Full Text

Ajivaka


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


Extract

[ xvii ] A member of an Indian religion founded by G osala ( fl. c. 500 bce). The Ajivakas were influential during the Mauryan period (3rd–2nd centuries bce ) but largely disappeared from north India after the 2nd century bce , surviving in south India on a small scale until about the 15th century. Ajivaka doctrines are known only from hostile sources, but they were evidently closely related to the J ains and probably played some part in the evolution of the V aisheshika. The Ajivakas were naked ascetics, undertaking severe austerities. A late source gives the four cardinal points of the faith as (1) the Lord, i.e. Gosala, (2) the categories ( padartha ), (3) the modifications and (4) the scriptures. The Ajivakas seem to have been the first Indian school to develop a form of atomism, involving seven kinds of permanent ‘atoms’. [Standard work: 10] ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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