By Gail Omvedt
Textual content explores 2,500 years of the advance of Buddhism, Brahmansim, and caste in India. offers an account of the ancient, social, political, and philosophical facets of Buddhism; discussing quite a lot of very important present concerns. 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
The underlying world-view, based on rta, a principle that interlinked the universe was a magical one. While this collectivist magic and the sacrificial rites may have been appropriate for a nomadic, war-like pastoral people, they became increasingly unsuitable to the needs of the rising agriculture-based class society, which required both peace and commerce to develop. In Iran this ‘deva’ religious tradition of the Indo-Europeans was contesed and overthrown by the rise of the universalistic religion preached by Zarathushtra.
Ajita denies the reality of both soul and afterlife: There is no such thing, O king, as alms or sacrifice or offering. A human being is built up of the four elements. When he dies the earthy in him returns and relapses to the earth, the fluid to the water, the heat to the fire, the windy to the air, and his faculties pass into space…. Similarly, Pakudha Kaccayana appears to be a kind of atomist, postulating a ‘soul’ but one that neither affects nor is affected by the material world: the following seven things, O king, are neither made nor commanded to be made, neither created nor caused to be created…they move not, neither do they vary, they trench not one upon another, nor avail aught as to ease or pain or both.
The first millennium BCE saw in many societies the rise of consciousness about the individual. In India, the prevalence of the karma/rebirth ideational framework meant that this individual was conceived of as a being subjected to many births, going from reward to punishment, heavens to hells and round again, as a result of action in the causal chain. The problematic is the opposite of that posed in the Greco-Roman tradition, which saw the individual doomed to mortality, liable to death, the subject of tragedy.