The Light of Asia: Being the Life and Teaching of Gôtama, Prince of India and Founder of Buddhism

by Sir Edwin Arnold


The Light of Asia was the most popular work produced by Sir Edwin Arnold, an English poet and journalist. This work is also known as The Great Renunciation (Mahâbhinishkramana). The Light of Asia is a narrative poem that focuses on presenting the life and context of Prince Gautama Buddha, and is considered an adaptation of the Lalitavistara. While Buddhism was well-known across Asia, outside of the continent, very little was known. The Light of Asia helped spread knowledge and awareness of Buddhism around the world, particularly for a Western audience. Since its original publication, it has been translated into over thirty languages.

This new edition is most respectfully dedicated with great admiration to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.