Character of the Self in Ancient India, The
Priests, Kings, and Women in the Early Upanisads
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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One of the fundamental arguments of this book is that philosophy, as well as academic work in general, is not the result of solitary reflection, but rather is generated and produced through an active engagement with other people. Nowhere have I learned this more profoundly than in the process of researching and writing this book. This work ...
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The seventh section of the Chāndogya Upanişad begins with a dialogue between Nārada and Sanatkumāra. Nārada approaches his teacher and asks for instruction in the typical manner for Upanishadic students. Sanatkumāra, however, demands to know his educational background before taking on Nārada as his pupil. Nārada responds: ...
CHAPTER ONE. Teachers and Students: The Emergence of Teaching as an Object of Discourse
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In addition to describing a number of specific literary personae, these dialogues also present us with several more general character traits for social categories like teachers and students. Teachers show a reluctance to teach and often test pupils as a pedagogical exercise. Students are characterized by their honesty and eagerness to learn, addressing the teacher in respectful ways and offering to work for ...
CHAPTER TWO. Debates between Brahmins: The Competitive Dynamics of the Brahmodya
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In this chapter we will look at dialogues that feature brahmins debating against other brahmins. Similar to the upanayana, these debates (brahmodya) are presented as a distinct practice, often in contrast to the performance of sacrifice. Yet unlike the dialogues about teaching, the brahmodya is characterized as competitive and aggressive, risking ...
CHAPTER THREE. Kings and Brahmins: The Political Dimensions of the Upanisads
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We will now turn our attention to a number of dialogues between brahmins and ksatriyas. Some of these encounters feature a brahmin giving a king a private instruction, while others depict the king teaching the brahmin. Indeed, the king teaching a brahmin is a prominent motif throughout the late Brāhmanas and early Upanisads, with some ...
CHAPTER FOUR. Brahmins and Women: Subjectivity and Gender Construction in the Upanisads
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In the previous chapters we have looked at dialogues where brahmins teach students, debate with other brahmins, and discuss philosophy with kings. In these situations we have seen that the participants in the dialogues and how they interact with each other are essential aspects of the texts. As such, the Upanisads do not merely articulate philosophical ...
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Both commentators within the Indian tradition and modern scholars have treated the Upanisads primarily as a collection of abstract philosophical doctrines, analyzing the transcendental claims without taking into consideration how philosophy is rooted within a social and historical context. It has been the intention of this book to look at the ...
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Page Count: 238
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: SUNY series in Hindu Studies
Series Editor Byline: Wendy Doniger