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India: The Monastic Path
Country Study > Chapter 3 > Religious Life > The Monastic Path

THE MONASTIC PATH


By about 500 B.C., some teachers had moved so far down the path of liberation that they no longer viewed the standard perception of life in the social world as valid for the dedicated spiritual devotee. They formed communities of religious renunciants (shramanas) who withdrew from the world and evolved a full-time monastic discipline. The most successful of these early communities, the Jains (or, in Sanskrit, Jaina) and the Buddhists, rejected the value of the Vedas and created independent textual traditions based on the words and examples of their early teachers, eventually evolving entirely new ways for interacting with the lay community.




Last Updated: September 1995


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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