The subject of this Book is the expansion of Indian influence throughout Eastern Asia and the neighboring islands. That influence is clear and wide-spread, nay almost universal, and it is with justice that we speak of Further India and the Dutch call their colonies Neerlands Indië.
For some early chapters in the story of this expansion the dates and details are meager, but on the whole the investigator’s chief difficulty is to grasp and marshal the mass of facts relating to the development of religion and civilization in this great region.
The spread of Hindu thought was an intellectual conquest, not an exchange of ideas. On the north-western frontier there was some reciprocity, but otherwise the part played by India was consistently active and not receptive. The Far East counted for nothing in her internal history, doubtless because China was too distant and the other countries had no special culture of their own.
Still it is remarkable that whereas many Hindu missionaries preached Buddhism in China, the idea of making Confucianism known in India seems never to have entered the head of any Chinese.
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