Deepak Chopra is best known for his spiritual how-to books. Here, he turns to fiction (though he adds a how-to epilogue), writing about the life of Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. The book is divided into three parts.
The first chronicles the youth of a motherless boy who has a destiny:
- to be a spiritual leader as foretold by astronomers at his birth. But his powerful father refuses to bow to fate and keeps his son isolated from the world.
- In the second part, Siddhartha, now a husband and father, sees suffering and decides to leave his life of leisure and become a monk. Despite extreme asceticism and a duel with a demon, enlightenment eludes him.
In the final section, Siddhartha sees the error of trying to defeat his body and, in one night, achieves enlightenment and becomes the Buddha.
The traditional story of Buddha is already compelling, yet Deepak truly captures the essence of this renowned spiritual seeker. When the novel ends, the explanations begins, with Chopra providing a Q and A about the tenets of Buddhism. Many will find his "answers" as enigmatic as they are enlightening.
About the Author:
Deepak Chopra, the founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is the preeminent teacher of Eastern philosophy to the Western World. He has been a bestselling author for decades, and his writings have sold millions of copies.