World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Light of Asia

Article Id: WHEBN0002769269
Reproduction Date:

Title: The Light of Asia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Edwin Arnold, The Light of Asia (oratorio), Depictions of Gautama Buddha in film, Ramchandra Shukla, Lynn de Silva
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

The Light of Asia

The Light of Asia, subtitled The Great Renunciation, is a book by Edwin Arnold. The first edition of the book was published in London in July 1879.

In the form of a narrative poem, the book endeavors to describe the life and time of Prince Gautama Siddhartha, who after attaining enlightenment became The Buddha, The Awakened One. The book presents his life, character, and philosophy, in a series of verses. It is a free adaptation of the Lalitavistara.

A few decades before the book's publication, very little was known outside Asia about the Buddha and Buddhism, the religion which he founded, and which had existed for about twenty-five centuries. Arnold's book was one of the first successful attempts to popularize Buddhism for a Western readership.[1][2]

The book has been highly acclaimed from the time it was first published, and has been the subject of several reviews. It has been translated into several languages, including Hindi (by Acharya Ram Chandra Shukla).

Adaptations

A film adaptation of the poem directed by Franz Osten and Himansu Rai was made in 1928, titled, Prem Sanyas (The Light of Asia in English).[3] Dudley Buck used the book as the basis for an oratorio, The Light of Asia, first performed in 1887.[4]

Chapter

The first six chapters deal with the early part of his life — his birth as Siddhartha, prince of Kapilavastu; his gaining first-hand knowledge of the sufferings of mankind; his resorting to meditation; and his ultimate transformation as the ‘Enlightened One' after long years of meditation. The subsequent chapters speak of the Buddha's travels and the important elements of the message he spread are discussed — for instance, that suffering is a built-in aspect of existence; that craving for sensuality and identity is the root of suffering; and that suffering can be ended. How to get free from suffering? It calls for right understanding; right thought; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort; right mindfulness; and right concentration. Throughout his peregrinations, mostly in eastern India, Gautama Buddha was joined by thousands of disciples and admirers from all walks of life.

References

  1. ^ Sutin, L.: All is Change: The Two-Thousand Year Journey of Buddhism to the West, Little, Brown and Company, 2006. See pages 141 to 143.
  2. ^ Harvey, P.: An Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press, 1990. See page 303.
  3. ^ Prem Sanyas at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Orr, N. Lee (2008). Dudley Buck, p. 98. University of Illinois Press
Clausen, C., "Sir Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia and Its Reception," Literature East and West, XVII (1973), 174-191.

External links

  • The Light of Asia at Project Gutenberg
  • Bengali Drama Based on The Light of Asia
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.