Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
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 info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Hindu > The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism
The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism
Description
From the Jacket:

This book argues that the Indian ascetic traditions have two independent sources, the one Vedic, the other non-Vedic. This point of view has been expressed here and there in the scholarly literature, but it has never yet been argued in detail on the basis of textual evidence. The primary evidence is as follows: Early Indian literature - primarily the Epics, Buddhist and Jaina literature - explicitly differentiates between two types of ascetics, who distinguish themselves from each other in their aims, as well as in various other respects.

In a previous study, The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India (1986). Johannes Bronkhorst published a careful analysis of the meditational traditions of the early Buddhist and Jains. The present volume is concerned with early Hindu traditions of asceticism, in particular in relation to the theory of the four asramas. With characteristic acuity. Broukhorst analyses the early sources, mainly Dharmasutra texts, the early Upanisads, and the Mahabharata, and present his arguments with admirable conciseness and clarity.

The basic problem - which is also the point of departure of his discussion - is the contradiction between previous theories concerning the origin of asceticism in Hinduism: some scholars have sought this origin in certain features of the Vedic sacrifice, while others have stressed its manifestly non-Vedic aspects. Bronkhorst proposes a third solution, viz. that "Indian asceticism might have two source, the one Vedic, the other non-Vedic".

Briefly stated, Bronkhorst argues, on the basis of careful textual analysis, that there were originally no less than "four clearly distinguishable, and distinguished, forms of ascetic life. Two of these four show no sign of having any inherent connection with the Vedic sacrificial tradition: they are the path of mortification and the path of insight, both of which have an intimate link with the belief in rebirth as a result of one's actions. The other two forms of ascetic life... are connected with the Vedic sacrificial tradition, but their link to each other is less evident. There is, on the one had, the Vedic vanaprastha, who lives a life of a sacrificer, but with a number of additional restrictions and mortifications. And on the other hand there is the renunciation (samnyasa) of the aged sacrificer, who renounces everything including his sacrificial habits; only his fires he keeps, but in a different form: they are interiorized". - The second part of the book elaborates and further argues the justification of this conclusion.

The immensely important role which asceticism in a broad sense of the term has played - and indeed continues to play - in Indian religions (including Buddhism) certainly justifies the effort to arrive at a better understanding of its origins. Bronkhorst's study is a major contribution in this respect, and surely will not fail to stimulate further research.

About the Author:

JOHANNES BRONKHORST was born in 1946 in the Netherlands. Indological studies in Poona (Doctorate 1979) and Leiden (Doctorate 1980). Since 1987 Professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of Lausanne.

Preface

This book promises, in its title, to deal with the two sources of Indian asceticism. This is somewhat misleading. For direct information about these sources does not appear to be available. The oldest literary remains of India, primarily the Rgveda, do not contain unambiguous information about the object of our interest, and nor does the archaeological evidence. Speculations can be based on them, but no certain, or very probable conclusions.

The somewhat younger literature - thought perhaps already far removed from the sources concerned - is far more interesting in this respect. It shows a clear awareness on the part of its authors that there were two different kinds, or currents, of asceticism. It also shows the tendency of these two currents to unite, and to become ever more indistinguishable as time goes by. It therefore allows us to conclude that they were distinct from the beginning. In other words, the two currents have, or rather had, two different sources.

This much seems clear, and certain. More precise information about the sources themselves is hard to come by. As said above, the early Vedic texts and the archaeological evidence do not help us much. The present study therefore largely ignores them.

There is another word in the title that requires elucidation. It is asceticism. This word is here used in a rather general sense: it covers the whole range of physical and mental exercises from extreme mortification to certain forms of 'gentle' meditation, it being understood that all these forms of asceticism constitute the whole, or at least a major part, of the life of the ascetics concerned.

The preparation of this volume has taken several years, during which I have had the opportunity to discuss its contents with various colleagues. I thank all those whose comments have enabled me to further clarify different points. Most of all I thank Prof. Gerald J. LARSON, who went through the final draft, and made a number of helpful suggestions.

Preface to the second edition

This edition is largely identical to the first one, published by Peter Lang, Bern, in 1993. The occasion has however been grasped to correct minor errors, mainly typographical, in the main text. Only the introduction has been rearranged to some extent. Some observations - dealing with new publications or publications that have belatedly come to my attention - have been added to the footnotes. These publications have themselves been added to the bibliography. New footnotes can be recognized by the use of an asterisk (*). Additions to existing footnotes are indicated as such. For ease of comparison, the page numbers of the first edition are indicated in the margin.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Preface to the second edition viii
Introduction 1
Part I. The asramas 11
1. The Apastamba Dharmasutra 13
2. Samnyasa 23
3. The four asramas as alternatives 29
4. The four asramas as sequence 37
5. Conclusions of part I 41
Part II. Vedic asceticism and the sacrificial tradition 43
6. Vedic asceticism 45
7. The position of the early Upanisads 55
8. Conclusions of Part II 65
Part III. The two traditions 67
9. Kapila and the Vedic tradition 69
10. Sramanas and Brahmins 79
11. Asceticism in the Mahabharata 89
Part IV. General Conclusions 95
12. Concluding observations 97
Bibliography101
Abbreviations117

