History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas, a Vanished Indian Religion

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1951 - Ajivikas - 316 pages
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The book presents the history and the Doctrines of the Ajivikas who formed a third heretical sect besides the sect of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and that of Mahavira Vardhamana, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara of the Jainas.† The three heterodox sects react against the ritualistic creed of the Vedists.† The cult of Ajivikas was founded by Makkhali Gosal, the contemporary of Mahavira Vardhamana, on the basis of strict determinism with a belief in the all-embracing rule of Niyati (principle of order).† According to Gosal, It was Niyati which ultimately governed our action, controlled phenomena and left no room for human volition.† It will through new height on an interesting and significant aspect of India's past, and will encourage further research.† This book is divided into fifteen chapters discussing elaborately different aspects of the subject matter.† The comprehensive Bibliography and Index are the added features for the researchers for comparative as well as further study of yet unexplored areas.

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Basham sems a bit biased in his writing. He never credits the Jains for what they deserve.
Nevertheless, it is a good book on Ajivikas.

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Page 14 - Samsara3 is measured as with a bushel, with its joy and sorrow and its appointed end. It can neither be lessened nor increased, nor is there any excess or deficiency of it. Just as a ball of thread will, when thrown, unwind to its full length, so fool and wise alike will take their course, and make an end of sorrow.
Page 16 - A nigantha is surrounded by the barrier of fourfold restraint. How is he surrounded ? ... He practises restraint with regard to water, he avoids all sin, by avoiding sin his sins are washed away, and he is filled with the sense of all sins avoided.2 ... So surrounded by the barrier of fourfold restraint his mind is perfected,3 controlled, and firm.4 6.
Page 17 - I do not say that it is so; I do not say that it is otherwise; I do not say that it is not so; nor do I say that it is not not so.
Page 274 - The Ajivika heretics founded by Gos"ala are likewise called Trairasikas, since they declare everything to be of triple character, viz. : living, not living, and both living and not living ; world, not world, and both world and not world ; real, unreal, and both real and unreal. In considering standpoints (naya) (they postulate that an entity may be) of the nature of substance, of mode, or of both. Thus, since they maintain three heaps (ro&), they are called Trairasikas.
Page 112 - Two more schools are frequently included by Chinese and Japanese authors among the great ones (ie the well-known six Indian). They are called Nikendabtra and Ashibika, and are quite similar to each other. They both hold that the penalty of a sinful life must sooner or later be paid ; and since it is impossible to escape from it, it is better that it should be paid as soon as possible, so that the life to come may be free for enjoyment. Thus their practices were ascetic : fasting, silence, immovability,...
Page 15 - ... beyond, publish (their knowledge). Man is formed of the four elements ; when he dies earth returns to the aggregate of earth, water to water, fire to fire, and air to air, while the...
Page 13 - There is neither cause nor basis for the sins of living beings; they become sinful without cause or basis. Neither is there cause or basis for the purity of living beings; they become pure without cause or basis. There is no deed performed either by oneself or by others (which can affect one's future births), no human action, no strength, no courage, no human endurance or human prowess (which can affect one's destiny in this life).
Page 15 - ... (where) his bones turn the colour of a dove's wing, and his sacrifices end in ashes. They are fools who preach almsgiving, and those who maintain the existence (of immaterial categories) speak vain and lying nonsense. When the body dies both fool and wise alike are cut off and perish. They do not survive after death.4 ca pandite ca sandhavitva samsaritv‚ dukkhass
Page 13 - If he come down the south bank of the Ganges, slaying, maiming, and torturing, and causing others to be slain, maimed, or tortured, he commits no sin, neither does sin approach him. Likewise if a man go down the north bank of the Ganges, giving alms and sacrificing, and causing alms to be given and sacrifices to be performed, he acquires no merit, neither does merit approach him. From liberality, self-control, abstinence, and honesty is derived neither merit, nor the approach of merit.
Page xxi - Society. JBORS Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society. JDL Journal of the Department of Letters.

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