Sign In
  Forgot your username ? Click here !

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.

Annual Holiday Sale - Flat 25% off on all items!! 25% OFF ON ALL ITEMS WITH FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE
Displaying 476 of 1480      Previous | Next

Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism

Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism


Item Code: IDC907

by Uma Chakravarti

Hardcover (Edition: 2008)

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN 9788121507493

Language: English
Size: 9.0" X 6.0"
Pages: 251
Price: $27.50
Discounted: $20.62   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 19th Mar, 2014


From the Jacket

This book examines the relationship of Buddhism to its locus, the expanding agrarian economy of the Ganga valley during the period 600-300 BC. It outlines the contours of the major social and economic groups that were the dramatic personae in this dynamic process, especially the gahapati, whose entrepreneurial role in the economy has not received the attention it deserves. The work explores the emergence of sharp differentiation between those in control of the means of production, who dominated the agrarian scene, and those marginalized groups whose labour was essential to the expanding economy but who remained vulnerable, being excluded from both economic and social power. It also examines the changing political environment and the gradual collapse of the gana-sanghas in the face of the expanding monarchical formations of the Ganga valley.

Buddhism's complex response to this changing economic, social and political context is the central concern of this book. It argues that Buddhism responded in a dialectical manner to the economy, society and power, conceptualizing in a more humane, if not 'radical', way the direction in which a changing society could re-order social and political relations.

Dr. Uma Chakravarti teaches History at Miranda House, University of Delhi. She held a research fellowship at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi between 1990-94. She has published several articles in the field of social history particularly on caste, labour and gender. Among her forthcoming publications is a book titled Gender, Class and Nation: The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai.


IIThe Political, Economic, Social, and Religious Environment at the Time of Buddha7
SECTION I: THE POLITICAL BACKGROUND OF BUDDHISM Monarchies, gana-sanghas and state formation – Khattiya clans and the gana-sanghas
Expansion of agriculture – The second urbanization – Craft production and trade – The pattern of landholding – Emergence of a stratified society – Occupational groups and the process of tribal assimilation – The importance of kinship ties – Women in the Buddhist literature
Philosophical speculation in the sixth century B.C. – Renunciation: the samana tradition – Renouncers and householders – Samanas and brahmanas – Brahmana as a normative term – Other sects at the time of the Buddha – Buddhism and other sects – The sangha – The bhikkhus and the laity – Dana versus yanna – The laity's influence on the sangha – The new society and the phenomenon of renunciation
IIIThe Gahapati65
Changing connotation of the term gahapati – The domains of power, religion and economy – Khattiya, brahmana and gahapati – The gahapati as an element of the king's sovereignty – The gahapati as controller of property – The gahapati as tax payer – The gahapati as associated with agriculture – The brahmana-gahapati – Gahapati, setthi, and setthi-gahapati – Gahapati as employer of labour – Gahapati as a status term – The gahapati's association with wealth – The gahapatis as extenders of popular support to Buddhism – The gahapati's special relationship with the sangha – Gahapati and gamani – Gahapati: from householder to agriculturist – The social organization of the gana-sanghas – Landholding in the gana-sanghas – Tension within the gana-sanghas – Two types of sanghas – Some implications of clan ownership of land – Clan ownership of land, khattiyas and the gana-sanghas – The gahapati, the family, agriculture and the private control of land
IVSocial Stratification as Reflected in the Buddhist Texts94
The problem – Buddhism and caste – Two schemes of categorization in the Buddhist texts – Terms of categorization – High and low strata in Buddhist texts – Regional dimension of stratification – The relationship of kula, kamma, and sippa – Empirical relevance of vanna, jati, and kula – The Buddhist view of stratification: the sangha – Stratification outside the sangha – Principles of stratification based on kula, kamma and sippa – evidence of stratification from Ceylon – The importance of the gahapati in the Buddhist view of stratification
V.The Social Background of the Early Buddhists122
The problem – The method – The sangha – Social origins of important bhikkhus – Important bhikkhus of khattiya origin – The laity – The brahmana component of the laity – Important gahapati supporters of the Buddha – Other prominent supporters of the Buddha – Khattiya, brahmana, and gahapati: key figures in the Buddhist texts – Wealthy supporters of Buddhism – The importance of kinship ties in the extension of support to Buddhism – Analysis of the social composition of the early Buddhists.
VI.The King in Early Buddhism150
General ideas on kingship – The origin of kingship in the Buddhist genesis myth – Seven symbols of sovereignty – Despotic kingship at the time of the Buddha – Legitimate exercise of power – Arbitrary exercise of power – Normative kingship: the cakkavatti dhammiko dhammaraja – The creation of just social order – The king and the sangha
VII.Conclusion: Early Buddhism in a Historical Perspective177
A. Select List of Terms Depicting Various Strata in Early Buddhist Literature182
B.List of Categories appearing in Early Brahmi Inscriptions191
C. The Social Background of the Bhikkhus and Upasakas198
Displaying 476 of 1480      Previous | Next

Customer Comments

Post a Comment

Post Review
My Gallery
You can keep adding items you like to this gallery as a Wish List. If you Sign In we will remember your Gallery for your future reuse.
Delete | Add to Cart
Sign In | Register to save to My Gallery
Related Links
Related Items
TRUSTe online privacy certification
We accept PayPal  VISA  MasterCard  Discover  American Express
Site Powered by