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Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste - download pdf or read online

By Gail Omvedt

ISBN-10: 0761996648

ISBN-13: 9780761996644

Textual content explores 2,500 years of the improvement of Buddhism, Brahmansim, and caste in India. offers an account of the old, social, political, and philosophical features of Buddhism; discussing quite a lot of vital present matters. Hardcover, softcover to be had from the writer. DLC: Buddhism--Relations--Brahmanism.

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The root samo can mean either ‘tranquility’ or ‘toil, fatigue’ (Ambedkar 1992: 324). Today, in languages like Hindi and Marathi, ‘shram’ remains common for ‘labour’ and the ‘shramik’ is a worker. In the first millennium BCE, however, the samanas were those who toiled not to produce commodities or services for survival and social development, but to find the meaning of life. They separated themselves from the everyday world of social life, production, family involvement; as the Buddhists later put it, they chose ‘the homeless life’.

Ambedkar thought differently—that religion, backing up a moral code, was a necessity for society. Just as Brahmanic Hinduism had been the root cause of the subjection of the untouchables, indeed of India’s backwardness, so it could not simply be rectified by a socioeconomic development that would render religion unnecessary. A Introduction 19 new, moral and rationalistic religion, or ‘Dhamma’, was required. In The Buddha and His Dhamma he wrote, Society has to choose one of three alternatives. Society may choose not to have any Dhamma as an instrument of government….

Prospectus The following chapters of ‘Buddhism in India’ will take up these themes, focusing on the question of what is the ‘core’ element in the Buddhist Dhamma, on what Buddhism has meant for the development of Indian civilisation, and on the role of Buddhism in a modern, industrial age. Chapter 1 will examine the background to the rise of Buddhism in the middle of the second millennium BCE, in a period when 20 Buddhism in India crucial cultural and social developments took place throughout the world.

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Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste by Gail Omvedt


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