"Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India"

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Khiladi420

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Title: Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India
Author: Giovanni Verardi
ISBN: 9788173049286
List Price: Rs 1,295.00
First Published: 2011
Pages: 523p.
Edition: Hardbound


Book description

Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India examines the reasons of
the structural subalternity of Indian Buddhism to Brahmanism,and the
mechanisms, characterized by intimidation and violence, which led to
its downfall in India. The analysis focuses on some crucial historical
junctions. The first is the policy of the Guptas, still mistakenly
perceived as favourable, or at least not hostile to the religion of
the Buddhist Dharma. Instead, it is in Gupta times that we witness,
among other things, the destruction of Nagarjunakonda and the
emergence of a married clergy as an alternative to the ancient
renunciate celibate model based on the Vinaya.


The focus then moves on the legal fallout of the doctrinal debates
that, especially after the death of Hará¹£avardhana, took place between
the Buddhists and the Brahmans. The debates, increasingly conditioned
by the prejudicial theistic stance of Pāśupatas and Bhāgavatas, became
occasions to get rid of the monastic elite. The scenario in which the
repression of the Buddhists and of the social sectors to which they
gave representation took place, is the gradual taking possession by
the Brahmans of the entire agrarian horizon. With the Vajrayāna, seen
as the theoretical and operational answer to the attacks on the
religion, a strict relationship was created between Buddhists, natives
and outcastes, which led to a long, fierce war that characterized the
period from the eighth to the twelfth century.
This is most clearly
observable along the fault line, passing approximately along the
Vindhyas, which divided the Brahmanic kingdoms of the Deccan and the
territories controlled by the Buddhists (Magadha, Bengal and upper
Orissa).

Finally, the discussion moves on the game of three that was played
when the Muslims broke onto the scene. When the orthodox realized that
they would have never been able to defeat the invaders and that the
welding between Muslims and Buddhists, already successfully tested in
eighth-century Sind, was resurfacing in the Gangetic India of the
twelfth century, they accepted Muslim rule in exchange for the
extirpation of Buddhism and the repression of the social sectors in
revolt.
Contrary to what is usually believed, the great monasteries of
Gangetic India, from Sarnath to Vikramaśīla, from Odantapurī to
Nālandā, were not destroyed by the Muslims, but appropriated and
transformed by the Brahmans with only the occasional intervention of
the Muslim forces.


Sources

The sources resorted to are mostly Brahmanical, and include the
allegorical narrations of the Purāṇas, the poems of the Tamil saints
and other hagiographic material. Medieval iconographies provide us
with a large amount of evidence that only rarely has been evaluated in
its historical and social impact. Relevant archaeological evidence on
the sites of Bodhgaya and Sarnath is discussed in the two appendices.

Contents
Introduction

I. HISTORICAL PARADIGMS
The Paradigm of Discovery
Allegories
Fieldwork
The Worm Within
The Paradigm of Exoticism
The Years of Independence
Another India
Paradigms of Oblivion

II. THE OPEN SOCIETY
Buddhism versus Upaniá¹£ad-s: the Gnostic Perspective
The Freedom of the Indian Ocean
Aśoka or the Chances of Despotism
Kaniá¹£ka and Hará¹£avardhana
Closing the Society: Violence and New Strategies
Pāṣaṇḍa-s and nāstika-s

III. THE GUPTA SPHINX
Questioning the Sphinx
The Fulfillment of a Duty
Vilification, Responses and the Rift in the New Yāna
The Gods in Arms
A Landscape with Ruins

IV. A PERIOD WHICH IS NOT PLEASANT TO CONTEMPLATE
Preliminary
The Logicians and the Split of the Brāhmaṇavarṇa
The Logic of the Saints
Elephant Hunting and Beheading
Military Training
On the Fault Line: the mahāvrata of the Kāpālikas
The Bhāgavatas and Pāśupatas in Nepal

V. BATTLEFIELDS AND YĀJÑA-S
The Blood of the asura-s
The Massacre of the Kṣatriyas and the Battle of Bodhgayā
On the Fault Line: Bhairava, the Goddess, the yoginī-s
Pacified Kingdoms
A Way Out of the Siege: the Buddhist Reaction

VI. THE DAYS OF RECKONING
The Householder Monks
Social and Sexual Insubordination
Sind as a Test
The Game of the tīrthika-s
The Siṃhala Monks
The Last Buddhist of Orissa and Bengal
Appendix 1 – The Brahmanical Temple of Bodhgayā (F. Barba)
Appendix 2 – Sarnath: a Reassessment of the Archaeological Evidence
with Particular Reference to the Final Phase of the Site
(F. Barba)
Bibliography
Index

The author

The book is the work of Giovanni Verardi, who, as a member of
Is.I.A.O. (Rome), has carried out excavations in Afghanistan, Nepal
and China, as well as extensive surveys and research work in India and
Pakistan. Giovanni Verardi was been professor of Indian Archaeology
and Archaeology of Central Asia at the University of Naples. The
appendices are by Federica Barba, an independent scholar based in
Rome.
Let us see how you Hindus will try to explain this.
 
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