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Siddhartha Gautama, the Indian philosopher also known as Buddha Gautama, is believed to have attained Enlightenment sometime in the middle of the 5th century before the Common Era, while meditating under a Bodhi tree. From that time of enlightenment until his death, by which he entered Nirvana, he traveled by foot around the countryside of India, teaching others his philosophy of the Middle Path. The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are often called the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (teachings), and the Sangha (community).

Presented in this modern special edition is a unique selection of the ancient texts which would follow the path of the Silk Road from India to China to Japan, and evolve into the school of thought known today as Zen Buddhism. This path follows the Indian Mahayana verses from the Dhammapada, to a collection of Buddhist sutras (or scriptures) transcribed from Chinese texts, and finally concludes with the Threefold Lotus, the three Pure Land sect sutras favored in Japan.

Within the texts, the reader will find the Noble Eightfold Path, the 10 Major Precepts, the 48 Minor Precepts, the teachings of Ananda, the teachings of Bodhidharma, the Twin Verses of the Dhammapada, the Brahma Net Sutra and other basic tenets of Buddhism. The verses, sutras and texts stand on their own, as they have for centuries, to be interpreted by those who seek a deeper understanding of the world, and spiritual enlightenment.

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