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Riven by LustIncest and Schism in Indian Buddhist Legend and Historiography$
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Jonathan A. Silk

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824830908

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824830908.001.0001

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Incest and Schism

Incest and Schism

(p.1) 1 Incest and Schism
Riven by Lust

Jonathan A. Silk

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter introduces the core narrative of the man called Mahādeva, who had a love affair with his mother and killed his father. It explores how and why this story provides a good point of departure for asking questions about the development of sectarian Buddhism in India on the one hand, and the putative universality of social or psychological norms with respect to incest on the other. It suggests that the story of Mahādeva represents an intentional modification of an earlier tale, in particular through an intensified and refocused depiction of the protagonist's evil character. The tale of a victimized youth seduced by his mother was transformed into the story of a sexually and physically violent aggressor.

Keywords:   Indian Buddhism, sectarian Buddhism, incest, murder, Mahādeva

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