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Art, beauty and the business of running a buddhist monastery in early northwest India

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Chapter Summary

This chapter overviews Early North India dates, dynasties, denominations and deities. The Buddhist monk in Early North India, and in this monastic code, did not look like the caricature found in modern scholarly sources will come as no surprise to those who know well what he left behind in his living quarters. The monk that we will see in this code is a construction-foreman, an art promoter, a banker, an entrepreneur, sometimes a shyster, and sometimes a saint. In the Early Northwest other views appear to have been expressed by dissident monks who would come to form what we call "the Mahāyāna", but they like St. Bernard and for many of the same reasons appear at least originally not to have approved of art, and to have had little or no interest in promoting elaborate monasteries.

Keywords: Śayanāsanavastu; archeological record; Buddhist Monastery; epigraphical record; Kuṣāṇa period; Mūlasarvāstivāda-vinaya; Northwest India; vihāra



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