Buddhism in India
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Buddhism in India
Challenging Brahmanism and Caste

  • Gail Omvedt - Dr B R Ambedkar Chair on Social Change & Development, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi


© 2013 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
SAGE Classics is a carefully selected list that every discerning reader will want to possess, re-read and enjoy for a long time. These are now priced lower than the original, but is the same version published earlier. SAGE`s commitment to quality remains unchanged.

This fascinating book constitutes a unique exploration of 2,500 years of the development of Buddhism, Brahmanism and caste in India. Taking Dr Ambedkar`s interpretation of Buddhism as its starting point, Dr Gail Omvedt has researched both the original source of the Buddhist cannon and recent literature to provide an absorbing account of the historical, social, political and philosophical aspects of Buddhism. In the process, she discusses a wide range of important issues of current concern.

Dr Omvedt maintains that the revolutionary audacity of Dalit leaders such as Dr B,R. Ambedkar, despite their often subversive reinterpretation of the Buddhist tradition, is in tune with the basic ethos of original Buddhism. Ambedkar found his own middle way by avoiding both the straitjacket of the Marxist ideological response to suppression and the tame reformist within the fold of Hinduism. Since there has always been a struggle of hegemony between competing religious systems, the author argues that given the ascendant position of Buddhism from the 4th century BC to the 6th century AD, ancient India should actually be described as ‘Buddhist India’ and not ‘Hindu India’.

Providing an entirely new interpretation of the origins and development of the caste system, which boldly challenges the ‘Hindutva’ version of history, this book will attract a wide readership among all those who are concerned with the state of contemporarty India’s policy and social fabric.
 
Preface
 
Introduction: Reconstructing the World
 
The Background to Buddhism
 
The Dhamma: The Basic Teachings of Buddhism
 
Transitoriness and Transformations
 
Buddhist Civilisation
 
The Defeat of Buddhism in India
 
After Buddhism: The Bhakti Movements
 
Colonial Challenges, Indian Responses and Buddhist Revival
 
Navayana Buddhism and the Modern Age
 
Conclusion
 
Bibliography
 
Index

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ISBN: 9788132110286