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Title: The origin of heresy in Hindu mythology
Author: Doniger, Wendy
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1973
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Hinduism has always been noted for its ability to absorb potentially schismatic developments. The assimilation of heresies (pākhaṇḍa- dharmas) was made possible in part by the open-ended quality of the religion itself but also by the vagueness of the Hindu definition of heresy. The two primary, ostensible criteria of orthodoxy are the acceptance of the Vedas as the sacred canon and adherence to the basic law of society -- varṇāśrama dharma, the regulation of class and stage of life. By these criteria, heresy would seem to be a fairly straightforward matter, separating Hindus from non-Hindus, but this is not the case. To the Hindus as a whole, Buddhists arid Jains (and Cārvākas or Materialists, with which these two religions are often confused) are heretics. To most Hindus but Śaiva Kāpālikas, Kāpālikas are heretics. To the Brahmin Kāpālikas, the Śudra Kāpālikas, are heretics. To most non-Tantric Hindus, Tantrics are heretics. Levels of heresy and hierarchical concepts of status cloud the issue and invalidate any single definition. [Continued in text ...]
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Heresy ; Hindu mythology