Story of the Buddha - Edith Holland

This book tells the story of the legendary life of Siddhartha, founder of the Buddhist faith. He born in Nepal in the 5th century B.C. as a prince. His father tried to protect him from sights of human suffering, but he eventually escaped palace life to embark on a spiritual quest. He eschewed wealth and became a monk to contemplate the meaning of life. After becoming enlightened Siddhartha is said to have traveled throughout India spreading his doctrines and founding monasteries.

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Siddhartha the Buddha


[Title Page] from The Story of the Buddha by Edith Holland


Before the days of books, records of historical events were handed down by word of mouth. It was therefore but natural that, as time passed and a story came to be often repeated, many details should gradually have been added to the original narrative. Thus in all histories of very early times we find fact and legend mingled together.

So it is with the story I am about to tell you. When the narrative of the Buddha's life was told again and again, in countries far removed from the scenes where the events had taken place, tales of wonders and miracles were added to the first simple story. Many of these legends, which are very beautiful, were intended to be understood as allegories, and stories told in this way have always been favourites with Eastern people.

You will see that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the facts from the legends which were added in later years. But, after all, why should we trouble ourselves about these things ? We know that the events of chief importance in the Buddha's beautiful life are historical facts, and that is all that really matters.

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Books Consulted

Buddha    Mr. & Mrs. Rhys Davids
The Life of the Buddha.    W. Rockhill
The Life of Gaudama.    Bigandet.
Buddha    Trans. from the German of Oldenberg.
Buddhist Birth Stories    Rhys Davids.
Buddhist Suttas.    Rhys Davids (translator).
Dialogs of the Buddha.    Rhys Davids (translator).
The Dhammapeda and Sutta-Nipata.    Max Muller and Fausboll.
Buddhism.    Coplestone.
Buddhist India.    Rhys Davids.
Asoka: Rulers of India Series    Vincent Smith.