The Light of Asia, subtitled The Great Renunciation, weaves through its poetic verses the life and philosophy of Prince Siddhartha Gautama who attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree and became the Buddha. Receiving high acclaim since its publication in 1879, Edwin Arnold's work was adapted from the Lalitavistara Sutra (The Unfolding of the Play.) In the time before this work came out, little was known about Buddhism or the Buddha outside of Asia.

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