From Varna to Jati (Part 3) – Y.Naveen Babu

This is the third and last part of Martyr Comrade Naveen Babu’s MPhil dissertation. To read the second part, click here.


Transformation from Pastoral to Agrarian Social Formation

The transformation period is characterized by the dissolution of the old economic base and institutions and the emergence of new ones. During the transition period, both the old and the new institutions coexist. Tension exists between the old institutions (which try to preserve themselves) and the new institutions (which are emerging as dominant by condemning and weakening the social base of the old institutions). In India, the transition from pastoral to agrarian society was a long process extending over more than five centuries. In this work, the transition is assumed to be completed when the main institutions that are characteristic of the new social forma-tion have become dominant institutions, i.e., the end of the Mauryan pe-riod by which time the basic institutions like state, village community, jati, etc., have emerged as the dominant institutions. The transition has its roots in the later Rg Vedic period, where we find the increasing references to ag-riculture, but it has progressed more rapidly in the later Vedic period. Even though agriculture was increasing in the later Vedic period, pastoralism has still retained its importance and Vedic rituals still had their prominence. The post-Vedic period saw the decline of pastoralism and Vedic rituals and institutions like tribe, etc., and the strengthening of agricultural activities along with state, jati, and other institutions.



The change of river courses1, increase in population, conflicts between tribes which resulted in the subjugation of the defeated tribes, and the increasing inequalities within the Aryan tribes necessitated the migration of people towards east — the land of Kurus and panchalas, covering the major part of the western U.P. Haryana, and the neighbouring parts of Punjab and Rajasthan2. The later Vedic texts were composed here and re-fer to the changing social conditions in this region. The later Vedic period signifies settled agriculture in this region and the seeds of the new soci-ety are sown in this period. Both pastoralism and agriculture coexisted during this period. Painted Grey Ware (PGW) shreds were found in this region along with other wares such as black-and-red ware, black-slipped ware, red ware, and plain grey ware3. This signifies the existence of non-Aryan cultures in this region and also tallies with the later Vedic accounts. Small quantities of iron are found in PGW layers but during this period it is used mainly for spearheads, arrowheads, hooks, etc. Even these iron artefacts existed only in small numbers. These iron weapons were in the possession of a limited group of people — the chiefs and the warriors. The use of iron in agriculture had not yet started.4 It is only in the post-Vedic period in the middle Ganga Valley iron implements were used for agricultural purposes. In the later Vedic period, wooden plough-share was used in agriculture on a considerable scale. “The ploughshare made of Khadira was asked in prayer to confer cows, goats, children and grain to the people.”5 The texts refer to four, six, eight, twelve and even twenty-four oxen being yoked to the plough to break the soil. The later Vedic society has produced barley, rice, bean-pulse, sesamum and millet.6 Beef has remained as the main item of food during this period.

Even though non-Aryan people had been practicing agriculture from pre-Rg Vedic period onwards, it is with the involvement of Aryan people agriculture has increased and slowly became the main form of economic activity in the post-Vedic period replacing pastoralism. As we have mentioned earlier, it is the migrant warrior groups who have first taken up agriculture with the help of dasa labour force. The fact that agriculture pays better than pastoralism quickly influenced other tribes, which have immediately followed suit. Nevertheless, in the initial stages of settled agriculture, pastoralism retained its importance. Agriculture could not be developed on a large scale during this period because of two reasons. Firstly, iron has not yet come into usage for agricultural pur-poses, without which it is not possible to clear the marsh forests; and secondly, labour force at this stage is not available in large scale.



Before we discuss the social organization of the later Vedic period, it is necessary to clarify a few points about the theory of four Varnas. This theory of four Varnas refers to the broad divisions of the society in the later Vedic period.7 But this theory did not take into consideration the rising specializations and the changes that have been taking place in the later Vedic period. It was given a mythical status by incorporating it in the Purusasukta of Rg Veda. This theory was consciously furthered and used as an ideology by brahmanas to further their interests. Because of the ideological implications, we cannot take for granted whatever this theory says. But, at the same time, we cannot altogether overrule the significance of this theory (even though it is an ideological construction and distorts the reality) because this theory reacted powerfully upon facts.8 Moreover, brahminical writings of this period are the main sources, which pro-vide information about the social conditions during later Vedic period. For these reasons, we have to carefully choose the facts presented in this theory by tallying them with other sources (even if they belong to later periods) as well as with the archaeological evidence available.

