The =Aśrama System: The History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution
The lesser known and explored of the two pillars of Hinduism--=aśrama and var.na--=aśrama is the name given to a system of four distinct and legitimate ways of leading a religious life: as a celibate student, a married householder, a forest hermit, and a world renouncer. In this, the first full-length study of the =aśrama system, Olivelle uncovers its origin and traces its subsequent history. He examines in depth its relationship to other institutional and doctrinal aspects of the Brahmanical world and its position within Brahmanical theology, and assesses its significance within the history of Indian religion. Throughout, he argues that the =aśrama system is primarily a theological construct and that the system and its history should be carefully distinguished from the socio-religious institutions comprehended by the system and from their respective histories.
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according Advaita Apastamba ApDh appears argument ascetic āśrama system Baudhāyana Brähmana Brahmins Brhadāranyaka Buddhist celibate century C.E. Chāndogya cited classical formulation classical system commentary common era context death debts dharma Dharmaśāstras Dharmasutras discussion doctrine duties example explicitly father fisrama forest hermit four àsramas Gautama Gītā gods Gonda Grhyasūtra hermeneutical hermit householder householder’s Indian injunctions institutions interpretation Jābāla Kane king Ksatriyas later literature live Mahābhārata Malamoud Manu marriage married meaning medieval mendicant modes offspring old age Olivelle one’s original formulation original system Paramahamsa parisad passage perform period person Prajāpati Purāna purusārthas rama Rāmāyana reference regarding religious renunciation rites ritual sacred fire sacrifice sacrificial string Samhitā Samkara samsāra seers significant Smrtis social Sprockhoff Sramana student studentship Südras teacher term āśrama theology tion tradition twice-born Upanisad Vaikhānasa Vaisyas varnas varnas and āśramas Vasistha Vedas vedic text verse Vijñānesvara Visnu wife Yājñavalkya
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