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Alf Hiltebeitel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834661

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834661.001.0001

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Dharma and Bhakti

Dharma and Bhakti

(p.124) Chapter 9 Dharma and Bhakti

Alf Hiltebeitel

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter studies the relationship between dharma and bhakti in epics. There are two interrelated practices or discourses where dharma and bhakti coincide that go to the heart of what epics are about: hospitality and friendship. In reformulating hospitality and friendship as dharma, the dharmasūtras and Manu all sought to harmonize custom with Vedic practices and discourses, and so did the epics. How society is ordered is one thing. How people get along is another. That was encouraged by invoking hospitality and friendship among the more open and flexible civilizational discourses and practices familiar as custom throughout South Asian ārya culture under countless local and regional variations. These are spiritual discourses and practices that the Buddha himself relied on rather than criticized.

Keywords:   dharma, bhakti, hospitality, friendship, dharmasūtras, Manu, Vedic practices, Vedic discourses, epics, South Asian ārya culture

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