A contemporary and provocative examination of the life of the Buddha highlighting the influence of women from his journey to awakening through his teaching career--based on overlooked or neglected stories from ancient source material.
In this retelling of the ancient legends of the women in the Buddha's intimate circle, lesser-known stories from Sanskrit and Pali sources are for the first time woven into an illuminating, coherent narrative that follows his life from his birth to his parinirvana or death. Interspersed with original insights, fresh interpretations, and bold challenges to the status quo, the stories are both entertaining and thought-provoking--some may even appear controversial. Focusing first on laywomen from the time before the Buddha's enlightenment--his birth mother and stepmother, his co-wives, and members of his harem when he was known as Prince Siddhartha--then moving on to the Buddha's first female disciples, early nuns, and to female patrons, Wendy Garling invites us to open our minds to a new understanding of their roles.
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