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Buddha's Life and Teaching

Hermann Beckh Translated by Katrin Binder Foreword by Neil Franklin

248 pp.  
6" x 9"

Temple Lodge Press


Published:  August 2019


  • “The book before us here is not some kind of dusty text or just another undergraduate-level introduction to Buddhism. It is nothing less than the still, clear, luminous center of a hurricane.” —Neil Franklin (from the foreword)

Although this classic text is more than a hundred years old, its accurate scholarship, detailed research, and lucid presentation make it just as relevant today as when it was first published. In 1916, Hermann Beckh was among a handful of leading European authorities on Buddhist texts; he could read Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali fluently. He was also a member of the Anthroposophical Society and its Esoteric Section. Consequently, Beckh’s seminal study on Buddhism has an entirely unique approach. It invites readers to engage freely with the Buddhist path. It is freshly expressed and renewed by Rudolf Steiner, revealing its universal validity through the original texts. Beckh also like to let source texts—as eloquent today as ever—speak for themselves.

In the first section, Beckh presents Gautama Buddha’s life according to legend and history. The second part of the book details the “general viewpoints” of Buddhist teaching and the stages of the Buddhist Path, including meditating to higher levels. Both sections are collated from a broad knowledge of the primary sources. Beckh adds his academic understanding while freshly illuminating the subject from his research based on meditation guided by Rudolf Steiner, with whom he shared a lengthy and recently uncovered correspondence.

Dr Katrin Binder has rendered the complete German text in a natural English idiom with great accuracy and professional insight, making this timeless book available for the first time to English readers in a lucid translation. Included are new notes and an updated bibliography.

Related Titles

  • From Beetroot to Buddhism . . . : Answers to Questions (CW 353)
  • Turning Points in Spiritual History : Zarathustra, Hermes, Moses, Elijah, Buddha, Christ (CW 60, 61)

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Esoteric: Evolution & History ; Esoteric: Religion ; Religion: Buddhism and Religion: General