Publication Date: DECEMBER 2008
CONTACT: Rose Carrano (NYC)
Ph: 646-638-2181

The Living Buddha
An Interpretive Biography
By Daisaku Ikeda
Translated by Burton Watson

Buddhism Day By DayThe Living Buddha is a biography with a double focus. On the one hand, it is a vivid historical narrative based on what is known or can reasonably be surmised concerning Shakyamuni’s life and times. On the other hand, it is the inspiring account of a heroic life dedicated to helping all people free themselves from suffering and futility and attain true peace of mind.

The author, Daisaku Ikeda, brings unique qualifications to his portrait of Shakyamuni. As president of Soka Gakkai International, the most dynamic Buddhist renewal group in the world, he is the spiritual leader for millions. At the same time, he is very much a man of the twenty-first century, a concerned and active member of society renowned for his work for peace. His image of Shakyamuni grows out of his own living experience as a Buddhist and as a man of action.

Accordingly, the author views Shakyamuni not as a mystic, semi legendary figure half hidden in the mists of a distant age in an exotic land but as a warm and vital human being, one who was very much a product of his own time but who transcended circumstance to preach a message of universal validity—a message that speaks to us today as strongly as it did to those who first heard it more than two thousand years ago. 

Also available in Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Indonesian, Swedish, Portuguese, Danish, Russian, Chinese (traditional and simplified versions), Thai, Vietnamese, Serbian and Sinhalese, The Living Buddha, is a highly readable introduction to the founder of one of the world’s major religions

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Daisaku Ikeda is the author and co-author of more than 60 books on a wide range of topics including the history of Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, dialogues with world leaders, poetry, novels and books for children. He is the founding president and leader of the Soka Gakkai International (, one of the largest lay Buddhist organizations in the world today with members in over 190 countries and territories. He is the recipient of the United Nations Peace Award, the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award, and the International Tolerance Award of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Burton Watson is a widely known and respected translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. A former professor at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities his translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings, Mo Tzu: Basic Writings, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, and Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home among others. He received the PEN Translation Prize in 1981.

An Interpretive Biography
By Daisaku Ikeda / Translated by Burton Watson
$14.95 Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9779245-2-3

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