The reality of the Indian presence in Asian cultures is undeniable. Recent scholarship in the field of Asian cultural studies has laid much stress on the essential oneness of the substratum that defines what may be termed as an Asian identity. Buddhism and Hinduism, having originated in India, travelled beyond the frontiers of the land of their origin, and in many ways, moulded the beliefs and faith of the people of Asia. Trade, political ambitions, and religious pursuits led to a dissemination of Indian 'ideas' and 'forms' across Asia. In each area of Indian influence, the assimilation of Indian traditions with indigenous practices led to the development of a new idiom of expression with a distinctive localized identity.
This collection of scholarly papers focuses on the centrality of the Indian contribution to Asian cultures and brings under one rubric, the views of experts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, Belgium, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. Such an international representation, the consequence of a Seminar held in the National Museum Institute in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, is unique not only in providing the Indian point of view but also in revealing Eurasian perspectives on the subject of India's pivotal role in defining the Asian cultural matrix.