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GṛhasthaThe Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture$
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Patrick Olivelle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190696153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190696153.001.0001

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The Term Gṛhastha and the (Pre)history of the Householder

The Term Gṛhastha and the (Pre)history of the Householder

(p.3) 1 The Term Gṛhastha and the (Pre)history of the Householder

Stephanie W. Jamison

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the words for “householder” in Vedic and early Dharma texts, pointing out that the standard word for “householder” in the latter, Sanskrit gṛhastha, is not found in previous texts. This suggests that it is a new coinage to cover a new conceptual role. It further appears that the term was a Sanskritized borrowing from Middle Indo-Aryan, where its Middle Indo Aryan equivalent is found in the Aśokan inscriptions and in early Buddhist texts.

Keywords:   gṛhapati, pravrajita, householder, Aśoka, gṛhya ritual, lexical replacement

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