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The Two Sources of Indian Asceticism


Johannes Bronkhorst

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.
Contents: The Apastamba Dharmasutra and Megasthenes - The asramas in their historical development - The special position of Buddhism.