Class and Religion in Ancient India
A fascinating read for scholars and general readers alike, Class and Religion in Ancient India' highlights the interdependence between the class structure and the Vedic and Brahmanical form of religion in ancient India. It seeks to demolish the myth that religiosity and spirituality were the distinctive characteristics of ancient Indian civilization. The author demonstrates that religion was a superstructure of class relations used primarily by the ruling class and the state to perpetuate a predatory class structure based on exploitation and oppression. Buddhism, foreign immigrant communities, Atheist-rationalist philosophies and the rise of Shudra dynasties threatened to destabilize the class-caste structure that had come into existence in the late Rig Vedic period. However, the Brahmanical revival led by the ruling class and the state from the second century B.C. restored the Vedic religion and the class-caste structure in a slightly modified form. A thorough analysis of the Vedas and Upanishads, Manusmriti, Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas has been attempted in the context of the relevant period.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Advaita philosophy Agni Ajatashatru Anarya ancient India Arthashastra Arya Arya society atheist avatar Brahma Brahmanas Brahmanas and Kshatriyas Brihaspati Buddhism century chaturvarnya class of Brahmanas class of Vedic class structure class—caste structure composed concept conﬂict cows cultural dakshina dasas dasyus destroy developed dharma dharmashastras discourse earth enemies epics ﬁnd ﬁrst Gita gods historical human society hymn ideology Indra inequality injunctions interpolated karma killed king Kshatriya class Kshatriyas Lokayata Mahabharata Manu masses metaphysical mythology occupations one’s oppressive and exploitative perform sacriﬁces performance of sacriﬁces political poverty prayer to Indra prevailing social order priestly class priests propagated Puranas Purusha Sukta rakshasas Rama Ramayana religious ruling class sacriﬁces Samhitas Sanskrit says Shri Bhagawan Shudra class Shudras signiﬁcance soul speciﬁc status structure of Vedic supplicants Supreme swadharma tenth Mandala universe Upanishads Vaishya Vaishya and Shudra varnas Vedic literature Vedic religion Vedic society verse Vishnu wealth worldly Yuga