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Buddha, Volume 7: Prince Ajatasattu by Osamu…

Buddha, Volume 7: Prince Ajatasattu (edition 2005)

by Osamu Tezuka

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Title:Buddha, Volume 7: Prince Ajatasattu
Authors:Osamu Tezuka
Info:Vertical (2005), Hardcover, 414 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, graphic novel, Buddha, manga

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Buddha, Volume 7: Prince Ajatasattu by Osamu Tezuka



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This volume is once again treading on familiar ground - how religious practices and precepts are twisted by those interested in amassing power. It started out simple enough. Individual men -- monks, commoners, princes, being moved by Buddha's teachings and devoting themselves to follow him. Then, as more powerful, teaching monks joined him, their followers joined him as well. Until there are thousands. Now that it's no longer a handful of followers, sitting at Buddha's side on a hill somewhere, there is a hunger for rules, for organization, for lines of power, demarcations of rank and status, and for right of succession.

All too familiar.

This volume is filled with tragedies that you can see coming a mile away. And a few, I suspect, that you can't.

One book to go. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
It's difficult to keep piling on the praise for this series, so I'll keep this review pretty brief. In volume seven, you see the Buddha getting older, heavier and not quite as cute as he's been in earlier volumes. In fact, I'd say I that I found him rather physically unappealing and tough to look at. And yet, this works to powerful effect in the book. The Buddha is still a human being and his teachings almost speak more to the reader when he's not so Manga-cute. I can't really relate to the earlier portrayals, but these connect with me. Much of this volume concerns the fate of Prince Ajatasattu, the son of King Bimbisara, who was prophesied to be killed by Ajatasattu. The result is that the king fears the prince and imprisons him. Trying to avoid the inevitable only makes it all the more likely to happen and you watch the story unfold. As a crucial side-story is the further tale of Devadatta. Devadatta tries to usurp leadership of Buddha's movement and impost order, rules, regulation, and control. Like king Bimbisara, he is trying to order his life and the lives of others.

This is obviously a long work -- 8 volumes and well over 1,000 pages. There are times when my attention and enthusiasm has flagged. And yet if I press on a bit, I am always rewarded with renewed enthusiasm and love of this series. I rarely reread books (sad, but true), and yet this is something I could see myself returning to periodically. ( )
  dmcolon | Aug 16, 2008 |
A delightful take on the life of the Buddha. I would not use it in a research paper, but the graphics catch the eye, and the plot keeps you reading. ( )
  Arctic-Stranger | Jun 8, 2007 |
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"Taking Prince Ajatasattu under his tutelage, Devadatta plans to wrest control of the emerging Buddhist sect from its founder, who daily grows weaker but continues to give sermons"--P. [4] of cover.

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