An End to Suffering tells of Pankaj Mishra's search to understand the Buddha's relevance in today's world, where religious violence, poverty and terrorism prevail. As he travels among Islamists and the emerging Hindu Muslim class in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Mishra explores the myths and places of the Buddha's life, the West's "discovery" of Buddhism, and the impact of Buddhist ideas on such modern politicians as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Mishra ultimately reaches an enlightenment of his own by discovering the living meaning of the Buddha's teaching, in this "unusually discerning, beautifully written, and deeply affecting reflection on Buddhism" (Booklist).
Mr. Mishra presents these concepts simply and clearly. He also lends them dramatic immediacy, tying them closely to specific events and places in the Buddha's life, highlighting the arguments and counterarguments that they provoked at the time. At every turn, he draws parallels between the social problems of the Buddha's era and the myriad social and political torments of our own age. Mr. Mishra paints a vivid, painful picture of the developing world, bewildered by the disruptive forces of modernity.