From Library Journal
Cook begins with a review of the shrines in eight Indian locations important in the life of the historical Buddha, including his birthplace and the place of his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Citing relevant Mahayana texts, he explains why these places are important for Buddhism. Cook reviews each shrine's physical makeup, the types of pilgrimage and veneration associated with it through the centuries, the results of archaeological investigation, various modern pilgrimages to the shrine, and what may currently be seen there. He reviews six major Dharma (teaching) regions of India, then takes a geographical approach and surveys the various shrines and temples in various regions of India and also in Afghanistan. What makes the book especially useful is Cook's placement of the information about each shrine in the larger context of events in Buddhist history associated with that location. Recommended for informed lay readers.David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
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