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HIS MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY
KING OF WURTTEMBERG.
Most respectfully I approach to present to Your Majesty my researches on the Buddhist religion in Tíbet; and I do so with a feeling of the deepest gratitude for Your Majesty's gracious permission. For even if I recall to my mind the far distant origin of the Buddhist faith, the various changes it has undergone, and its still existing influence as the dominant religion of hundreds of millions, the share such considerations might have had in my venturing to address Your Majesty, must disappear before the gracious, encouraging condescendence with which Your Majesty was pleased to receive a personal explanation of the materials which are now published in this work.
I am, with profound respect,
Most humble and obedient servant,
MUNICH, May 1863.
The religious systems of all ages—paganism in its rudest form perhaps excepted_have undergone changes and modifications which, if not materially affecting their principles, have at least exercised a certain influence upon their development. Buddhism may be considered a remarkable illustration of this; for not only have the rites suffered notable changes, but even the dogmas themselves have, in the course of time, become much altered. Although plain and simple in the earlier stages of its existence, it was in time greatly modified by the successive introduction of new doctrines, laws, and rites; so-called reformers arose, who assembled around them a greater or less number of followers; and these by degrees formed schools, which by-and-by developed into sects. The shifting of its original seat also exercised a considerable influence: the difference between a tropical and a cold and desert region, and between the physical character of tribes separated by the distinctive