The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Return of the Buddha

Ancient Symbols for a New Nation, 1st Edition

By Himanshu Prabha Ray

Routledge India

312 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138663947
pub: 2016-02-01
SAVE ~$11.59
Hardback: 9780415711159
pub: 2013-12-11
SAVE ~$35.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315734132
pub: 2014-08-07
from $27.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Return of the Buddha traces the development of Buddhist archaeology in colonial India, examines its impact on the reconstruction of India’s Buddhist past, and the making of a public and academic discourse around these archaeological discoveries.

The bookdiscusses the role of the state and modern Buddhist institutions in the reconstitution of national heritage through promulgation of laws for the protection of Buddhist monuments, acquiring of land around the sites, restoration of edifices, and organization of the display and dissemination of relics. It also highlights the engagement of prominent Indian figures, such as Nehru, Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Tagore, with Buddhist themes in their writings.

Stressing upon the lasting legacy of Buddhism in independent India, the author explores the use of Buddhist symbols and imagery in nation-building and the making of the constitution, as also the recent efforts to resurrect Buddhist centers of learning such as Nalanda. With rich archival sources, the book will immensely interest scholars, researchers and students of modern Indian history, culture, archaeology, Buddhist studies, and heritage management.

Table of Contents

Preface. Preamble: The Buddha in Twenty-First-Century India 1. Engaging With Buddhism 2. The Search for the Historical Buddha 3. The Empire in the Footsteps of Ashoka 4. Excluded Buddhism 5. Buddhism in Memory and History 6. Buddhism and the Birth of a Nation 7. In Retrospect. Bibliography

About the Author

Himanshu Prabha Ray is Chairperson of National Monuments Authority, New Delhi, and former Professor, Centre for Historical Studies (CHS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
RELIGION / Buddhism / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General