Land was mainly owned or controlled by the warrior groups who cleared it with the help of dasas and non-warrior Aryan tribal members (except brahmanas). During this period agriculture has been developed on two lines: some warriors or Kshatriyas have taken up agriculture but at the same time participated in the tribal wars. These are mainly the earlier defeated warriors who have migrated to new areas in search of alternative means of production. These “warrior-peasants” or “kshatriya-peasants” have also used dasas as labour force in agricultural activities.9 There are other warriors who only cleared land and settled non-warrior (non-brahman and non-craftsmen) Aryan tribal members on these lands as agriculturalists. Even here dasas served as the labour force. It is this later division, which might have given rise to the four Varna theory. Based on this, in the four Varna theory, the society was divided into brahmanas (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), vaisyas (traced to the earlier vis who were settled in agriculture by the warriors) and sudras (all servile groups). But this arrangement of the society has not remained perma-nent as we tried to show in the theory of four Varnas. A number of other occupational groups were emerging at this period, which the theory fails to take into account. The theory also fails to take into account the other line of development where warriors or kshatriyas themselves have taken up agriculture. It is our contention that this later line of development (i.e.,kshatriya-peasant or proto-gana-samgha formation) has contin-ued throughout later Vedic period and ultimately manifested in gana-samghas of the middle Ganga Valley where kshatriya-peasants engaged in agriculture with dasa workers.

The brahminical sources of the later Vedic period did not mention anything about the existence of proto-gana-samgha formations.10 It is only in the Pali sources the gana-samghas are prominently mentioned. Pali sources mention gana-samghas as powerful oligarchies existing along with the emerging monarchies. This suggests that gana-samghas had a history before post-Vedic period, because they would not have become dominant only in the post-Vedic period. Pali sources did not mention anything suggesting that gana-samghas have newly emerged in the post-Vedic period. This shows that in the later Vedic period the brahminical writings have consciously avoided any reference to other systems that existed along with the system that was described in four Varna theory.11 This is also evident from the fact that while Buddhist and Jain sources mention about the existence of 62 major philosophical sects in post-Vedic period, brahminical sources consciously avoid mentioning of others as far as possible.12

Since later Vedic brahminical sources do not talk of kshatriya-peas-ant or proto-gana-samgha formation, the account that follows here is of the social organization mentioned in the theory of four Varnas or proto-monarchical system. Initially, following the tribal tradition, the kshatriya group had collective rights over the land (or rather the produce of this land) cleared by it or under its supervision. This is evident from the fact that the chief can grant the land or settle others on the land only with the prior permission of the clan.13 But the peasant settlements have taken place on the family basis. Each family was given a particular piece of land to cultivate with its own family labour and that of dasa labourers. Thus, in these new settlements, where agriculture has become a major economic activity, clan was giving way to the family. Kshatriyas as the settlers of the Aryan members on agricultural land extracted surplus from them. This surplus extraction in the beginning was on the earlier lines of presentations. But new terms like bali have emerged, indicating the changing nature of surplus extraction from that of presentations or gifts to that of taxes.14 In addition to balisulka tax was levied from the peasants. “It is stated that in heaven the strong do not collect sulka from the weak. This shows that this type of tax was collected by means of force and those who paid it were considered weak.”15 “There was a particular official known only at this transitional period, the ‘King’s apportioner’ (bhaga-dugha). His job seems to have been the proper sharing out of the bali gifts among the tribal King’s immediate followers, and perhaps assessment of taxes as well.”16



The office of raja has its origins in this period. To begin with the office of raja was not hereditary and the choice and the consecration of the raja would have occurred with every vacancy.17 “With the TS (Taittiriya Samhita) and Brahmana literature, however, various types of consecration developed, each intended to free the chief in some way from tribal control. The tribal sabha assembly is not mentioned at all, though we know that it continued to function.”18 The later Vedic sources mention the existence of ratnins (a gift) signifying “the emergence of a group of non-kinsmen who ultimately took on the character of retainers of the raja and who could contribute to the accumulation of power in the office of the raja.”19 The words like senasenani and senapati are mentioned at several places in the later Vedic sources indicating the emergence of new institutions.20 This however does not indicate the emergence of professional army in this period; it is only in the post-Vedic period the king had a professional army. The emergence of these various institutions has a major effect on the kshatriyas as a group. Till then kshatriyas or warriors collectively held the rights for the appropriation of the surplus. With the development of the office of the raja, the raja claimed the surplus from peasants. As a result of this, the old kshatriyas divided into two sections; one section formed the ruling group and the other section remained as warriors. These warriors “grew into mercenary groups ready to fight in anyone’s service for hire.”21 In the beginning of the later Vedic period, tribal army was replaced by the peasant army which later with the development of the state in the post-Vedic period became professional army. Professional army indicates the non-kin nature of the recruitment. The warriors are recruited from various groups but not necessarily from a single group. The basic criteria for the recruitment in the army is not birth, it is strength and the capacity to fight in war. Moreover, the size of the army varies from time to time de-pending on the needs of the state. Because of these reasons, it is not possible to have a closed warrior group. On the other hand, the raja also need not be from a particular group all the time. The whole political history of ancient India shows the divergent origins of the kings. The monarchs of Magadha and Kosala were not of Kshatriya origin but were of low birth.22 Thus, the category kshatriyawhich represents a warrior group (in transi-tion) in the later Vedic period ceases to continue as a group in the post-Vedic period, by which time both the state and the professional army have come into existence. This is evident from the Pali sources, which do not mention the existence of kshatriyas in the monarchies.

