Education in Ancient India - Handbook of Oriental Studies

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Education in Ancient India

HARTMUT SCHARFE

BRILL

EDUCATION IN ANCIENT INDIA

HANDBOOK OF ORIENTAL STUDIES
HANDBUCH DER ORIENTALISTIK SECTION TWO

INDIA INDIEN
EDITED BY

J. BRONKHORST

VOLUME SIXTEEN EDUCATION IN ANCIENT INDIA

EDUCATION IN ANCIENT INDIA
BY

HARTMUT SGHARFE

BRILL LEIDEN • BOSTON • KOLN 2002

This book is printed on acid-free paper. On the cover: A Jain Sermon : painting from Sirohi (Rajasthan), circa 1650-1675 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Museum Associates Purchase).

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Scharfe, Hartmut. Education in ancient India / by Hartmut Scharfe. p. cm. — (Handbook of oriental studies. Section two, India = Handbuch der Orientalistik. Indien ; v. 16.) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 9004125566 1. Education—India—History. 2. Education, Ancient—India. I. Title. II. Handbuch der Orientalistik. Zweite Abteilung, Indien ; 16. Bd. LA36 .838 2002 370'.954—dc211 2002018456

Die Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufnahme Scharfe, Hartmut :

Education in ancient India / by Hartmut Scharfe. - Leiden ; Boston ; Koln : Brill, 2002 (Handbuch der Orientalistik : Abt. '2, Indien ; Bd. 16 ) ISBN 90-04-12556-6

ISSN 0169-9377 ISBN 9004125566 © Copyright 2002 by KomnUijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in anyform or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy itemsfor internal or personal use is granted by Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910 Danvers MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. PRINTED IN THE NETHERLANDS

CONTENTS Chapter 1: Education as a Topic Chapter 2: The Oral Tradition Chapter 3: Content of the Tradition - Revealed and Observed Chapter 4: The Final Goal of Education Chapter 5: Modern Apologists Chapter 6: Training in Early Childhood Chapter 7: Initiation Chapter 8: Tutorials and acarya-kula-s Chapter 9: From Monasteries to Universities Chapter 10: From Temple Schools to Universities Chapter 11: Admission and the Right to Teach and to Study Chapter 12: The Study Chapter 13: Memorizing the Veda Chapter 14: Professional Training Chapter 15: The Teachers Chapter 16: The Close of Study Chapter 17: Various Languages Chapter 18: Education and the Indian Character Abbreviations Bibliography Indices: Texts Authors Historical and Fictional Persons Places Schools Indian terms Topics Illustrations 1 8 38 47 64 71 87 115 131 166 194 212 240 252 277 290 302 313 322 324 331 334 337 339 341 342 348 357

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CHAPTER ONE EDUCATION AS A TOPIC An author setting out to write a handbook on Indian education, or religion, or literature finds himself somewhat in the position of a Vedic poet who in a hymn to Agni praises him as the highest god, and next showers similar praise on Indra in an Indra hymn. Max Miiller considered this a "peculiar character of the ancient Vedic religion which I have tried to characterize as Henotheism or Kathenotheism, a successive belief in single supreme gods".1 It would be wrong to consider this "unabashed opportunism." For the Vedic poet was not really an opportunist: under different viewpoints, in different situations, one god or the other could indeed assume paramount status. Religion has long been regarded as the dominant feature of Indian culture (note Friedrich Schlegel's statement "If you want to see religion you should travel to India"),2 the complicated social structure has fascinated others, the arts and literature and Indian achievements in grammar and medicine or mathematics may appear as the crowning glory of India - and yet they all depend on education in the widest sense,...
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