Buddhism is an ancient religion that spread across Asia in a matter of centuries and had a rare kind of influence on the social and religious life of the Asian peoples.
The volume stresses on the social and cultural transformation brought about by Buddhism when the royalty in these countries adopted the religion and propagated it. It deals with Sri Lanka's evolution into a stronghold of Theravada Buddhism and China and Tibet's contribution to the Mahayana and Tantrayana Buddhist traditions. It takes up the royal patronage and zeal of missionaries, Buddhist influence on the social structure and personal names, impact of Buddhism on customs, lifestyle, food habits and spread of education and learning in Sri Lanka. It covers factors that encouraged spread of Buddhism in China, architectural and art works undertaken there, and the flourishing of Buddhist literature and missionary work under royal patronage in that country. The work captures the effect of Buddhism on Tibetan religious thinking and social life. It also discusses the later socio-cultural transformation of people of nearby countries owing to the missionary zeal of Buddhism in those countries. Throughout, the work refers to numerous legends and accounts for detailing the contribution of monks, missionaries and royal personages.