The notion of territoriality has been emerging during this period. The word grama came into existence indicating “a kinship group (sajata), generally on the move with its cattle and sudras, led by its own gramani who ranked as an officer of the tribe responsible to the chief.23 This grama has developed into a “village” in the post-Vedic period. “The later Vedic society had territorial Kingdoms in the sense that the people led a settled food producing life under their princes; several sites show continuous habitation for two or three centuries. But the element of kinship was still strong and the territorial idea did not submerge tribal ties.24



Brahmanas25 played an important role in this period by assimilating many non-Aryan tribal groups into the Aryan fold. Brahmanas role in the assimilation process was not just a “deliberate conscious action, but the result of hunger. The sole aim was to make a livelihood.”26 As the performer of sacrifices and as learned men, brahmanas commanded re-spect from all sections of the society. Their poor conditions became an added advantage for them. Brahmanas were isolated from the tribe to study Vedas at a very young age. This isolation freed them from the tribal bonds and enabled them to slip into any tribe freely.27 Brahmanas per-formed sacrifices for non-Aryan groups, which paid them well and at the same time brought the non-Aryan groups into the Aryan fold. “A few brahmanas had begun to officiate for more than one clan or tribe, which implied some type of relationship between several groups.”28“Special brahman clans like the Kasyapa and Bhrgus took prominent part in the process of assimilation, but brahmanas in general followed suit.”29 Tribal priestly groups were assimilated into the brahman group. This is evident from the fact that some brahmanas were called sons of their mothers.30

It is clear that sacrifices retained their prominence and with the gen-eration of more surplus in agriculture, sacrifices have also become more elaborate and were celebrated with pomp. An important development during this period is the extension of sacrifices and rituals, which were hitherto only communal affairs, to the peasant households. These house-hold rituals and sacrifices were elaborately discussed in the grhya-sutras. The person who performed the sacrifice at the household level is calledYajamana (or grhapati). Grhapati as the head of the family performed sacrifices for the welfare of family and for acquiring more wealth. As in the earlier Rig Vedic sacrifices, animals were slaughtered and other items were burned even at the household rituals. Performance of household rituals enhanced the status of the Yajamana but at the same time acted as a subtle means of preventing the Yajamanafrom amassing excessive wealth.31“The major sacrificial rituals such as the rajasuyaasvamedhavajapeya, became occasions for the consumptions of wealth in lengthy ceremonies, some extending over many months. These were accompa-nied by lavish libations of milk and ghi, offerings of grain in various forms and the sacrifice of the choicest animals of the herd… Spectacular sacrifices involving the resources of the raja were not the only occasions for gifting or redistributing wealth. Periodic sacrifices relating to chang-ing calendar or to phases of the moon were part of the regular calendar of observances among those of high status. Social obligations were also sources of economic distribution. The samskara rituals of the Grhyasutras, and the domestic rituals enjoined upon every grhapati, were to be counted among such occasions both in expending wealth as part of the ritual and in presentations to the brahmanas.”32 Brahmanas were paid well for the sacrifices. Sometimes whole villages were given as gift or ritual fee to the brahmanas.33 This, however, does not mean that all the brahmanas were rich. For the household rituals the fees was obviously less and, as stated earlier, many brahmanas were poor.



The later Vedic period signifies the beginning of new institutions; the emergence of new groups like peasants or grhapatis, artisans such as smiths, carpenters, chariot-makers, potters, etc.; and the changing nature of old groups like kshatriyas and brahmanas. The later Vedic period also signifies the conflict between the kshatri-yas and the brahmanas. What does it signify? We have seen that in thelater Vedic period the two groups of people, kshatriyas and brahmanas, claimed the surplus produced by the peasants. The kshatriyas as the set-tlers and protectors of the peasants; the brahmanas as the performer of the sacrifice and the ritual for the welfare and prosperity of the tribe and the household, extracted surplus from the peasants. On the question of sharing and further increasing the accumulation of surplus, these two groups came in conflict with each other. Kshatriyas could accumulate more surpluses by increasing agriculture, whereas the brahmanas could accumulate more wealth through the sacrifices where gifts were given to them as sacrificial fees.

