Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to - download pdf or read online


By Richard F. Gombrich

ISBN-10: 0203016033

ISBN-13: 9780203016039

ISBN-10: 0203130251

ISBN-13: 9780203130254

ISBN-10: 0415075858

ISBN-13: 9780415075855

ISBN-10: 0415365082

ISBN-13: 9780415365086

Written via the best authority on Theravada Buddhism, this up-dated variation takes under consideration fresh learn to incorporate the controversies over the date of the Buddha and present social and political advancements in Sri Lanka. Gombrich explores the legacy of the Buddha's predecessors and the social and non secular contexts opposed to which Buddhism has built and altered all through heritage, demonstrating chiefly, the way it has continually encouraged and been prompted by means of its social atmosphere in a manner which maintains to today.

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Extra resources for Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices)

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Moreover, though in ancient India there was no caste or other form of social ranking within the Order itself, the Order soon came to own (lay) slaves. To avoid any possible misunderstanding, I should add that the fact that the Buddha did not hold certain views or have certain concerns which we now think desirable should not, in my view, inhibit any modern Buddhist from holding those views or having those Introduction 23 concerns. My concern is merely with historical accuracy. For example, if the followers of Dr Ambedkar, leader of India’s untouchable community at Independence, propagate a Buddhism which refuses to recognize the institution of untouchability, they have all my sympathy.

The central concept and idea of this ideology is that of dharma, the world as it ideally is, the world as it should behave if it is to conform to its true nature. The authority for dharma the brahmin law-givers say to be the Vedas; but its content they must have derived from actual custom. 3 Indeed, the law-books explicitly say that local custom is the source of dharma where it does not contradict scripture. But once the law-giver has articulated the custom, his formulation moves from being descriptive to being normative.

The early Vedic period The early Vedic period we shall dispose of with the utmost brevity because no more is relevant to Buddhism. Around the middle of the second millennium BCE people speaking an Indo-European language, Sanskrit, entered northwest India from what is now northern Iran and southern Russia. Sanskrit and the languages deriving from it are known as Indo-Aryan. The linguistic term has been used to refer to the speakers of the language. The Indo-Aryans probably came in several waves over several centuries and were very closely related to people who settled in Iran and even further west in that period.

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Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices) by Richard F. Gombrich

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