Daniel Cheifer, Class of 2005
|Scholars over the years have described the disappearance of Buddhism from India as a great historical mystery. The specialization of the scholars who have delved into this mystery has in some ways limited the scope of their projects. My objective in researching this issue has been to rise above these limitations as much as possible, and try to see the “big picture”. I have found that the disappearance of Buddhism cannot be attributed to a singular cause, nor can it be blamed on a single religion, sect, or political power. Rather, Buddhism’s disappearance was caused by a variety of factors, such as insufficient cultivation of the laity, loss of royal patronage, and destruction of monasteries. My success in this endeavor has me indebted to my advisor, Dr. Edwin Bryant, as well as Dr. Chun-fang Yu, Dr. Hiroshi Obayashi, and Dr. Jawid Mojaddedi, all of whom have been very generous in offering their assistance whenever the need arose.