This book presents a brilliant account of of Theravada Buddhism and embraces a wide variety of themes ranging from the birth of Buddhism to the Buddha s prophetic teachings regarding the future of mankind. Topics covered include, among many others, the background of early Buddhism; the significance of the Buddha s birthday; the Buddhist doctrines of karma and reincarnation; the Buddhist conception of truth, good and evil, Nirvana, the individual, the universe and the material world; the Buddhist view of nature and destiny; Buddhism and the caste system; Buddhism and international law; and the contemporary relevance of the Buddha s teachings to the modern world. Professor Jayatilleke always writes with both the scholar and the lay reader in mind. As a result, this is a highly readable and extremely penetrating book and one that explores the roots and nature of the Buddha s teachings and examines them in the light of contemporary knowledge. The present collection contains all essays earlier published in the book The Message of the Buddha, edited by Ninian Smart, as well as essays that were published the Wheel Publication series.