Before we elaborate on the conflict between kshatriyas and brah-manas, it is necessary to know how the surplus generated till now was spent. In some primitive tribal societies, some tribal members burn the surplus occasionally in ceremonies, thus controlling the accumulation of surplus. In some other tribes, the surplus is redistributed in some rituals to all members of the tribe. In some tribes, these two ways are combined together. The Vedic society belongs to this latter type. In sacrifices, some part of the surplus is burnt and the other part is redistributed (of course, unequally)34. If this kind of system continues, it is not possible to transfer the surplus for developing new tools of production, which is essential for the large-scale expansion of agriculture.35

This is the basis of the crisis between the kshatriyas, who were in favour of the expansion of agriculture (because it paid them well) and the brahmanas who derived their wealth from sacrifices and rituals. Expansion of the agriculture at this stage mean cutting down of the expenditure on sacrifices and rituals, i.e., the surplus hitherto spent on sac-rifices and rituals have to be diverted to develop new tools of production. This affected the brahmanas. Brahmanas were not against agriculture as long as it paid them well. In fact, they have taken active part in assimilating new tribes and promoted agriculture, but when the situation came where the surplus spent on sacrifices and rituals had to be diverted for some other purposes, they resisted change.

This led to the questioning of the very basis of Vedic rituals by Kshatriyas or by those who wanted to expand agriculture. The brahmanas who at one stage actively helped in assimilating new groups into the so-ciety and contributed for the strengthening of the Aryan system became the fetters for further development of the same system. Brahmanas also failed on another count. Even though they were successful in assimilating the aboriginal tribal groups into the Aryan system, they failed to incorporate the kshatriya peasant formation into their system. This incorporation of gana-samghas within the monarchy is necessary because the continuation of gana-samghas restricts the accumulation of surplus and the development of state. If the state has to emerge as a powerful institution, which can take up the task of expanding agriculture on a large scale and of appropriating “the surplus for itself, all other systems that exist outside its influence are to be either incorporated or subjugated. Then and then only it will emerge as the dominant formation.

This gave rise to the development of Buddhism, which criticized sacrifices and rituals, killing of animals, etc., or, in other words, it criticized the continuing pastoral values and provided an alternative set of values, which were to shape the emerging agrarian society. The notions of Karma, Dharma, and transmigration, which are central to the agrarian value system, are the contributions of Buddhism.



The first migrants came to middle Ganga valley through two routes. The northern route followed the foothills of Himalayas and the southern route followed the south bank of the Yamuna and the Ganga at the base of the Vindyan outcrops. The clearing of land was still possible in these places by burning forests. It is evident from the findings of painted Grey Ware in these places that people settled here earlier to the post-Vedic period. In the plains, the land was more marshy — and here iron technology would have been of greater use in cutting trees.36 The post-Vedic period saw the rapid expansion of agriculture in the middle Ganga valley with the use of iron; the strengthening of the new institutions and the state system, which completed the process of trans-formation. Iron was extensively used in agriculture as is evident from the archaeological findings of NBP, North Black Polished Ware. Iron ore was available in large quantities in the middle Ganga valley. Iron mines were located at Singbhum and Mayurbhanj.37 One of the main factors that contributed for the emergence of Magadha as a powerful Kingdom was its possession of metals.38 “Agriculture in general had become so important that special attention was given to the types of fields in early Buddhist teachings. One Sutta classifies the field as (i) best, (ii) middling and (iii) inferior, forested and infertile”39. Irrigation was known in this period.

Towns and trade started developing in the post-Vedic period. The richest grhapatis were called sethis who might have also participated in trade. “The change in society is manifested by a new set of institutions: mortgage, interest, usury.”40 Professional guilds existed in post-Vedic pe-riod. Except in the theoretical debates, the words vaisya and sudra were not mentioned in the Buddhist sources.41 No reference to Kshatriyas was made in the monarchies, suggesting the dissolution of this group. Fick suggests that in the post-Vedic period, Kshatriyas did not form a jati but they refer to the ruling class.42Pali sources talk about the social organization of the monarchies in terms of jatis.

Social categories even in Panini are more often discussed in terms of jati rather than Varna, the currency of the former being in any case post-Vedic. The etymology of the two terms is distinct and separate and jatis are described as having evolved out of the common bonds of mutual kinship. Buddhist sources rank jatis into a high and a low category, a dual division that is commonly adopted in Buddhist classifications. The frequency of reference to jati as compared to Varna would suggest that the jati became the more evident category of social perception and Varna the more theoretical.43



We have mentioned earlier that in the later Vedic period described by brahminical sources there is another system characterized by Kshatriya-peasants developing along with the brahminical system. The social or-ganization of Kshatriya– peasant formation, which came to be called as gana-samghas in post-Vedic period, was described in some detail in the Pali sources. There were no brahmanas in gana-samghas, neither they followed Vedic rituals.44 The two major groups in gana-samghas were kshatriya,peasants, and dasa, labourers. Khattiyas owned the land col-lectively. This is indicated by the non-usage of grhapati, an individual householder, for Khattiya.45 Gana-samghas have assemblies and they elected the chief by rotation. The only differentiation that existed in ga-na-samghas was betweenkhattiyas and dasas. For Khattiyas, gana-samgha system provided an egalitarian set up when compared with monarchical system. For dasas, it is an oppressive set up where their labour was exploited. Gana-samghas like Millas and Licchavis were very powerful and “over them no external King had any authority…”46 The smaller gana-samghas like Sakyans accepted the suzerainty of the Kosalan monarchbut generally managed all their own affairs.47

