'There is life hidden within stones. Only we human beings can give meaning to all things in the cosmos through thought and words'. With these haunting and resonant words did Kyrgyz writer and novelist Chingiz Aitmatov, who died in June 2008, summarise the dialogue that he undertook with leading Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda. Aitmatov is best known for his novella "Jamila", on the publication of which he achieved great fame in the Soviet Union in 1958. But after the Soviet Union's collapse, this writer, who is often lauded as one of the great Soviet authors, felt that his work had been passed over. "Ode to the Grand Spirit" is both an enduring tribute to the thought of a powerful writer and a fascinating individual as well as a profound reflection on such themes of the process of literary creation, spiritual growth and the essence of humanity.