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India as Reflected in the Divyavadana

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Divyāvadāna is a quite voluminous book written in mixed Sanskrit and belonging to the school of the Sarvāstivādin Buddhists.

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Item Code: AZB127
Author: Kalpana Upreti
Language: English
Edition: 1995
ISBN: 8121506247
Pages: 188
Other Details 8.80 X 5.80 Inches
Weight 356 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Divyāvadāna is a quite voluminous book written in mixed Sanskrit and belonging to the school of the Sarvāstivādin Buddhists. The main emphasis in the text is on the “Buddhist concept of Karma" and the consequent result (phala). Religiosity and charity have been consciously stressed by the author/authors of the text to increase the interaction between the laity and the monastic establishments. · Being a student of Buddhist philosophy as well as history, the author has tried to study the text from various angles with a multidisciplinary approach. Some questions have been raised for further research work.

The work, hopefully will benefit the students of Buddhist studies particularly for the study of changes in thought as well as in religious perception that took place in different Buddhist schools. It will also help the students of ancient Indian history as the text is replete with information on the socio-economic, political and religious ideas and institutions of India during the first few centuries of the Christian era.


Research is not all 'scribble, scribble and scribble' and to enquire into ‘more and more of less and less'. If ever there was such a concept of research it has been discarded lock, stock and barrel. A present-day researcher draws heavily on other disciplines for concepts, ideas and even methodology and contributes to them in equal measures. This intercommunication has made all the disciplines immensely richer and dynamic. Interdisciplinary and integrated research also opens out an active channel of communication between the researcher and his/her readers. In the present work I have tried to follow this procedure consistently and to the best of my ability.

This work is a part of the bigger project which I undertook as a UGC Research scientist during 1985-90. The topic of my project was 'The Historical bearings of the Buddhist Sanskrit texts of the transitional phase from Hinayāna to Mahāyāna’. By its very nature, the original topic is very vast as the period of transition from Hinayāna to Mahāyāna witnessed the production of a large number of Buddhist-Sanskrit texts by different sects. Unfortunatly the voluminous literature which once existed in Buddhist Sanskrit has not come down to us in its entirety. Only a small fraction of it is available at present, the rest being either totally lost or not ‘restored' till now. Despite this loss, the extant literature contains a large number of texts, e.g. the Avadānaśataka, the Mahāvastu, the Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinayavastu, the works of Aśvaghoșa, the Prajñāpāramitā literature, the Saddharma-pundarikasutra etc. A systematic study of these works from the historical point of view may provide us some new facts and a distinct perspective on the development of Indian economy, social structure, polity, religious and philosophical-ideological pattern at the beginning of the Christian era and a few centuries after. Inspite of doing some groundwork in some other texts we preferred to begin our research programme with the Divyāvadāna as it happens to be very rich in historical data. Studies of different texts on the same pattern may result even in more fruitful task. Finally, the whole gamut of research work will have to be synthesized in the form of a separate monograph. This larger project, however, may take a very long time. For the present, we put before the academic world our findings on different aspects of Indian society as reconstructed from the Divyāvadāna.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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