If volume 3 of this fascinating series picked up the pace a bit, this book keeps on running. Siddartha, the Buddha to be, decides to follow Dhepa’s self-damaging and generally accepted path to enlightenment, putting himself through a series of ‘trials’ in the sacred Forest of Uruvela. Without external intervention, these torturous deeds would almost certainly have cost him his life. Luckily he’s rescued on several occasions and ends up being influenced more by these unexpected saviours than by his fellow monks, clearly laying the groundwork for the more sympathetic and understanding religion he’s destined to found.
Once again, the caste system is also brought to the forefront of the story; and Siddartha’s words and deeds attract more allies to his cause, despite the fact they don’t even know what his cause is yet.
Tezuka’s script doesn’t shy away from a modern interpretation and up-to-date speech, especially if it’ll inject a little humour into what might otherwise be a tricky to handle subject. This series goes from strength to strength and, at this half way point, comes heartily recommended to anyone who likes an epic read. Buddha is a classic tale, told in a classic way, and there’s a level of detail in this book that simply couldn’t be portrayed in any other medium.
Other titles in the Buddha series:
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Other books by Osamu Tezuka:
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