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Urban Versus Rural Culture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses two difficulties that remain in the way of simply accepting a more recent date for texts such as the early Upanisads. One of these difficulties is the mention of cities and towns in the early Buddhist texts where the late-Vedic texts do not give any signs of being aware of their existence. The second difficulty is linked to the fact that Vedic thought, is very different from, and much more "primitive" than, the thought which we find in the early Buddhist texts. First of all it must be re-emphasized that these difficulties are associated with a comparison of two bodies of literature: the late-Vedic texts and the early Buddhist texts. The South Asian subcontinent, after the first urbanization connected with the Indus valley civilization, remained without urban centres for more than a thousand years. The second urbanization began around middle of the first millennium.

Keywords: Buddhist texts; late-Vedic texts; rural culture; Upanisads; urbanization



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