The History of Buddhism and Tibet contains the translation of the 2nd part of Bu-ton's History of Buddhism, beginning with the life of Buddha and ending with an account of the work carried out by the Tibetan Lotsvas and Indian Pandits of Bu-ton's own period and immediately before him (XII and XIII cent.).
The book contains translations of the Buddhist Cannonical texts, exegetical treatise from Sanskrit and numerous quotations from both sutra and sastra. Because of this it is possible to gain clarity as to the principal sources from which Bu-ton compiled his history, and which later on served as a basis for the work of Taranatha.
The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet is divided into the following principal parts:
- Pt. I-the life of Buddha Sakyamuni, the narrative of the so-called 12 acts of the Buddha (mdzad-pa bcu-gnis) or rather of the 12 principal events in life;
- Pt. II-the rehearsals of the Buddhist scripture, this part begins with the account of the first rehearsal (death of Kasaypa and Ananda) and of the second rehearsal;
- Pt. III- the different theories concerning the time and duration of the Buddhist doctrine;
- Pt. IV- the "prophesies" concerning the persons that have furthered the spread of Buddhism, the most important are those contained in the Lankavatara, the Mahakaruna-pundarika and the Manjusri-mulatantra. A separate prophecy referring to the Tantrik Acharyas, that of the Kalacakra uttaratantra and Mahakala-tantraraja is given at the end of this part.
- Pt. V- the biographies of the celebrated Buddhist teachers, Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candragomin, Candrakiriti, Aryasanga Vasubandhu, Sthirmati, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Haribhadra, Santideva etc. Each of these is followed by name of the works composed by the teacher in question.
- An indication of the volumes of the Tangyur in which the works are contained is always given in the notes. A short summary of the history of the grammatical literature, or rather of the legends referring to it, viz. the stories about Brhspati, Panini, Sarvavarman etc.
- Pt. VII- prophesies of an apocalyptic character foretelling the disappearance of the Buddhist doctrine;
- Pt. VIII- the history of Buddhism in Tibet. This section begins with the genealogy of the early legendary Tibetan kings, commencing with Nathitsen-gam-po followed by a more detailed account concerning the spread of Buddhism in Tibet during the reign of Thi-sron-de-tsen, the selection of the first 7 Tibetan monks, and the dispute between the adherents of Kamalasila and of the Chinese Hva-san Mahayana.
The texts translated by some of the Lotsavas from the Sanskrit are enumerated upon and the book contains within its end a detailed index of the Sanskrit works quoted.