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In Jayaswal's book scholarship was sometimes subordinated to this argument. In his discussion of ancient republics which was not his only subject , the evidence was pushed at least as far as it would go to portray the republics as inspiring examples of early democracy. A similar, though quieter satisfaction can be seen in the contemporary discussions of R. Majumdar and D. Bhandarkar Later, following the independence of the modern Republic of India, a more restrained attitude was adopted by younger scholars who felt that earlier claims about ancient republicanism and democracy were overstated.

The general tendency was to emphasize that the republics were not modern democracies. Sometimes writers bent over backwards to divorce the Indian republican experience from the history of democracy Ghoshal, vol.

The theme that most attracted the attention of scholars was the ultimate failure of republicanism and the creation of monarchical, bureaucratic states based on the principle of varna. This was the result not so much of conquest, but of the slow abandonment of republican ideals by republicans themselves.

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By the third and fourth centuries C. Eventually such republics became monarchies Altekar, ; Majumdar, A. This movement away from the degree of egalitarianism that had been achieved was aided by literary champions of hierarchy. Such Brahmanical classics as the Mahabharata, the writings of Kautilya and the Manu-Smrti are manifestations of this trend B. Kautilya, who is traditionally identified with the chief minister of the Mauryan conqueror Chandragupta Maurya fl. Perhaps a more important part of his achievement was to formulate a political science in which monarchy was normal, even though his own text shows that ganas were very important actors in the politics of his time Kautilya, [ BCE]: [bk.

Similarly, the accomplishment of the Manu-Smrti was to formulate a view of society where human equality was non-existent and unthinkable. Kings and ideologues were not the only enemies of the ganas. Ganas that claimed sovereignty over certain territories or populations were always faced by the competing claims of other corporate groups Altekar, ; the Italian situation in Hyde, How were these to be sorted out, other than by force? It was a tempting offer, and the end result was the acceptance of a social order in which many ganas and sanghas existed, but none were sovereign and none were committed to any general egalitarian view of society.

They were committed instead to a hierarchy in which they were promised a secure place. Majumdar, R. Even the Buddhist sangha accommodated itself to it -- which may have contributed to its own disappearance from India. That republicanism eventually came to an end in India and was entirely forgotten might seem to justify a somewhat dismissive attitude towards these ancient democracies. Yet no one casually dismisses Greek democracy, despite its similar failure and despite the fact that there is no continuity between ancient and more modern experiments in democracy.


Ancient Athens has influenced modern thinkers and political reforms only through the indirect means of literary inspiration. One also need not be Indian to see that the parallel development of republics in Greece and the subcontinent has interesting implications for our understanding of world history. One cannot help wondering in how many other parts of Eurasia republican, quasi-democratic states may have co-existed with the royal dynasties that are a staple of both ancient and modern chronology and conceptualization.

Another important feature of the historiography of Indian republicanism is the way it grew out of and has contributed to the investigation of grassroots, local institutions, which has revealed the importance of quasi-democratic practices both before and after the heyday of the sovereign republics.

In recent years, there have been some promising explorations of grassroots political culture that show that it is not just in India where quasi-democratic activity has hidden under a reputation for absolute monarchy. Perhaps the best example is the recent study of the Urabi revolt in late Ottoman Egypt in the s by Juan Cole. Muhlberger, Republics and Quasi-Democratic Institutions in Ancient India Organized groups which eventually became involved in resistance to colonialism were in origin bodies who used quasi-democratic procedures granted, under government supervision and sometimes inspiration to regulate their own economic affairs -- urban guilds being the most easily documented of such groups.

Outside observers were convinced that Egypt was an utter despotism and that that Egyptians had lost the ability to govern themselves millennia ago with the fall of the last dynasty of native pharaohs. Yet they were wrong: a re-evaluation of events and actors shows that this easy generalization is quite untrue. Egyptians at all social levels reacted to the economic and political difficulties of the late nineteenth century by spontaneously organizing themselves, sometimes on foreign models e.

As Cole demonstrates, an indigenous ability to self-organize was characteristic of Egyptian society. Further, the urban Egyptian guilds were hardly unique to that country, but existed in various forms throughout the Ottoman Empire, another famous absolutist state Cole, Likewise in Persia: in the early twentieth century, the first great Iranian revolution against an ineffective monarchy under European pressure originated in an alliance between the bazaaris of Tehran, the religious leaders of the capital and foreign-educated intellectuals who believed that democracy by that name was the only hope for the country to escape its backward condition.