The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism

Item Code:
IDI971
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1998
ISBN:
8120815513
Size:
8.8" X 5.8"
Pages:
117
Price:
$14.00   Shipping Free
Notify me when this item is available
Notify me when this item is available
You will be notified when this item is available
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 6871 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
From the Jacket:

This book argues that the Indian ascetic traditions have two independent sources, the one Vedic, the other non-Vedic. This point of view has been expressed here and there in the scholarly literature, but it has never yet been argued in detail on the basis of textual evidence. The primary evidence is as follows: Early Indian literature - primarily the Epics, Buddhist and Jaina literature - explicitly differentiates between two types of ascetics, who distinguish themselves from each other in their aims, as well as in various other respects.

In a previous study, The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India (1986). Johannes Bronkhorst published a careful analysis of the meditational traditions of the early Buddhist and Jains. The present volume is concerned with early Hindu traditions of asceticism, in particular in relation to the theory of the four asramas. With characteristic acuity. Broukhorst analyses the early sources, mainly Dharmasutra texts, the early Upanisads, and the Mahabharata, and present his arguments with admirable conciseness and clarity.

The basic problem - which is also the point of departure of his discussion - is the contradiction between previous theories concerning the origin of asceticism in Hinduism: some scholars have sought this origin in certain features of the Vedic sacrifice, while others have stressed its manifestly non-Vedic aspects. Bronkhorst proposes a third solution, viz. that "Indian asceticism might have two source, the one Vedic, the other non-Vedic".

Briefly stated, Bronkhorst argues, on the basis of careful textual analysis, that there were originally no less than "four clearly distinguishable, and distinguished, forms of ascetic life. Two of these four show no sign of having any inherent connection with the Vedic sacrificial tradition: they are the path of mortification and the path of insight, both of which have an intimate link with the belief in rebirth as a result of one's actions. The other two forms of ascetic life... are connected with the Vedic sacrificial tradition, but their link to each other is less evident. There is, on the one had, the Vedic vanaprastha, who lives a life of a sacrificer, but with a number of additional restrictions and mortifications. And on the other hand there is the renunciation (samnyasa) of the aged sacrificer, who renounces everything including his sacrificial habits; only his fires he keeps, but in a different form: they are interiorized". - The second part of the book elaborates and further argues the justification of this conclusion.

The immensely important role which asceticism in a broad sense of the term has played - and indeed continues to play - in Indian religions (including Buddhism) certainly justifies the effort to arrive at a better understanding of its origins. Bronkhorst's study is a major contribution in this respect, and surely will not fail to stimulate further research.

About the Author:

JOHANNES BRONKHORST was born in 1946 in the Netherlands. Indological studies in Poona (Doctorate 1979) and Leiden (Doctorate 1980). Since 1987 Professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of Lausanne.

Preface

This book promises, in its title, to deal with the two sources of Indian asceticism. This is somewhat misleading. For direct information about these sources does not appear to be available. The oldest literary remains of India, primarily the Rgveda, do not contain unambiguous information about the object of our interest, and nor does the archaeological evidence. Speculations can be based on them, but no certain, or very probable conclusions.

The somewhat younger literature - thought perhaps already far removed from the sources concerned - is far more interesting in this respect. It shows a clear awareness on the part of its authors that there were two different kinds, or currents, of asceticism. It also shows the tendency of these two currents to unite, and to become ever more indistinguishable as time goes by. It therefore allows us to conclude that they were distinct from the beginning. In other words, the two currents have, or rather had, two different sources.

This much seems clear, and certain. More precise information about the sources themselves is hard to come by. As said above, the early Vedic texts and the archaeological evidence do not help us much. The present study therefore largely ignores them.

There is another word in the title that requires elucidation. It is asceticism. This word is here used in a rather general sense: it covers the whole range of physical and mental exercises from extreme mortification to certain forms of 'gentle' meditation, it being understood that all these forms of asceticism constitute the whole, or at least a major part, of the life of the ascetics concerned.

The preparation of this volume has taken several years, during which I have had the opportunity to discuss its contents with various colleagues. I thank all those whose comments have enabled me to further clarify different points. Most of all I thank Prof. Gerald J. LARSON, who went through the final draft, and made a number of helpful suggestions.

