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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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Householders, Holy and Otherwise, in the Nı̄ti and Kāma Literature

Householders, Holy and Otherwise, in the Nı̄ti and Kāma Literature

(p.150) 9 Householders, Holy and Otherwise, in the Nı̄ti and Kāma Literature

Mark McClish

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the use of terms for the “householder” in the extant nīti (statecraft) and kāma (erotics) texts of the classical period. It examines the word gṛhastha (“householder”), its synonyms gṛhamedhin, gṛhāśramin, and gṛhin, and its derivative gārhasthya (“householdership”). The chapter looks also at three other words for the “householder,” namely gṛhapatika, gṛhasvāmin, and kuṭumbin, which among these texts occur only in the Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya. The gṛhastha, as the holy householder depicted in the āśrama system, sits on the margins of both statecraft and erotics as technical disciplines. It is pertinent only to what might be considered the ideological framework in which the technical heart of each tradition is embedded.

Keywords:   statecraft, nīti, Arthaśāstra, erotics, Kāmasūtra, householder, ideology, technical disciplines, śāstra

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