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Conclusions To Part III

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Chapter Summary

It is clear that, once one drops the requirements that the early Upanisads have to precede the beginnings of Buddhism and Jainism chronologically, and that the whole of Vedic literature has to precede Panini, the traditional structure of late-Vedic chronology collapses. This is no disadvantage, as the Part has demonstrated. Yajnavalkya-Kanda that introduces the notion of an immutable self cannot owe this notion to Buddhist influence, for the modified understanding of rebirth and karmic retribution in Buddhism has no place for such a self. The renewed uncertainty with regard to late-Vedic chronology will also give short shrift to summary statements of Brahmanical priority in the case of similarities between Brahmanical and Buddhist or Jaina texts. The modern scholarly discussion about non-violence is related to the question of asceticism in the three main traditions.

Keywords: Buddhism; Jainism; late-Vedic chronology

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