A háborús borzalmak gyönyöre? Saiva és buddhista retorika kelet-dekkáni földadományozó táblákon - The Domestication of “Hindu” Asceticism and the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia - ERC n°809994 Access content directly
Journal Articles Keletkutatás Year : 2023

Delighting in the horrors of warfare? Śaiva and Buddhist rhetoric in copperplate land grants of the Eastern Deccan

A háborús borzalmak gyönyöre? Saiva és buddhista retorika kelet-dekkáni földadományozó táblákon


While Buddhism flourished in the Eastern Deccan up to about the turn of the fourth century CE, royal patronage to Buddhist institutions began to dwindle after the Ikṣvāku dynasty. Recent decades have seen the discovery of several Buddhist grants of the Viṣṇukuṇḍins and King Śrīmūla, but it appears that devotion to Śiva and support of Śaiva institutions increasingly replaced earlier Buddhist sentiments. As far as we can tell, Buddhism received no royal support under the Eastern Cālukyas, nor indeed for some time before their arrival on the Āndhra scene in the second quarter of the seventh century. There are many (though little studied) indications that former Buddhist key sites of the region were co-opted into the service of Śaivism. It has been suggested that Śaiva ideas of kingship, endorsing conquest by war and the divine nature of the king, were received more favourably by rulers than their Buddhist counterparts (such as those outlined by Nāgārjuna and Candrakīrti), which prioritised generosity, discipline and non-violence, and that this dichotomy can be detected in the discursive practice of royal inscriptions such as those of the Viṣṇukuṇḍins and the Cālukyas. This paper takes a closer look at some of the actual inscriptions and analyses the concepts and qualities that the composers of the praśastis wished to foreground while eulogising their kings in Buddhist and Brahmanical grants. Classifying these descriptive items into categories such as “martiality”, “divinity”, “aptitude”, and “morality”, I compare the frequency with which these categories occur in various copperplate grants of the early mediaeval Eastern Deccan. Admittedly, the sample of inscriptions is too small, and the concepts involved too fuzzy, for the findings to have statistical significance. Nonetheless, they furnish some tangible evidence for the theory that the language of power used in these inscriptions was a shared cultural phenomenon of the time and region, varying to some extent depending on the dynasty of the issuer, but without appreciable variation driven by the religious affiliation of the grant. Rather than saying, “kings were more responsive to a Śaiva rhetoric than to a Buddhist one”, it is probably more appropriate to say first that “Śaivism was more responsive to a royal rhetoric than Buddhism”.
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halshs-04099195 , version 1 (22-05-2023)


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Dániel Balogh. A háborús borzalmak gyönyöre? Saiva és buddhista retorika kelet-dekkáni földadományozó táblákon. Keletkutatás, 2023, 2022 (1), pp.21-49. ⟨10.24391/KELETKUT.2022.1.21⟩. ⟨halshs-04099195⟩
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