For many centuries Buddhism and Brahmanism coexisted in the Indian subcontinent. This book concentrates on the way in which the two, after an initial period of relative independence, confronted each other, both in and around the royal courts and in society at large. In this confrontation, Buddhism was strong in philosophical debate, but could not compete with Brahmanism in the services it could provide to the centres of political power, primarily ritual protection and practical advice. Buddhism evolved in both areas, providing practical advice to lay people and rulers from early Mahayana onward, and ritual protection in its Tantric developments. Some of these developments came too late, though, and could not prevent the disappearance of Buddhism from the subcontinent.