tale with care and understanding and in the forward it is made clear that we need to find another way in our own times to deal with the issues of terrorism and the associated anger and sense of revenge that is so prevalent today. The Buddha's example, through this story, is seen as one such solution which, it is not just admitted but laid plain for us, demands courage. But what choices do we have in our times other than to spin on the never-ending wheel of action and reaction which produces more and more violence and destruction? This is clearly no answer despite the so-called enlightened times in which we live. We have truly come no distance at all since savagery in this respect; we have not learned.
The story, as Satish Kumar shows, is not just about outer situations, though. Within all of us we need to address the terrorist within, that part of us that breeds anger and hatred which is then projected into the world and causes such havoc. Also, the way we treat ourselves and our own consciousness is shown as central to the whole question of violence in the world, in our society and culture.
The message is clear that we need to start with ourselves and co-incidental with this will be a lessening in those manifestations of anger and violence in the world.
This is the message that Gandhi, Christ and others also gave. With the clarity and poise of the Buddha's teaching as shown through Satish Kumar's writing, we can see that not only is this a powerful answer, it is a practical one on which we can make a start right now.
This is not a book just for Buddhists, but for everyone whatever our cultural and religious/Spiritual background.
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