Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services gotS5 gotS5 gotS5  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Metal Gear Solid 5 Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Learn more
Buy Used
$0.47
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: All sales benefits The Maryland Book Bank
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Search for the Buddha: The Men Who Discovered India's Lost Religion Hardcover – March, 2003

12 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$61.62 $0.47

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With the variety of resources on Buddhism so effortlessly available to us today, it's easy to forget that not so long ago, Buddhism was simply unknown in the West and had also been all but forgotten in India itself. Allen (Tales from the Dark Continent) weaves an engrossing tale of the process by which some of Britain's brightest military men, civil servants and employees of the powerful East India Company began in the late 18th century to uncover both the existence of Buddhism and its enormous impact on ancient Indian history. He focuses on the careers of several remarkable Orientalists, including Oriental Jones, a judge in Bengal who pioneered the influential Asiatic Society to foster archeological and linguistic study of India's remote past, and James Prinsep, an employee of the East India Company who eventually deciphered an important form of Sanskrit. In the space of a century, these and other men achieved remarkable success, including completing a chronology of ancient Indian monarchs, excavating numerous topes or stupas, identifying important Buddhist sites and introducing Buddhism to the West. With the aid of dozens of b&w photographs and illustrations, Allen helps the reader to imagine the excitement of discovery, like the early, tantalizing finding of a 1,000-year-old stone plaque with an inscription commemorating Bood-ha, a mysterious, heretofore forgotten deity. Allen has written a deeply appealing book that is certain to engage historians and students of Buddhism alike.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"This account of the discovery of Buddhism's origins in India is a fabulous detective story."

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786711973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786711970
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,118,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ancient India was virtually unknown before the 18th Century. Even the Indians had no idea of their own history. The British Orientalists started the unravelling of a complex puzzle that revealed the buried secrets of ancient India, emperor Asoka and Buddhism. Allen's book reveals this stunning tale.
This is very much an unfinished story with more leads than Allen explores but he has related how the keys to the history of India were discovered via Burma and Sri Lanka in deciphering the Brahmi script and making sense of mysterious pillars that dotted the Indian landscape.
This book is also of great interest from the archaelogical angle. Far more has been found in terms of buildings, ruins and places actually frequented by the Buddha than of Jesus though many scholars still ignore the physical evidence about the Buddha and pretend we only know him from oral traditions. In fact, undoubted relics of the Buddha after his cremation have also been found as detailed in this book. Allen indicates how recorded pilgrimages by Chinese monks lead to the rediscovery of lost monasteries, caves and the ancient city of Pataliputra.
Allen also details the history of Buddhist scholarship in the 19th century and how missionaries and their influences both dogged and abetted researches and a revival in Buddhism.
Allen's work will interest historians, archaeologists, linguists and those interested in Buddhism. There is a great deal more to be done in terms of archaeology, translation and reconstructing Indian history from the fifth century BCE and this book is an ideal launching pad. Not since Rhys David's Buddhist India has a similar tale seen the light. A major publication.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Van Horn on November 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book in preparation for a trip to India, in which I will visit many of the sites that are discussed in this book. This book turned out to be a treasure, and I could hardly put it down. Starting in the 18th century, Allen takes you through the rediscovery of lost, ancient Buddhist sites, the way in which the early Indian portion of Buddhist history was reconstructed, and - perhaps most importantly - the heroic efforts of the remarkable people who accomplished all of this. Weaving the story together is Allen's prose, which is written like a detective story. He takes you through the process of the discoveries in a way that is captivating and engaging. This book is a real page-turner, which is saying something about a book that is ostensibly about archeology!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you're one of those people who finds stumbling onto an ancient treasure exciting, then this modern treasure by Charles Allen is a book that won't disappoint. It's a phenomenal book for people who are serious about learning something. A rarity among writer's today, Allen packs the book with facts not only words and in doing so creates a wealth of knowledge for the student of things ancient. The book does get a bit crusty at points and dry to read, much like an ancient archaeological dig itself, but the dust makes the finds that much more captivating. If you thought you knew something about Buddhism, Britain and/or India this book will humbly remind you that knowledge has her vast stretches of uncharted territory. Of the books that have been written on Buddhism, this is one that will last, and outlast most. Happy hunting. -JL
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Interest in Buddhism has grown dramatically in the West in recent years. Much of this growth is due to the increased availability of the Buddha's teaching, and to the spread of meditation practice. There is a wealth of books available on Buddhist teachings, including many translations of Buddhist Suttras and on meditation. but too little has been written on how the teachings of Buddhism were recovered so that people in the West (and, in fact, people in Asia as well) could learn from them.

Charles Allen's book, "The Search for the Buddha: The Men who Discovered India's Lost Religion" (2003) helps fill this void. Mr. Allen was born in India to a family with a long record of service to British India and has published several other books dealing with India. His book deals only lightly with Buddhist teachings and doctrines. The book's focus is the activities of a remarkable group of people who, beginning late in the 18th Century, discovered the languages, texts, sacred sites, and teachings of Buddhism and thus prepared the way for their study and recognition. These individuals worked in not only in India, but in Ceylon, Burma, Nepal, and Tibet as well.

The task of discovering Buddhism in India was not as easy as might be supposed since Buddhism had essentially been driven out of India centuries before the British empire. Many of the earliest discoveries of Buddhism were made by employees of the East India Company or the British Government who were amateurs in the study of religion and archaeology and who were sent to England for other reasons. Thus Dr. Francis Buchanan, who wrote early studies of Buddhism in Burma and Nepal was a surgeon with an interest in Botany. Sir William Jones, who established the Asiatic Society and became known as "Oriental" Jones was a Judge.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sean Hoade on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a modern Theravadin Buddhist, I pride myself on adhering to the Buddha's "original teachings," or at least as close as one can come to them. Thanks to this masterful book by Charles Allen, I know now the circuitous (and fortuitous) path the Dhamma took to reach a contemporary American's experience. The story is amazing, and actually reads like an adventure novel -- one that pleasingly replaces violent derring-do with intellectual cliffhangers and edge-of-your-seat escapes. This may sound like a strange way to describe a book about philology, archaeology, and academic squabbles, but read the book and I think you'll agree it is highly appropriate. We in the West who are blessed enough to have been exposed to the Buddha's teaching owe a huge debt of thanks to these intrepid adventurers, and any reader of The Search for the Buddha will be glad to give thanks to Charles Allen and his publisher as well. HIGHLY recommended for all Buddhists, as well as for people interested in Indian history and comparative religion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?