“Bones of the Buddha” to air on PBS in late July

PBS is again offering appointment TV revolving around the Buddha. (You may recall director David Grubin’s 2010 epic, Richard Gere-narrated documentary, The Buddha, which traced the journey of Prince Siddhartha from opulent palace life to full spiritual awakening.) On Tuesday, July 23, a new episode in the series Secrets of the Dead, entitled “Bones of the Buddha,” will air from 10 to 11 p.m. EST (check your local listings), preceded by a rebroadcast of The Buddha from 8 to 10 p.m. EST.

“Bones of the Buddha” tells the tale of rival archaeologists and whether a casket they unearthed contains some of the actual remains of Shakyamuni Buddha as enshrined in a stupa in India nearly 2,600 years ago. Historian Charles Allen (who penned a fascinating book on amateur British Orientalists of the Raj, The Buddha and the Sahibs: The Men Who Uncovered India’s Lost Religion) leads viewers deep into the mystery of whether these relics are an elaborate hoax or an authentic, priceless treasure.

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