Local issues, local institutions, and local political habits combined with an awareness of movements and challenges in the larger world to fuel an attempt to create a more inclusive and more just form of government Kurzman, Ancient India and modern have since provided material to show that there is more room in any culture for democratic development than pessimists would allow.

India as Known to Panini: A study of the cultural material in the Ashatadhyayi 2 ed. Varanasi: Prithvi Prakashan. Altekar, A. State and Government in Ancient India, 3 ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Bhandarkar, D. Calcutta: University of Calcutta. Cole, J. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.

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Cowell, E. Oxford: Pali Text Society. Drekmeier, C. Kingship and Community in Early India. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Forrest, W. The Emergence of Greek Democracy, B. New York: McGraw-Hill. Ghoshal, U. A History of Indian Public Life, vol. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hyde, J. Martin's Press. Bangalore: Bangalore Print. Published first in article form in Shamasastry, Trans. Mysore Mysore Printing and Publishing House.

Kurzman, C. Democracy Denied, Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy. Maine, H. New York: Arno Press. Majumdar, A. Then that man laid aside his sword and his shield, took off his bow and his quiver, and went up to the Blessed One; and falling at his feet, he said to the Blessed One: 'Transgression, Lord, has overcome me even according to my folly, my stupidity, and my unrighteousness, in that I have come hither with evil and with murderous intent. May the Blessed One accept the confession I make of my sin in its sinfulness, to the end that in future I may restrain myself therefrom!

But since you, my friend, look upon your sin as sin, and duly make amends for it, we do accept your confession of it. For this, O friend, is progress in the discipline of the Noble One, that he who has seen his sin to be sin makes amends for it as is meet, and becomes able in future to restrain himself therefrom [ 45 ]. And the Blessed One said to the man: 'Do not, my friend, leave me by that path.

Go by this path. He is delaying long. On seeing him they went up to the place where he was, and saluted him, and took their seats on one side. To them also the Blessed One discoursed, [and they were converted as the other man had been, and he sent them back by another way. And the same thing occurred as to the four, and the eight, and the sixteen men [ 47 ].

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Great is the power Iddhi [ 48 ] and might of the Blessed One. Now at that time the Blessed One was walking up and down meditating in the shade below [ 49 ] the mountain called the Vulture's Peak.

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And Devadatta climbed up the Vulture's Peak, and hurled down a mighty rock with the intention of depriving the Blessed One of life. But two mountain peaks came together and stopped that rock and only a splinter [ 50 ] falling from it made the foot of the Blessed One to bleed [ 51 ]. And he [did so], and they came, and saluted the Blessed One, and took their seats on one side. And the elephant saw the Blessed One coming from the distance; and as soon as it saw him, it rushed towards the Blessed One with uplifted trunk, and with its tail and ears erect.

Be not alarmed. And those of them who were unbelievers and without faith or insight, said, 'Truly the countenance of the great Sama n a is beautiful; but the elephant will do him a hurt [ 56 ]. And the Blessed One, stroking the elephant's forehead with his right hand, addressed him in these stanzas:. And at that time the people sung these verses:. The people were angry, murmured, and became indignant, saying, 'How can the Sakyaputtiya Sama n as live on food that they ask for at people's houses? Who is not fond of well-cooked food? Who does not like sweet things?

A Bhikkhu who shall enjoy an alms in parties of more than three, shall be dealt with according to law [ 66 ]. How can we [do such a thing]? The following five things, Lord, conduce to such a condition [ 07 ]. It would be good, Lord, if the Bhikkhus should be, their lives long, dwellers in the woods--if whosoever goes to the neighbourhood of a village should thereby commit an offence.

It would be good if they should, their lives long, beg for alms--if whosoever should accept an invitation, should thereby commit an offence. It would be good if they should clothe themselves, their lives long, in cast-off rags--if whosoever should accept a gift of robes from a layman [ 71 ] , should thereby commit an offence.

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It would be good if they should dwell, their lives long, under the trees [ 72 ] --if whosoever should sleep under a roof, should thereby commit an offence. It would be good if they should, their lives long, abstain from fish [ 73 ] --if whosoever should [] eat fish, should thereby commit an offence. Then will we gain over the people by means thereof.

For the people believe in rough measures. Whosoever wishes to do so, let him dwell in the woods; whosoever wishes to do so, let him dwell in the neighbourhood of a village. Whosoever wishes to do so, let him beg for alms; whosoever wishes to do so, let him accept invitations from the laity. Whosoever wishes to do so, let him dress in rags; whosoever wishes to do so, let him receive gifts of robes from laymen.

