Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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The University of Hawaiâi Press has long been noted for its scholarly publications in, and commitment to, the field of Asian Studies. The present volume is the fifth in a series initiated by the press in keeping with that commitment, Dimensions of Asian Spirituality. ...
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A series editor may take on many tasks, including seeing a text through serial lives. This work has gone through at least seven drafts. Through each incarnation Henry Rosemont has been its midwife. To paraphrase the Buddha, this birth will be its last. My thanks to Henry for helping ...
Chapter 1: Dharma and South Asian Spirituality
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Readers, here are many of the terms I am going to use in this book on dharma, in Sanskrit and their PÄli variants (Sanskrit and PÄli are two of the major Indo-Aryan languages of classical South Asia). Starting with their Sanskrit forms, we have dharma itself, meaning that which ...
Chapter 2: King Asokaâs DhamÌ£ma
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AÅokaâs inscriptions were written in an early Prakrit, which includes a variety of regional Sanskrit-related Indo-Aryan languages, including PÄli. In Prakrit our basic term is dhaá¹ma. The edicts are among the first records we have of Indian alphabetic writing. They were apparently ...
Chapter 3:Vedic DhÃ¡rman and Dharma
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The Rigveda is Indiaâs oldest textual source and the fountainhead of Hinduism. It introduces the term dhÃ¡rman, a precursor to dharma. Beginning with the Rigveda this chapter will explore the earliest meanings of dhÃ¡rman and dharma in the larger Veda or full Vedic ...
Chapter 4: Early Buddhism Three Baskets of Dharma
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This chapter will investigate Buddhist understandings of dharma in the three baskets (piá¹akas) of the early Buddhist canon, taking them as an intentional organization of three different understandings of dharma developed over time. The âthree basketâ division is not established ...
Chapter 5: Classical Brahmanical Dharma
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We now turn to the post-Vedic texts in which Brahmanical dharma blossomed: the dharmasÅ«tras, Manu, and the two Sanskrit epics. These texts open up the concept of dharma for what will come to be called Hinduism. If Indians recall the epics for their manner of relating ...
Chapter 6: Two Dharma Biographies? RÄma and YudhisÌ£tÌ£hira
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The question mark in this chapterâs title looks ahead to chapter 10. There I will argue that our last classical dharma text, the Buddhacarita or âAdventure of the Buddha,â offers a critical reading of both the MahÄbhÄrata and the RÄmÄyaá¹a. As mentioned in chapter 1, where all ...
Chapter 7: Two Dharma Biographies? SÄ«tÄ and DraupadÄ«
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Turning to women and dharma, we continue to explore the relationship between narrative and norm. Brahmanical norms for women are set forth broadly through the concept of strÄ«dharma, âlaw(s) for womenâ or âwomenâs dharma.â In many of our classical texts, these ...
Chapter 8: Dharma in the Bhagavad GÄ«tÄ
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The Bhagavad GÄ«tÄmakes a number of philosophical points, and no one would deny that it also deserves a reputation as a text about dharma. Yet it really says only a few things about dharma per se. Most of its prominent references to dharma occur in what I will call an
Chapter 9: Dharma and Bhakti
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One of the results of making narrative central to our discussion of classical constructions of dharma was that we would inevitably be questioning not only the relation between dharma and moksÌ£a, as many have done, but that between dharma and bhakti. We have seen ...
Chapter 10: Reimagining the Dharma Hero: The Adventure of the Buddha
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Chapter 6 raised the possibility of viewing the epicsâ portrayals of RÄma and Yudhiá¹£á¹hira as moral biographies. We now come to a text that may do just that: AÅvaghoá¹£aâs Buddhacarita âThe Adventure of the Buddha,â which offers a dharma biography of a prince who becomes a ...
Chapter 11: Dharma for the Twenty-first Century
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Lately, the United States has become familiar with dharma within a suggestive meaning-spectrum. Jack Kerouacâs Dharma Bums described the heyday of mid-twentieth-century Americaâs bohemian sages or á¹á¹£is. The TV situation comedy Dharma and Greg, now in reruns, ...
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About the Author
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Alf Hiltebeitel is a professor of religion, history, and human sciences at the George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in the history of religions at the University of Chicago. He teaches courses on Hinduism, Buddhism, Indian and comparative mythologies, the ...
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Dimensions of Asian Spirituality