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Author DeCaroli, Robert Daniel
Title Haunting the Buddha: The influence of Indian spirit religions on the formation of Buddhism
book jacket
Descript 256 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 60-07, Section: A, page: 2262
Chair: Robert L. Brown
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Los Angeles, 1999
When looking at the art that adorns even the earliest Buddhist monastic centers one is confronted by a contradiction. The architecture of these monasteries, which the canonical literature describes as being dedicated to non-attachment and transcendence, is decorated with minor deities and spirits which are directly associated with wealth, health and worldly success. Few scholars have addressed this seeming contradiction and most simply dismiss these images as being concessions to popular demand. This work is an attempt to see the presence of these figures at Indian Buddhist sites as part of a process by which the sa&dotbelow;mgha (the Buddhist monastic community) intentionally incorporated folk deities into Buddhist contexts. This process was actively pursued by the monastic community and gained them clear benefits. It provided the sam&dotbelow;gha with a social role as the tamers and keepers of potentially dangerous and unpredictable spirits which, in turn, gave the monastic community a much needed public role. This new social relevance ensured Buddhist patronage after the cessation of royal support (c. 200--100 BCE) and provided the monastic community with a methodology for expansion. This monastic role as the converters and tamers of troublesome spirits is well attested in both the popular literature and the material evidence
School code: 0031
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 60-07A
Subject Religion, History of
History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Art History
Alt Author University of California, Los Angeles
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