Preface to the second edition

This edition is largely identical to the first one, published by Peter Lang, Bern, in 1993. The occasion has however been grasped to correct minor errors, mainly typographical, in the main text. Only the introduction has been rearranged to some extent. Some observations - dealing with new publications or publications that have belatedly come to my attention - have been added to the footnotes. These publications have themselves been added to the bibliography. New footnotes can be recognized by the use of an asterisk (*). Additions to existing footnotes are indicated as such. For ease of comparison, the page numbers of the first edition are indicated in the margin.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Preface to the second edition viii
Introduction 1
Part I. The asramas 11
1. The Apastamba Dharmasutra 13
2. Samnyasa 23
3. The four asramas as alternatives 29
4. The four asramas as sequence 37
5. Conclusions of part I 41
Part II. Vedic asceticism and the sacrificial tradition 43
6. Vedic asceticism 45
7. The position of the early Upanisads 55
8. Conclusions of Part II 65
Part III. The two traditions 67
9. Kapila and the Vedic tradition 69
10. Sramanas and Brahmins 79
11. Asceticism in the Mahabharata 89
Part IV. General Conclusions 95
12. Concluding observations 97
Bibliography101
Abbreviations117
Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism (Hindu | Books)

Essential for An Ascetic
Deal 25% Off
Brass Sculpture
21 inch x 8.5 inch x 7 inch
8.83 kg
Item Code: XS85
$399.00$299.25
You save: $99.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Two Groups of Ascetics Battling
From the Akbarnama
Water Color Painting on Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
12 inch x 20 inch
Item Code: MF55
$1995.00
 With Frame (Add $135.00)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Yogini from Deccan
Water Color Painting on Paper
Artist:Kailash Raj
6.5 inch X 10 inch
Item Code: HO37
$395.00
Backorder
Backorder
Kindness Personified (Buddha and the Swan)
Brass Statue
9.0" X 7.0" X 6.0"
4 kg
Item Code: EJ18
$195.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Coronation of Lord Rama
Water Color Painting on Tussar Silk
Folk Art From The Temple Town Puri (Orissa)
Artist: Rabi Behera
41.5 inches X 27.0 inches
Item Code: PM92
$595.00
Backorder
Backorder
A Sufi Saint
Deal 25% Off
Water Color Painting On Paper
Artist: Kailash Raj
8.5 inch x 11.5 inch
Item Code: MK09
$295.00$221.25
You save: $73.75 (25%)
 With Frame (Add $90.00)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Sri Krishna (The Ascetic)
Deal 20% Off
by Rekha Sigi
Paperback (Edition: 2007)
Diamond Pocket Books Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAD530
$16.00$12.80
You save: $3.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Vishwamitra (The King Who Became An Ascetic)
Deal 20% Off
by Anant Pai
Paperback (Edition: 2008)
Amar Chitra Katha
Item Code: IHL300
$6.50$5.20
You save: $1.30 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Asceticism in Ancient India Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jaina
Deal 20% Off
by Dr. Ratanlal Mishra
Hardcover (Edition: 2010)
Buddhist World Press
Item Code: NAL802
$31.00$24.80
You save: $6.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Tapta Marga – Asceticism and Initiation in Vedic India
by Walter O. Kaelber
Hardcover (Edition: 1990)
Sri Satguru Publications
Item Code: IHL606
$23.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Over the years, I have purchased several statues, wooden, bronze and brass, from Exotic India. The artists have shown exquisite attention to details. These deities are truly awe-inspiring. I have been very pleased with the purchases.
Heramba, USA
The Green Tara that I ordered on 10/12 arrived today.  I am very pleased with it.
William USA
Excellent!!! Excellent!!!
Fotis, Greece
Amazing how fast your order arrived, beautifully packed, just as described.  Thank you very much !
Verena, UK
I just received my package. It was just on time. I truly appreciate all your work Exotic India. The packaging is excellent. I love all my 3 orders. Admire the craftsmanship in all 3 orders. Thanks so much.
Rajalakshmi, USA
Your books arrived in good order and I am very pleased.
Christine, the Netherlands
Thank you very much for the Shri Yantra with Navaratna which has arrived here safely. I noticed that you seem to have had some difficulty in posting it so thank you...Posting anything these days is difficult because the ordinary postal services are either closed or functioning weakly.   I wish the best to Exotic India which is an excellent company...
Mary, Australia
Love your website and the emails
John, USA
I love antique brass pieces and your site is the best. Not only can I browse through it but can purchase very easily.
Indira, USA
Je vis à La Martinique dans les Caraïbes. J'ai bien reçu votre envoi 'The ten great cosmic Powers' et Je vous remercie pour la qualité de votre service. Ce livre est une clé pour l’accès à la Connaissance de certains aspects de la Mère. A bientôt
GABRIEL-FREDERIC Daniel
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India