The incorporation or subjugation of gana-samghas into the monar-chical system is necessary, if the latter has to emerge as the dominant formation. The continuation of gana-samgha means that the King or monarch will not be able to extract as much surplus from them as he extracts from the peasants within the monarchical system. Moreover, gana-samghas provide an alternative form of social organization based on egalitarian values (at least for Khattiya peasants) when compared with the monarchical system. If this parallel system continues, it will become difficult to bring more people — aboriginal tribes, etc., under its influence, which in turn will curtail the surplus appropriation by King and nobles in the monarchical system. For these reasons it is necessary to either incorporate or subjugate the gana-samghas into the monarchical system. Since the gana-samghas during the post-Vedic period are power-ful, it is not easy to subjugate them by using force. The better way would be to incorporate them into the monarchical system peacefully as far as possible. This does not mean that force was not used at all against gana-samghas; bitter wars were fought between gana-samghas and the monar-chies but at the same time peaceful conciliation was given preference.



Many heretical sects (Buddhist and Jaina sources mention about 62 sects) have emerged in the post-Vedic period, signifying the growing need for alternative values.48 The common aspect of all these sects was that they were against the Vedic sacrifices. That is, against the pastoral way of life. All these sects used the institution of renouncer to influence people. We have already seen how brahmanas were respected and acceptable to all sections of society because of their knowledge, sacrificial function etc. The renouncers have also, similarly, commanded respect from all sections for various reasons. Firstly, they provided alternative knowledge by denying Vedic knowledge. Thapar sums up the charisma of the renouncers in the following words:

The authority of the ascetic is not only of parallel stature but   often exceeds that of Kings, for the ascetic is associated with powers beyond the ordinary, symbolized as magical powers. It is this, which attracts the respect and awe of the lay community. Here the achievements of the individual isolated ascetic imbued with mystical powers rub off onto the renouncer in the monastery and add to the prestige of the latter. The charisma is seen at the simplest level in the fact that the renouncer is able to detach himself from material possessions. Furthermore, he is celibate and yet, at the same time, the most virile of men.49

Out of all the sects, Buddhism was more successful in influencing the people. Buddhism had before it two major tasks. (1) To refute Vedic sacrifices and rituals or, in other words, pastoral mode of life, and provide an alternative value system which corresponds to the needs of the emerging agrarian social formation. (2) To incorporate the gana-samghas and contribute for the emergence of the state as the dominant formation.

Buddha preached against animal killings for sacrifices. Buddha preached that “cattle are our friends, just like parents and other relatives, for cultivation depends upon them. They give food, strength, freshness of complexion and happiness. Knowing this, brahmanas of old did not kill cattle.”50Buddha’s philosophy of non-violence has many facets. It is directed against the tribal wars as well as individual violence. Even the King was asked to restrain from using force.51 This has serious implications for the development of the state system. The Khattiyas in the gana-samghas were fighters and opposed the encroachment of the monarch on their territories. As long as the peasant bears arms, it becomes difficult for the king to extract surplus from him. The peasant who belongs to a jati might revolt against the King along with his jati fellows and refuse to pay taxes. So it is necessary to disarm the peasant. Throughout the later Indian history, the peasant remained disarmed. Another fact of non-violence at this period is that it discouraged tribal wars.52 Wars not only affect the general development of the society but mainly affect the trade. Nevertheless, even the Buddhist monarchs never hesitated to go for wars in order to expand their territory and influence. Asoka led a campaign against Kalingas after which his authority was accepted everywhere. Thus, the Buddhist notion of ahimsa was mainly used to condemn Vedic sacrifices; discourage inter-tribal wars and ultimately disarm the peasant. From this it is evident that the ruling class in order to strengthen agriculture, trade and the state used the notion of ahimsa.

Buddhist sources divide the society on the lines of occupational groups or jatis. These occupational groups are classified as ukkatta jati (high jati) and hina jati (low jati). “Thus ukkatta jati is defined asKhattiya and brahmana, while hina jati is defined as candalavenanesada, rathakara and pukkusa.”53While Buddha says that jati considerations are not important for joining the samgha or for attaining moksa, he did not, however, condemn the existing jati system. He felt that jati is impor-tant only in marriages.54 In fact, the classification of jatis into high and low by Buddhists show that they accepted the system. The remedy to jati system was sought to be provided in samgha where jati distinctions does not matter. Interestingly, Buddhist notions of Karma, Dharma and trans-migration provide the justification and rationale for the jati system.

