The Buddha and the Sahibs

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-06-05
  • Publisher: John Murray

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Today there are many Buddhists in the West, but for 2000 years the Buddha's teachings were unknown outside Asia. It was not until the late 18th century, when Sir William Oriental Jones, a British judge in India, broke through the Brahmin's prohibition on learning their sacred language. Sanskrit, that clues about the origins of a religion quite distinct from Hinduism began to be deciphered from inscriptions on pillars and rocks. This study tells the story of the search that followed, as evidence mounted that countries as diverse as Ceylon, Japan and Tibet shared a religion which had its origins in India yet was unknown there. British rule brought to India, Burma and Ceylon a whole band of enthusiastic Orientalist amateurs - soldiers, administrators and adventurers - intent on investigating the subcontinent's lost past. Unwittingly, these men helped lay the foundations for the revival of Buddhism in Asia during the 19th century and its spread to the West in the 20th. Charles Allen's book is a mixture of detective work and story-telling, as this acknowledged master of British Indian history pieces together early Buddhist history to bring a handful of extraoridinary characters to life.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Orientalistsp. 1
The Botanising Surgeonp. 8
Tales from the Eastp. 22
Oriental Jones and the Asiatic Societyp. 42
Jones and the Language of the Godsp. 58
Dr Buchanan and the Messengers from Avap. 75
Three Englishmen and a Hungarianp. 102
Tigers, Topes and Rock-Cut Templesp. 117
James Prinsep the Scientific Enquirerp. 140
Triumph and Disasterp. 157
Prinsep and the Beloved of the Godsp. 177
Alexander Cunningham and the Chinese Pilgrimsp. 200
Cunningham and the Archaeological Surveyp. 218
The Welshman, the Russian Spiritualist, the American Civil War Colonel and the Editor of the Daily Telegraphp. 239
The Search for Buddha's Birthplacep. 256
Epilogue: The Sacredness of Indiap. 280
Acknowledgementsp. 295
Glossaryp. 297
Bibliographyp. 303
Indexp. 309
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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