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Buddhist Sects in India

 
Nalinaksha Dutt (Author)
Synopsis

This extraordinary book is the only authentic document of its kind. Beginning with a detailed and lucid exposition of the political background of India from Ajatasatru to Mahapadma Nanda, it goes on to trace the sources of the Second Buddhist Council, to locate with unerring exactitude the disruptive forces in the Sangha and, in the fourth chapter, to classify the Sects. In the chapters that follow, the learned author deals with the Mahasanghikas, doctrines of Group II-V Schools. In every chapter, if not on every page, current but ill-founded assumptions are rejected and their illogicalities exposed to the reader's view. The eager student is given a panoramic view of the doctrinal developments that took place during the period concerned by this book. With irrefutable arguments and considerable ratio-cinative skill does the writer conclude that the Mahasanghikas were evidently the earliest school of the Hinayanists to show a tendency towards conceiving Buddha docetically.

"….there are not many systematic and authentic accounts of the evolution of the Buddhist philosophy and the emergence of the different Schools. Dr. Nalinaksha Dutta's book fills an important gap in this field. The author traces the political background in which the different sects had developed….The special doctrines of the Bahusernityas Prajnapativadins and the Vetulayas are also discussed, along with the doctrines of the Schools of the other groups. The author has dwelt in detail on the doctrinal developments leading to the emergence of the Mahayana. One remarkable feature of the criticisms contained in the Mahayana's works against the Hinayanists according to Dr. Dutt, is that they do not attempt to distort the position of the Hinayanists in order to take advantage.

It is striking that as far back as 1859, i.e., over a century ago, the attention of European scholars was drawn to the appearance of Buddhist sects in India, mentioning their names without, however, any comments. The earliest articles was written by St. Julien, 'Listes diverses des noms des dix-huit sectes du bouddhisme' in the Journal Asiatique, 1959. This was followed by M.V. Vassilief in 1860, Drs. Rhys Davids and Oldenberg in 1881, H. Kern in 1884 and I.P. Minayeff in 1884 (vide for details, page 11-13) of this book.

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About the author

Nalinaksha Dutt

Nalinaksha Dutt, M.A.B.L.Ph.D. (Cal) D. Litt (Lond.) Premchand Roychand Scholar, Formerly Professor of Pali, Judson College, Rangoon, Lecturer Post Graduate Department (Pali) and Ancient Indian History and culture Calcutta University.

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhist Sects in India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.1998
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120804279
length 300p., 8.7" X 5.8"