Buddhist transmigration depended upon Karma, the man’s action throughout his life. Karma as merit would correspond not only to a store of acquired money or harvested grain, but would also come to fruition at the proper time as a seed bore fruit or a loan matured. Every living creature could perform some Karma, which would raise it after death to rebirth in a suitable body; a better body if the Karma were good, a mean and vile one, say of an insect or animal, if the Karma were evil. Even the gods were subject to Karma. Indra himself might fall from his particular heaven after the course of his Karma was fully run; an ordinary man could be reborn in the world of the gods, even as an Indra, to enjoy a life of heavenly pleasure for aeons — but not forever.55

This shows how the notion of Karma justifies the division of the society into high or low. A significant aspect in the notion of Karma is that no one will remain in the same position permanently. The present life is only a transitional one; many lives before have passed and many will come after the present life. One can increase one’s Karma by following Dharma, i.e., if you follow your duties properly you will gain Karma and will be born into a high position. This provided a strong ideological justification for exploitation. Dharma has another facet. Each jati had its own religious observances. The notion of Dharma preserves these religious differentiations.56

Another important contribution of Buddhism for the transformation process was that it condemned the spending of surplus in sacrifices and rituals and encouraged the conservation of wealth, investment and commercial activity. As we have mentioned earlier, conservation of wealth is necessary to develop new tools of production. The Sigalovada Sutta not only stresses the importance of support to the renouncers (Samanabrahmana) as one of the central duties of the ariyasavaka, but also indicates the ideal layman as one who works hard, does not dissipate his wealth but makes the maximum use of it; preserves and expands his property, and saves a portion of his wealth for times of need. The idler is condemned as one who finds reasons to avoid work and complains of the cold, heat and on, resulting in a dissipation of such wealth, as he already possesses, and an inability to acquire new wealth.57

The Buddhist sanga encouraged commercial wealth and investment. The procedure for amassing wealth is described as, spending a quarter of one’s income on daily living, keeping another quarter in reserve and in-vesting the remaining half in an enterprise which will result in monetary profit.58 The King was suggested of how to solve the social evils.

The root of social evil was poverty and unemployment. This was not to be bribed away by charity and donations, which would only reward and further stimulate evil action. The correct way was to supply seed and food to those who lived by agriculture and cattle breeding. Those who lived by trade should be furnished with the necessary capital. Servants of the state should be paid properly and regularly so that they would not then find ways to squeeze the janapadas. New wealth would thus be generated, the janapadas liberated from robbers and cheats. A citizen could bring up his children in comfort and happiness, free from want and fear. In such a productive and contented environment, the best way of spending surplus accumulation, whether in the treasury or from voluntary private donations, would be in public works such as digging wells and water ponds and planting groves along the trade routes.59

An important part of the Buddhist religion is the sangha or monastery, which is organized on the lines of gana-sanghas with a specific purpose. The Sangha is opposed to the society. They represent two opposing values. Sangha represents equality whereas society is full of inequalities. Similarly, thebhikku or renouncer is opposed to the grhapati. The bhikku renounced the material world, wears few rags; eats food given by others, observes celibacy and wanders without a place to stay. In contrast to this, the grhapati represents wealth, settled family, sexual life or in a single phrase enjoys the pleasures of life. The distinction between bhikku and grhapati was always maintained. Most of the rules mentioned in the patimokkha regarding the behavior of bhikku emphasize this point.60 Buddhism emphasized that salvation could be obtained only by renunciation of the material world. The creation of upasakha for the lay followers tries to relate the followers with the samgha. By giving dana or gift one gains merit. Thus, there is a dialectical relationship between the bhikku and the grhapati.

As we have shown earlier, at the time of Buddha there were two parallel systems: the egalitarian (at least for Khattiyas) gana-sangha and the non-egalitarian monarchical system. Buddhism combines these two into a single system by organizing sangha on the gana-sangha lines within the monarchical system. The initial spread of Buddhism was in monarchies. Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath near Banaras. Most of the sermons were delivered at the Kosalan capital city Savathi than in any other place.61 Thus, Buddhism provided a space for ganga-sangha values within the monarchical system. Buddhist sangha ensured a peaceful conversion of gana-sangha systems into monarchies. The most important and powerful people of the gana-sangha were incorporated into the ruling class of the monarchy. Buddha himself was offered command of the army by King Bimbisara, which he refused62. The other members of the gana-sangha can either lead a normal peasant life in the monarchi-cal system and pay taxes to the King or join Buddhist sangha. But the strict life of Buddhist sangha has discouraged many from joining the sangha. Nevertheless, Khattiyas were more in Buddhist sanghas at this period indicating that those who are unwilling to join monarchical sys-tem have joined the Buddhist sangha. In gana-sanghas, Khattiyas not only enjoyed equal rights but also enjoyed material benefits and the pleasures of life. But in the Buddhist sangha, the notion of equality is maintained but without material incentives and pleasures. This also discouraged the Khattiyas who were wealthy and were unwilling to give up material things joining the sangha. Buddhist sangha also absorbed dissent from the monarchical system. As many tribes were absorbed into the society and as the society was transforming, dissent was inevitable. Buddhist sangha provided an outlet for this dissent within the given structural arrangement. Sangha also encouraged trade. In the later periods (when its social function of incorporating gana-sanghas and contributing for the transformation process was over) Buddhism mainly associated with the trading communities.


