The Dānakāṇḍa ("Book on gifting") of the Kṛtyakalpataru : a critical edition and annotated translation

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Brick, David James

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Throughout its long history, the Brahmanical literary tradition has demonstrated a deep concern with gifting and, thus, provides valuable data on this important institution in pre-modern South Asia. Significantly, this long tradition of reflection on the gift culminates in a class of texts called dānanibandhas, which start to appear in the early twelfth century CE and continue to be composed in widespread areas of the subcontinent until roughly the beginning of British rule. These dānanibandhas draw together, organize, and comment upon a vast array of earlier scriptures on dāna (Sanskrit: gift/gifting) and, therefore, represent a grand attempt to synthesize all earlier Brahmanical thought on the subject. Consequently, they are invaluable sources for the understanding of orthodox Brahmanical theories of the gift during much of South Asian history. Despite their potential value to modern scholarship, however, none of these texts has been translated into any Western language or even properly edited. Thus, the state of these primary sources greatly hampers any scholarly attempts at their analysis. This dissertation constitutes a first and crucial step toward remedying this situation, for it comprises a critical edition and annotated translation of the Dānakāṇḍa (“Book on Gifting”), the fifth section of the encyclopedic Kṛtyakalpataru of Lakṣmīdhara and the earliest extant dānanibandha. As a complement to this philological work, a more general study of Brahmanical theories of the gift with special emphasis on the early dānanibandhas has been included.




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