September 30, 2008

Book review: The Way of the Buddha: The Illustrated Dhammapada

This book from Harry N. Abrams books, is an absolutely gorgeous presentation of the complete text of F. Max Muller’s 1881 translation of the Pali text.

It’s accompanied by illustrations from the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.  The art is beautiful, and the book contains an index of the works, including the region and century where and when the art was produced, as well as the medium in which the artist worked.  The irony of the book is that while the book is filled with illustrations and photographic reproductions of primarily Tibetan art, the book itself was printed and bound in China.  Therein lies the dilemma. On the one hand, this presentation of the Dhammapada is one that nearly every follower or scholar of The Way would appreciate owning, but at the same time, if one is attempting to limit the purchase of products produced in China as a personal protest against the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibet, this book represents a potential moral dilemma.  From HNA books and available at your local, independent bookseller.

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