The first part of this historical novel, well-structured into three parts, is a travelogue on the visit to Japan of an Indian couple, Uditi and Rahul. Apart from a description of the places they visited, interspersed with the brief history, art and culture of the Japanese people, the narrative by Rahul presents a poignant story of Hiroji Terasaki-a radiation victim of the Hiroshima bomb. Hiroji claimed to Rahul that, like Lord Buddha whom he met in previous life, he could recollect all his past lives and he has attained Nirvana - the state of being Forever Free from rebirths.
Parts 2 and 3 are presented to the readers as a reproduction of Hiroji's diary on the detailed stories of his past lives in ancient Egypt, India of Lord Buddha's days, China and Korea in the days of propagation of Buddhism. The jataka stories contain a large amount of well-researched authentic historical material, subtly interlaced with characters, episodes, fictional plots, social, political and human issues which are the author's own creation with characteristics befitting the particular place and time. Few historical persons with their actual names also appear in the stories but imaginative manipulations have been done in presenting them with their virtues and shortcomings. Some of the episodes have been given a familiar contemporary flavor to highlight the author's theme that there is a common thread running through the development of human civilization over the ages.
The book has been written with a fine artistic balance in describing nature in her charming serenity, as well as her scorching barrenness and prodigious fury. Various facts of human relationship have been described without conservatism but with a mature and delicate reserve. Lord Buddha with his towering personality and overflowing compassion appears only briefly but the author has woven a mesmeric spell in a few unforgettable scenes of supreme simplicity and benumbing exchange of love and devotion between the master and his to householder disciples.