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Buddhism in Indian History and Culture

S.R. Goyal (Author)
Synopsis The present work is a comprehensive history of Indian Buddhism. In many ways it is different from other similar works. Firstly, most of the works dealing with the history of Indian Buddhism stop with the disappearance of this religion after the establishment of the Turkish rule in c. 1200 A.D. while the present monograph studies the fortunes of this religion in India upto the modern times. Secondly, it deals not only with the evolution of Indian Buddhism on traditional lines – life and teaching of the Buddhist samgha and its discipline, the first Four Buddhist Councils, the rise of various sects, the origin and development of Mahayanism and Tantrikism – but also to its disappearance after the sack of Nalanda and its partial revival in the recent decades. A unique feature of this work is that it seeks to study Buddhism as a part of general historical and cultural evolution of India and delineate its impact on and contribution to various aspects of Indian culture – philosophy, art, literature, education, political thought, historical thought, social philosophy, etc. Thirdly, it is not only a narrative of the major episodes in the history of Indian Buddhism it is critical and analytical, basing itself on the original source material and at the same time incorporating the results of the latest researches in the subject. An alert reader will note that while discussing the various topics critical and detailed references to the recent-most books and research papers have been made. We, therefore, hope that it will be found useful by scholars of Buddhism as well as historians of ancient Indian culture and religions.
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About the author

S.R. Goyal

Professor S.R. Goyal is the retired Professor and Head, Department of History, J.N.V. University, Jodhpur. Described as ‘one of the five best recent historians of ancient India’ by Professor David N. Lorenzen, the great Mexican Orientalist, Professor Goyal combines all the qualities associated with scientific scholarship. He has authored more than thirty voluminous works and over 150 research papers which cover so diverse fields as political history, religious history, literature, biographies, numismatics and epigraphy. He was honoured with the General Presidentship of the Silver Jubilee Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India held at Udupi in 1999 and was elected the Honorary Fellow of the Soceity. His doctoral thesis, A History of the Imperial Guptas (1967), was acclaimed as ‘the best analysis of the Gupta period which I have ever read’ by Professor A.L. Basham (National Professor of Australia) and as ‘imaginative’, ‘well-written’ and ‘a model of historiography’ by Professor Eleanor Zelliot (Minnesota, U.S.A.). The various theories propounded in it are described by Professor R.C. Majumdar as ‘deserving very careful consideration’. Among his other major works are included three corpus-like volumes on ancient Indian inscriptions, two volumes respectively on Kautilya and Megasthenes, a three volume authoritative study of ancient Indian history in about two thousand pages, a three volume study of ancient Indian numismatics, and four volumes on great rulers of ancient India. Professor Goyal is deeply involved with the study of the history of Indian religions. He has published two volumes entitled A Religious History of Ancient India (Vol. I, 1984; Vol. II, 1986), Harsha and Buddhism (1986) and A History of Indian Buddhism (1987). All these works of his have been highly acclaimed and admired both in India and abroad. Professor Goyal has been honoured with several Festschrifts, including Reappraising Gupta History for S.R. Goyal (ed. By Professor B.Ch. Chhabra et al) and S.R. Goyal: His Multidimensional Historiography (ed. By Professor Jagannath Agrawal and Dr. Shankar goyal). A four volume Festschrift in his honour entitled Sriramabhinandam (Reconstructing Indian History for S.R. Goyal) has recently been published).

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhism in Indian History and Culture
Author S.R. Goyal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
length xxviii+367p., Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.