The purpose of this book is straightforward. It is to serve as an
accessible guide for students wishing to reach as quickly as
possible a familiarity with the basic ideas of Buddhist
philosophical and religious thought, and the results of some of the
latest research in the field. A good understanding of the way
Buddhism developed in India is an essential prerequisite for any
appreciation of Buddhist ideas elsewhere, in Tibet, China, or Japan
and the other countries of East Asia.