God As Political Philosopher

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Ilaiah demystifies Buddha whom he sees as a man and not a god and as India's first social revolutionary. Critical of the caste system, Buddha inducted low caste members into the sangha and made them his trusted advisers. Dissent was given a constructive place. In contrast with contemporary Hindu society, Buddha gave women an honoured place in the sangha. Pre-dating Socrates and Plato by years, Buddha also foreshadowed key elements of their philosophy and propounded theories of the state, the individual, and the role of society with the signal difference that he also put his ideas into practice. But European scholarship sought to deny his relevance as a thinker, while nationalistic Hindu historiography sought to subsume his achievements into a monolithic Hindu past.
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Ilaiah demystifies Buddha whom he sees as a man and not a god and as India's first social revolutionary. Critical of the caste system, Buddha inducted low caste members into the sangha and made them his trusted advisers. Dissent was given a constructive place. In contrast with contemporary Hindu society, Buddha gave women an honoured place in the sangha. Pre-dating Socrates and Plato by years, Buddha also foreshadowed key elements of their philosophy and propounded theories of the state, the individual, and the role of society with the signal difference that he also put his ideas into practice. But European scholarship sought to deny his relevance as a thinker, while nationalistic Hindu historiography sought to subsume his achievements into a monolithic Hindu past.
Author : KANCHA ILAIAH
Published By : MANDIRA SEN FOR SAMYA
Published Year : 2004
Total Pages : 244

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