By Gail Omvedt
Textual content explores 2,500 years of the advance of Buddhism, Brahmansim, and caste in India. presents an account of the old, social, political, and philosophical points 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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Extra resources for Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste
Trade with Mesopotamia and elsewhere, interaction with pastoral nomads of all types, must have lent the urban centers a cosmopolitan air and provided the basis for intellectual growth and religious–spiritual speculation. But, since the script has not yet been deciphered, much remains speculative (see Possehl 1979). It is likely that the Indus civilisation declined before the entry of the Aryans, or ‘Vedic peoples’. Quite possibly ecological devastation and burning of the forests for bricks deprived the cities of some of the basic resources of their economy; very likely its inhabitants moved southward and eastward, carrying the remnants of their culture throughout India.
All of them played some role in the Gangetic valley, and the languages of the people developed not only on the basis of the Sanskritic background, as is often thought, but equally, if not more, influenced by and other linguistic traditions, especially Tamil, the most ancient form of the Dravidian languages. These developments took place not in a vacuum, but on the foundation of a long history of social-cultural developments in the subcontinent. These broadly consisted of two streams, the Indic and the Vedic.
Chattopadhyaya considers Gosala as the representative of a dying tribal equalitarianism, and believes that the inevitability of defeat of the tribal republics by a rising class society gave birth to pessimism. However, the period was 36 Buddhism in India not one of primitive communism in any case, and the gana-sanghas in particular were not truly ‘tribal’ or ‘equalitarian’. The Ajivikas, who denied the moral responsibility asserted by Buddhists and Jains, may indeed have modified their asceticism by including songs and ritual.