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Haunting the Buddha – Indian Popular Religion and the Formation of Buddhism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religion and the Formation of Buddhism

Robert DeCaroli


Although Buddhist monasteries are commonly understood as being institutions dedicated to non‐attachment and transcendence, the architectures of the earliest known monasteries are overwhelmingly decorated with sculptural images of minor deities and spirits directly associated with wealth, health and worldly success (yakshas, nagas, etc). This text refutes the notion that the presence of these deities is linked to periods of decline in Buddhism by demonstrating how the inclusion of these semi‐divine figures was part of an intentional process by which the Buddhist monastic community managed to at ... More

Keywords: Buddhism, Spirits, Yaksha, Naga, Monasteries, Patronage, Buddhist expansion, Supernatural

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780195168389
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005 DOI:10.1093/0195168380.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert DeCaroli, author
George Mason University
Author Webpage