1st Edition

Early Asceticism in India Ājīvikism and Jainism

By Piotr Balcerowicz Copyright 2016
    368 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Ājīvikism was once ranked one of the most important religions in India between the 4th and 2nd centuries BCE, after Buddhism, ‘Brahmanism’ and before Jainism, but is now a forgotten Indian religion. However, Jainism has remained an integral part of the religious landscape of South Asia, despite the common beginnings shared with Ājīvikism.

    By rediscovering, reconstructing, and examining the Ājīvikism doctrine, its art, origins and development, this book provides new insight into Ājīvikism, and discusses how this information enables us to better understand its impact on Jainism and its role in the development of Indian religion and philosophy. This book explains how, why and when Jainism developed its strikingly unique logic and epistemology and what historical and doctrinal factors prompted the ideas which later led to the formulation of the doctrine of multiplexity of reality (anekānta-vāda). It also provides answers to difficult passages of Buddhist Sāmañña-phala-sutta that baffled both Buddhist commentators and modern researchers.

    Offering clearer perspectives on the origins of Jainism the book will be an invaluable contribution to Jaina Studies, Asian Religion and Religious History.

    1. Introduction 2. The Encounter 3. Gooeâla as a ‘Jaina’ Teacher 4. Souls and Colours 5. Divination and Foretelling the Future 6. Common Set of Early Scriptures 7. Common Cosmology 8. Gooeâla’s First Teaching and Vardhamâna’s First Ascetic Experiences 9. The Finalities, Death and Sallekhanâ 10. Drinkables, Undrinkables and the Waters of the Sâmañña-phala-sutta 11. Âjîvikas, Pottery and Pots 12. Determinism, Âjîvikas and Jainism 13. Early Anekânta-vâda and the Three Figures 14. Âjîvikas, Trairâoeikas, Jainas 15. The beginnings of the Sapta-bhaógî 16. Early Epistemological Devices and the Beginnings of Jaina Logic 17. The Anekânta-vâda and the Âjîvikas 18. Traces of the Anekânta in Pali Buddhist Literature? 19. A Religious Centre and the Art of the Âjîvikas 20. Three traditions: Pâroeva, Gooeâla, Mahâvîra


    Piotr Balcerowicz is Professor of Indian Philosophy and Oriental Studies (Indology) at the University of Warsaw, Poland. He specialises in philosophical traditions of Asia and the West, with emphasis on Indian epistemology and non-Brahmanic philosophical schools.