Contents: Preface. 1. The system of the universe. 2. The various orders of sentient existence. 3. The primitive inhabitants of the earth; their fall from purity; and their division into four castes. 4. The Budhas who preceded Gotama. 5. Gotama Bodhisat; his virtues and states of being. 6. The ancestors of Gotama Budha. 7. The legendary life of Gotama Budha. 8. The dignity, virtues, and powers of Budha. 9. The ontology of Budhism. 10. The ethics of Budhism.
"This is one the earliest works on Buddhism and a pioneer attempt to analyse the deeds and doctrines attributed to Gotama. It also gives a compendium on the ontology and ethics of Buddhism with an appendix indicating the twelve sources from which the materials were drawn by the learned author, who collected no less than four hundred and sixty-five works from Ceylon in original Sanskrit, Pali and Sinhalese and Elu.
"The author begins his thesis with the system of the universe, and deals in the subsequent chapters with the primitive inhabitants of the earth, the Buddhas who preceded Gotama, the Bodhisat: his ancestors, his legendary life, his dignity, powers and virtues, his teachings on caste, in fact, every cognate matter that is associated with the founder of Buddhism." (jacket)
[Rev. Robert Spence Hardy (1803-1868) also wrote Notices of the Hold Land and Eastern Monachism.]