Buddhism, which had significantly contributed for the transformation process and provided an alternative value system, had certain limitations, which resulted in its decline. Firstly, Buddhism has effectively incorporated the ganasanghas into the monarchical system but failed to assimilate the tribals into the mainstream society. Thapar suggests that the heretical sects of this period carefully avoided tribal belts in their expansion to other regions.63 Secondly, Buddhism is completely opposed to the rituals. But the society in this period has not reached the stage where they can completely do away with the rituals. Ancient Indian history shows the preservation of diverse rituals, adopted from tribals who were assimilated into the society. Finally, Buddhist monks were not allowed to become administrators. It was Buddha’s suggestion not to let state officials into the monastery. All these limitations reduced the role of Buddhism in the day-to-day life and the functioning of the society in later periods.

The limitations of Buddhism, which resulted in its decline, have contributed for the strengthening ofbrahmanas. Brahmanas fulfilled the limitations of Buddhism: they have been assimilating tribals into the mainstream society from late Vedic period onwards, they performed rituals and, lastly, they have taken up administrative tasks. This enabled brahmanas to continue in the new society. The word brahman in the agrarian society is used in the generic sense. Many endogamous groups follow-ing different occupations have claimed themselves as brahmanas. This might be because in the later and post-Vedic period the original group of brahmanas has taken up various occupations for livelihood. But be-cause of their consciousness as belonging to one group, they continued to call themselves as brahmanas. Their flexibility to adapt to new situations, their feeling of belonging to one generic group, enabled them to survive. At every stage, they incorporated the new values into their system (of course, grudgingly). The Buddhist scheme of renouncer and grhapati was developed into the asrama system: they made their own the notions of karmadharma and transmigration. They even incorporated Buddha into their system by saying that he is one of the incarnations of Vishnu. Once the transformation is completed, rituals gained prominence, which brought back the brahman into prominence. Thus, thebrahmanas survived the transformation.


Once the gana-sanghas are assimilated and the new value system is accepted by the people, the foundations of the new society are nearly completed. But the new society has to consolidate its position; otherwise it might fall back into the old systems. This consolidation was completed under the Magadhan state, which monopolized the production process and expanded agriculture on a large scale.



In the preceding chapters we have shown how Varna and jati belong to two different modes of production. We have traced out the material bases of both Varna and jati, and located them in their respective social forma-tions. Regarding the theory of four Varnas, we indicated that the four di-visions — brahmanas (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), vaisyas (peasants), and sudras (servile groups) — can be located in the later-Vedic period. We have suggested that these categories are historically specific and thus cannot be found in later periods. But the theory of four Varnas asserts their relevance even today. In the Introduction, we have indicated how this theory continues as an ideology in post-Vedic periods. This needs little elaboration.

The Purushasukta where for the first time the four groups — brah-manas, kshatriyas, vaisyas andsudras — are mentioned is a late addition to Rg veda.1 In Purushasukta, these four groups are not referred to as Varnas. The division of society in terms of four Varnas was developed in the later-Vedic period. In the Atharvaveda, these divisions are mentioned as Varnas.2 This corresponds to the reality of the later-Vedic period, where the major groups were priests, warriors, peasants, and workers. Nevertheless, even in this period other emerging occupational groups are not included in the theory.



There are more than two cosmologies explaining the origin of Man in Rg Veda. Only the Purushasukta, where the origin of four groups is men-tioned was developed in the later periods.3 In this theory, thebrahmanas are placed at the top followed by kshatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras. If we agree that this theory was formulated in its full details in the later-Vedic period, then the particular placing of groups in a hierarchy is intelligible. We have seen that in the later-Vedic period, kshatriyas and brahmanas were in conflict with each other. It is quite possible that brahmanas who were priests and philosophers and who had control over the Vedic lit-erature (all Vedas were composed by brahmanas and preserved among them by inter-generational transmission. They had, therefore, a virtual monopoly over theVedas), formulated the four Varna theory (based on the major divisions in society of that time) and placed themselves at the top. In order to give legitimacy to this theory, the origin formulation was added to the Rg Veda. This enabled them to claim that the society was created by brahma and arranged into four groups in the following order brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaisyas and sudras.

