This book was published in 1883 and probably constituted the earliest sketch of esoteric teachings given in plain language. 'Karma' and 'Reincarnation' and other such terms, almost unknown in the west, thereafter came to be used in literary and theological circles
The author candidly acknowledges that it was the 'favour' (of the Adepts) rather than 'effort' on his part that helped the writing of the book. He received teachings from great Spiritual Teachers or Mahatmas through Madame Blavatsky.
The book gives occult details concerning the Universe and its planets, going beyond the material world.
Along with The Occult World, which preceded, and The Growth of the Soul, which followed it, the present book is a study as envisaged in the Third Object of the Theosophical Society, 'To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man'.
The title is somewhat misleading as the book does not refer directly to the teachings given by the Buddha.