Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
54 | 2018

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
54 | 2018

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chevron_rightLingue e culture del Medio ed Estremo Oriente

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en

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chevron_right1125-3789

e-ISSN
chevron_right2385-3042

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Vol. 54 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2018

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Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale | 54 | 2018

Bṛhaspati and the Barhaspatyas

Ramkrishna Bhattacharya
Pavlov Institute, Calcutta, India
ramkrishna.bhattacharya@gmail.com

DOI 10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2018/01/008

Submitted 29 Apr 2017
Accepted 08 Mar 2018

Abstract

The name of Bṛhaspati is associated with the materialist doctrine in India. He is supposed to be the preceptor of the gods. It was in order to help them in their battle against the demons that he created the materialist doctrine and thereby deluded the demons. This story, Puranic in origin, can be traced back to a late Upaniṣad, Maitrī. However, the story given in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and other sources does not contain anything specifically materialistic; all the heretical doctrines preached by Māyāmoha appear to be pre-existing; the Jains and the Buddhists are particularly mentioned, not the Lokāyatikas or the Cārvākas. More interestingly, in some other later sources, Bṛhaspati does not seem to be a god or a demi-god; he is as much a human as Kapila, Gautama and other founders of philosophical systems are. This trend of treating Bṛhaspati as a human is found in Kṛṣṇamiśra’s play, the Prabodhacandrodaya. He belongs to the camp of Kali. Whatever be the identity of Bṛhaspati, his attribution to materialism is inappropriate and has got nothing to do with the development of materialism in India.

Keywords
Bṛhaspati. Heretics. Materialism. Māyāmoha. Purāṇas.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Bhattacharya Ramkrishna

dc.title

Bṛhaspati and the Barhaspatyas

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

en

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/2385-3042/2018/001/08

dc.description.abstract

The name of Bṛhaspati is associated with the materialist doctrine in India. He is supposed to be the preceptor of the gods. It was in order to help them in their battle against the demons that he created the materialist doctrine and thereby deluded the demons. This story, Puranic in origin, can be traced back to a late Upaniṣad, Maitrī. However, the story given in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and other sources does not contain anything specifically materialistic; all the heretical doctrines preached by Māyāmoha appear to be pre-existing; the Jains and the Buddhists are particularly mentioned, not the Lokāyatikas or the Cārvākas. More interestingly, in some other later sources, Bṛhaspati does not seem to be a god or a demi-god; he is as much a human as Kapila, Gautama and other founders of philosophical systems are. This trend of treating Bṛhaspati as a human is found in Kṛṣṇamiśra’s play, the Prabodhacandrodaya. He belongs to the camp of Kali. Whatever be the identity of Bṛhaspati, his attribution to materialism is inappropriate and has got nothing to do with the development of materialism in India.

dc.relation.ispartof

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 54 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2018

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

2018-06-25

dc.dateAccepted

2017-04-29

dc.dateSubmitted

2018-03-08

dc.identifier.issn

1125-3789

dc.identifier.eissn

2385-3042

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Bṛhaspati

dc.subject

Heretics

dc.subject

Materialism

dc.subject

Māyāmoha

dc.subject

Purāṇas

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54 | 2018

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