By Johannes Bronkhorst
For lots of centuries Buddhism and Brahmanism coexisted within the Indian subcontinent. This publication concentrates at the manner within which the 2, after an preliminary interval of relative independence, faced one another, either in and round the royal courts and in society at huge. during this disagreement, Buddhism was once powerful in philosophical debate, yet couldn't compete with Brahmanism within the providers it can offer to the centres of political strength, essentially ritual defense and useful recommendation. Buddhism advanced in either components, offering useful suggestion to put humans and rulers from early Mahayana onward, and formality security in its Tantric advancements. a few of these advancements got here too overdue, notwithstanding, and will now not hinder the disappearance of Buddhism from the subcontinent.
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Extra resources for Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism (Handbook of Oriental Studies)
161 f. 32 AN II p. 207 f. 38 chapter two distinguishes four kinds of persons: (i) the person who torments himself, (ii) the person who torments others, (iii) the person who torments himself and others, and (iv) the person who torments neither himself nor others. The Buddha then explains that the third kind of person, clearly the worst because he torments both himself and others, is he who performs brahmanical sacrifices along with his Purohita. The Purohita is here the co-perpetrator of disreputable activities.
13 Aśoka’s remark if interpreted to be about the omnipresence of Brahmins in all parts of his empire except among the Greeks (a remark that, as we have seen, cannot be taken at its face value) contrasts in an interesting manner with a no doubt much younger passage that occurs in the thirteenth book—the Anuśāsanaparvan—of the Mahābhārata 12 This social division was not yet all that rigorous even in late vedic days; see Rau, 1957: 62 f. Staal (2008: 59) thinks that the Puruṣa myth, which mentions these four caste-classes, is a late addition to the Ṛgveda.
22 chapter one Why are these political developments important? They tell us something about the cultural context which the Buddhists who had settled in Greater Gandhāra encountered. This region had become part of the Maurya empire around 305 bce. 37 This means that the Buddhists of this part of the subcontinent, at that date if not already earlier, were, on an intellectual level, not confronted with Jainas and representatives of other Indian religions of their region of origin, nor were they confronted with Brahmins.