This extraordinary book is the only authentic document of its kind. Beginning with a detailed and lucid exposition of the political background of India from Ajatasatru to Mahapadma nanda, it goes on to trace the sources of the Second Buddhist Council, to locate with unerring exactitude the disruptive forces in the Sangha and, in the fourth chapter, to classify the Sects. In the chapters that follow, the learned author deals with the Mahasanghikas, doctrines of Group II-V Schools. In every chapter, if not on every page, current but ill-founded assumptions are rejected and their illogicalities exposed to the reader's view. The eager student is given a panoramic view of the doctrinal developments that took place during the period concerned by this book. With irrefutable arguments and considerable ratiocinative skill does the writer conclude that the Mahasanghikas were evidently the earliest school of the Hinayanists to show a tendency towards conceiving Buddha docetically.
An authentic study of the origin and development of various Buddhist sects in ancient India on the basis of the treatises of Vasumitra, Bhavya, and Vinitadeva as well as Kathavatthu, Pali canonical text with Buddhaghosa's commentary there-upon, Sammithiyanikaya-sastra and Mulasar-vastivada Vinaya. It shows how Mahayanism developed as a natural consequence of the views of Mahasanghikas and as a development of the neblous conception of Bodhisattva and Buddahakayas in the Divyavadana and Avadanasataka.