2500 years of fascination with a single individual have cultivated fields and fields of prose and poetry, with each age and each sect adding more and more words to a body of writing larger than any library. As Buddhism has deepened over the centuries, the number of perspectives has grown exponentially and any statement of “fact” about the Buddha can be challenged from all sides as soon as it arises. Even if a lifetime of scholarship were endeavored to the cause, one would be hard pressed to gain a complete understanding of the facets of Buddhism in a single incarnation. Each of us, then, is left to fashion our own construction of the Buddha. Dauntingly, this is like trying to remake a crystal vase from the shards of glass found in a dustpan.