chapter
FOREWORD
Pages 1

FOREWORD When viewed in all its manifestations during more than two millennia, the religion of Buddhism shows a surprising range of beliefs and practices. It includes the atheistic philosophy of the Theravada Buddhism of Ceylon and South-East Asia, the pantheism of Mahayana, the simple theism of the Japanese Amidist sects, and the black magic of the tantricists. Against the stoical rather pessimistic outlook of Hinayana we may balance the warm naturemysticism of Zen, against the Erastian Buddhism of Asoka the theocratic Buddhism of Tibet. Wherever the religion has been taken it has been given a new slant, according to the character and needs of the people who have adopted it. In this, and in its humanity and wise tolerance, has lain much of its strength.