Sleeping under trees has been allowed by me, Devadatta, for eight months in the year; and the eating of fish that is pure in the three points--to wit, that the eater has not seen, or heard, or suspected that it has been caught for that purpose. And Devadatta, pleased and delighted that the Blessed One had refused the five demands, arose from his seat, and keeping him on his right hand as he passed him, departed thence with his friends. He would not allow them, but we live in accordance with them.

Thou hast gone far enough, [] Devadatta. Grievous, O Devadatta, is such division.

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Then the Blessed One, when he heard that, gave utterance at that time to this expression of strong emotion:. These the Sama n a Gotama will not allow; but we live in accordance therewith. Whosoever of the venerable ones approves of the Five Things, let him take a ticket.

These took the voting-tickets, believing [the Five Points to be according to] the Dhamma, and the Vinaya, and the teaching of the Master. Go therefore, both of you, before they have fallen into entire destruction. Then at that time a certain Bhikkhu, standing not far from the Blessed One, began to weep. They are gone only to gain those Bhikkhus over again [ 81 ] :. Sit thou here! My back is tired, and I would stretch myself a little. And Devadatta spread his waist-cloth folded in four on the ground, and lay down on his right side.

And in a moment even sleep overcame him who was tired, and had lost his presence of mind and his self-consciousness [ 83 ]. And whilst they were being so taught and exhorted those Bhikkhus obtained the pure and spotless Eye of the Truth [ 84 ] -- that is, the knowledge that whatsoever has a beginning, in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution.

Whosoever approves of his doctrine Dhamma , let him come. Then hot blood came forth from Devadatta's mouth [ 85 ]. But rather cause such Bhikkhus to confess that they have committed a thulla k k aya offence. Some elephants dwelt beside it; and they, plunging into the pond, plucked with their trunks the edible stalks of the lotus plants, washed them till they were quite clean [ 86 ] , masticated them [ 87 ] without any dirt, and so eat them up. And that produced in them both beauty and strength, and by reason thereof they neither went down into death, nor into any sorrow like unto death.

Now among those great elephants, O Bhikkhus, there were young elephant calves, who also, in imitation of those others, plunged into that pond, and plucked with their trunks the edible stalks of the lotus plants; but they did not wash them till they were clean, but masticated them, dirt and all, and so eat them up.

And that produced in them [] neither beauty nor strength; and by reason thereof they went down into death, and into sorrows like unto death. Just so, O Bhikkhus, will Devadatta die who, poor creature, is emulating me. That shakes the earth, and eats the lotus plant, and watches through the night among the waters [ 89 ] And what are the eight? The Bhikkhu, O Bhikkhus, must be able to hear and to make others listen, able to learn, able to bear in mind, able to discern and to make others discern, skilful to deal with friends and foes, and no maker of quarrels.

These are the eight qualifications of which when a Bhikkhu is possessed, he is worthy, O Bhikkhus, to do the work of an emissary. He is overcome, his mind is taken up by gain, by want of gain, by fame, by want of fame, by honour, by want of honour, by his having wicked desires, and by his having wicked friends. These, O Bhikkhus, are the eight evil conditions by which Devadatta being overcome, and his mind being taken up, he is irretrievably doomed to remain for a Kalpa in states of suffering and woe.

And for what reason [ 93 ]? Let us then, O Bhikkhus, continue in complete ascendancy over any gain or loss, any fame or the reverse, any honour or dishonour, any evil longing or evil friendship, that may accrue to us. And thus, O Bhikkhus, should you train yourselves. There are three evil conditions, O Bhikkhus, by which Devadatta being overcome, and his mind being taken up, he is irretrievably doomed to remain for a Kalpa in states of suffering and woe. And what are the three? Edward Henry Palmer, tr. Maurice Bloomfield, tr. Julius Eggeling, tr. Julius Jolly, tr. Idem, ed. New York, 2 vols.

Hermann Oldenberg, ed. James Darmesteter, tr. Lawrence Heyworth Mills, tr. Edward William West, tr. Four Lectures Delivered at the Royal Institution Niels Ludvig Westergaard, ed. The Zend Texts , Copenhagen, A Monthly Magazine The note written by the American publisher? I contains Fr. That may have been the extent of the reprint; no further reviews or notices seem to be online. Submitted tags will be reviewed by site administrator before it is posted online. If you enter several tags, separate with commas. Topic select a topic Bibliography : The complete list of the fifty volumes published in the series Sacred Books of the East is as follows, arrange by the general subject.

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Buddhism 10 vols. Confucianism 4 vols. Islam 2 vols.