A wonderful group of entertaining stories that both children and adults will love. Not only are the stories good reads, but they also, in a very gentle manner, teach about love and compassion. A book that one will read over and over again.
Aryasura's The Marvelous Companion is a wonderful antidote for anyone who has grown weary with 'compassion fatigue'. Based on thirty-four, beautifully written tales of the Buddha's former lives (said to have been related by the Buddha himself), this book seeks to convince us that love and compassion are appropriate in even the most extreme circumstances. Whether threatened by man-eating ogres, blood-sucking demons, robbers, or just monkeys determined to irritate him, the Buddha-to-be always responds with restraint and kindness. Truly magical is the response of his mischievous assailants in the face of this kindness. To a man (and a monster!) their hearts are converted, their wicked natures vanish and they are awakened to the awesome possibility of love.What is so valuable about this book is that it deliberately focuses on our most entrenched and cynical ideas about compassion being 'impractical' and 'sentimental', and suggests that it is really our 'hard-headed' ideas that are naive: only unconditional love and compassion have the power to bring us happiness and to solve the problems of the world. What a world it would be if everyone read this book! It is perhaps the most inspiring book I have ever read.