232p., App., Bib., 25 cm. (First Edition pub. in 1989) (Second Revised Edition pub. in 1999) (Reprinted in 2002)
This book offers a serious exploration of the many different aspects of ancient Indian Buddhism. In the recent past controversy relating to date of the Buddha has been resurrected. The author has discussed this issue in detail and has suggested his own date for the Mahaparinibbana. Buddhist attitude towards women and ahimsa has also been analyzed from a new perspective. The book examines in detail the background to the origin of Buddhism especially the role of iron in it. The issue as to what extent Buddhism was an urban religion has also been discussed. Most of the arguments in the book have been based on extensive data collected from the Pali Tipitaka. This data is provided in the form of appendices at the end of the book.