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Gṛhastha – The Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Gṛhastha: The Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture

Patrick Olivelle


Much has been written about the Indian ascetic, but hardly any scholarly attention has been paid to the householder, generally referred to in Sanskrit as gṛhastha, “the stay-at-home.” The institution of the householder is viewed implicitly as posing little historical problems with regard to its origin or meaning. The current volume problematizes the figure of the householder within ancient Indian culture and religion. It shows that the term gṛhastha is a neologism and is understandable only in its opposition to the ascetic who goes away from home (pravrajita). Through a thorough and comprehens ... More

Keywords: Book, gṛhastha, householder, śāstra, Vedas, Aśoka, kāvya

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190696153
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190696153.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patrick Olivelle, editor
Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin