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Dear Colleagues, With this I am posting to our list the announcement of a new book, Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India, on behalf of the author, Giovanni Verardi. With best wishes, Giuliana Martini Title: Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India Author: Giovanni Verardi ISBN: 9788173049286 List Price: Rs 1,295.00 First Published: 2011 Pages: 523p. Edition: Hardbound URL: http://www.manoharbooks.com/Search.asp?r1=all&searchon=isbn&searchtext=9788173049286 Book description Hardships and Downfall of Buddhism in India examines the reasons of the structural subalternity of Indian Buddhism to Brahmanism, and the mechanisms, characterized by intimidation and violence, which led to its downfall in India. The analysis focuses on some crucial historical junctions. The first is the policy of the Guptas, still mistakenly perceived as favourable, or at least not hostile to the religion of the Buddhist Dharma. Instead, it is in Gupta times that we witness, among other things, the destruction of Nagarjunakonda and the emergence of a married clergy as an alternative to the ancient renunciate celibate model based on the Vinaya. The focus then moves on the legal fallout of the doctrinal debates that, especially after the death of Harṣavardhana, took place between the Buddhists and the Brahmans. The debates, increasingly conditioned by the prejudicial theistic stance of Pāśupatas and Bhāgavatas, became occasions to get rid of the monastic elite. The scenario in which the repression of the Buddhists and of the social sectors to which they gave representation took place, is the gradual taking possession by the Brahmans of the entire agrarian horizon. With the Vajrayāna, seen as the theoretical and operational answer to the attacks on the religion, a strict relationship was created between Buddhists, natives and outcastes, which led to a long, fierce war that characterized the period from the eighth to the twelfth century. This is most clearly observable along the fault line, passing approximately along the Vindhyas, which divided the Brahmanic kingdoms of the Deccan and the territories controlled by the Buddhists (Magadha, Bengal and upper Orissa). Finally, the discussion moves on the game of three that was played when the Muslims broke onto the scene. When the orthodox realized that they would have never been able to defeat the invaders and that the welding between Muslims and Buddhists, already successfully tested in eighth-century Sind, was resurfacing in the Gangetic India of the twelfth century, they accepted Muslim rule in exchange for the extirpation of Buddhism and the repression of the social sectors in revolt. Contrary to what is usually believed, the great monasteries of Gangetic India, from Sarnath to Vikramaśīla, from Odantapurī to Nālandā, were not destroyed by the Muslims, but appropriated and transformed by the Brahmans with only the occasional intervention of the Muslim forces. Sources The sources resorted to are mostly Brahmanical, and include the allegorical narrations of the Purāṇas, the poems of the Tamil saints and other hagiographic material. Medieval iconographies provide us with a large amount of evidence that only rarely has been evaluated in its historical and social impact. Relevant archaeological evidence on the sites of Bodhgaya and Sarnath is discussed in the two appendices. Contents Introduction I. HISTORICAL PARADIGMS The Paradigm of Discovery Allegories Fieldwork The Worm Within The Paradigm of Exoticism The Years of Independence Another India Paradigms of Oblivion II. THE OPEN SOCIETY Buddhism versus Upaniṣad-s: the Gnostic Perspective The Freedom of the Indian Ocean Aśoka or the Chances of Despotism Kaniṣka and Harṣavardhana Closing the Society: Violence and New Strategies Pāṣaṇḍa-s and nāstika-s III. THE GUPTA SPHINX Questioning the Sphinx The Fulfillment of a Duty Vilification, Responses and the Rift in the New Yāna The Gods in Arms A Landscape with Ruins IV. A PERIOD WHICH IS NOT PLEASANT TO CONTEMPLATE Preliminary The Logicians and the Split of the Brāhmaṇavarṇa The Logic of the Saints Elephant Hunting and Beheading Military Training On the Fault Line: the mahāvrata of the Kāpālikas The Bhāgavatas and Pāśupatas in Nepal V. BATTLEFIELDS AND YĀJÑA-S The Blood of the asura-s The Massacre of the Kṣatriyas and the Battle of Bodhgayā On the Fault Line: Bhairava, the Goddess, the yoginī-s Pacified Kingdoms A Way Out of the Siege: the Buddhist Reaction VI. THE DAYS OF RECKONING The Householder Monks Social and Sexual Insubordination Sind as a Test The Game of the tīrthika-s The Siṃhala Monks The Last Buddhist of Orissa and Bengal Appendix 1 – The Brahmanical Temple of Bodhgayā (F. Barba) Appendix 2 – Sarnath: a Reassessment of the Archaeological Evidence with Particular Reference to the Final Phase of the Site (F. Barba) Bibliography Index The author The book is the work of Giovanni Verardi, who, as a member of Is.I.A.O. (Rome), has carried out excavations in Afghanistan, Nepal and China, as well as extensive surveys and research work in India and Pakistan. Giovanni Verardi was been professor of Indian Archaeology and Archaeology of Central Asia at the University of Naples. The appendices are by Federica Barba, an independent scholar based in Rome. -- H-Buddhism (Buddhist Scholars Information Network) Web Site: http://www.h-net.org/~buddhism Posting Guidelines: http://www.h-net.org/~buddhism/posting_guidelines.html Account Handling: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-buddhism