The Search for the Buddha: The Men Who Discovered India's Lost Religion
Carroll & Graf Publishers
, May 24, 2004
- 322 pages
Acclaimed historian Charles Allen brings to life a handful of extraordinary eighteenth- and nineteenth-century characters and takes readers to lost holy places across the Asian world as he chronicles how Westerners found the Buddha. The author traces his roots right back to India where his teachings had been suppressed by Islam and Hinduism. Allen’s cast includes the eccentric Hungarian wanderer Alexander Csoma di Koros, the soldier-turned-archaeologist Alexander Cunningham, and the brilliant scientist James Prinsep, who in six weeks cracked the code of the mysterious lettering inscribed on the Great Stupa at Sanchi, near the vast caves of Western India. Illustrated throughout with superbly telling the stories of these men who spurred a revival of Buddhism in the nineteenth century, Allen has recorded the Western birth of a religion whose influence in America has increased tremendously in the past half-century.