This becomes evident from the non-brahminical sources, which questioned the superiority of the brahmanas. Even in the post-Vedic pe-riod, where the reality was talked in terms of jati (Pali sources divide society on the basis of jatis; even in Panini and Manu, jati occurs more frequently than Varna), brahmanas tried to manipulate the reality in terms of Varna. They developed the theory of mixed-unions to incor-porate jatis into their scheme and thus upheld the theory of four Varnas. Another interesting thing they developed in post-Vedic period was the notion of dvija. According to this, some groups are ‘twice born’ and so they are entitled to wear a ‘sacred thread’. By this they tried to show that some groups are superior to others. Moreover, as the performers of the upanayana (initiation ceremony), where the ‘sacred thread’ is given to a person, they claimed higher status.

Despite the brahmanas’ effort to prove the relevance of Varna in day-to-day life, it remained as a theory with little empirical relevance. The Pali sources talked of Varnas but it is confined only to the theoretical debates. When they talked about social reality it was in terms of jati. It is interesting to note that the brahminical sources are silent about the absence of kshatriya and vaisya Varnas in south-India and other parts of India. According to them, the four Varnas are universal, but they did not make any effort to show why some Varnas are not present in some areas. This absence of kshatriya and vaisyaVarnas becomes even more interest-ing when we consider the fact that the brahminical influence is more in south-India.

We have shown that Varna is specific to pastoral social forma-tion. Varna (‘colour’) distinctions developed in India when the invad-ing Aryans subjugated the aboriginal tribes (dasas) and discriminated against them. Since South India and other parts of India did not experi-ence anything of this sort, there is no question of Varna as a category existing in these regions.

By the time when north-Indians invaded/colonized South India and other parts, North India has already transformed into agrarian social for-mation and the Varna distinctions were replaced by jatidistinctions. So we find only jati, which represents agrarian social formation in South India.

One aspect of the ideology of four Varnas is that it tries to show the superior position of certain groups (especially the brahmanas). This is shown by the notion of dvija where the bearers of the ‘sacred thread’ are considered superior to others. There are many other similar practices, which show the superior status of a group or a person. Some of them may be mentioned as followed: (a) observance of purity and pollution, (b) non-acceptance of food from the low jatis, (c) observance of child mar-riage, (d) disallowing widow marriage, (e) practice of sati, (f) practice of infanticide, (g) practice of hypergamy, (h) control of female sexuality,

(i) observance of certain specific rituals, etc. All these ideological aspects conceal the underlying structure of the society and give us the impression that they are important for the functioning of society. All these aspects play an important role in moulding the consciousness of the people. It is our contention that these ideological aspects, though important in their own cultural respects, do not tell us about the underlying structure of the society, which is the basis for the functioning of the society.

All those theories and concepts, which consider only cultural and ideological aspects to explain the nature of a particular society, fail to bring out the underlying structure of the society. On the other hand, his-torical materialism brings out the underlying structure of society into focus. It explains, therefore, the importance of relations and forces of production in understanding a society. While doing this, it takes into consideration the superstructural aspects like culture and consciousness and their role in shaping society.



While reviewing the literature on Varna and jati in the second Chapter, we have pointed out the inconsistencies of some of the writers. There we could not take any particular perspective in totality for critical ex-amination. In the following pages, we will consider Dumont’s thesis on Indian society because he is one scholar who has powerfully presented the cultural view of Indian society by combining both Indology and ethnology.4

Like many Western scholars before him, Dumont wanted to under-stand Indian society in contrast to his own. This is his starting point. He tries to understand the basic nature of human society. He believes that ‘caste teaches us a fundamental social principle, hierarchy.’5 He con-trasts Indian society, which is based on the principle of hierarchy with that of the Western society which is based on equality. Dumont adopts the definition of caste from Bougie as his starting point. According to Bougie, caste system has three characteristics: separation, division, and hierarchy.

The ‘three principles’ (of Bougie) rest on one fundamental conception and are reducible to a single true principle, namely the opposition of the pure and the impure. This opposition underlines hierarchy, which is the supe-riority of the pure to the impure, underlies separation because the pure and impure must be kept separate, and underlies the division of labour because pure and impure occupations must likewise be kept separate. The whole is founded on the necessary hierarchical coexistence of the two opposites.6

For Dumont, ideology is central with respect to the social reality as a whole.7 But ideology is not everything. ‘Any concrete, localized whole, when actually observed, is found to be decisively oriented by its ideol-ogy, and also to extend far beyond that… In our case, in every concrete whole we find the formal principle at work, but we also find something else, a raw material that it orders and logically encompasses but which it did not explain, at least not immediately and for us.’8 He explains the idea of encompassing with the help of Varna theory. According to him, ‘one cannot speak of caste without mentioning the Varnas.’9 It is here in the Varna theory that Dumont finds that power and status are differenti-ated and moreover, power is subordinate to status. He writes that ‘some eight centuries perhaps before Christ, tradition established an absolute distinction between power and hierarchical status…’10 He maintains, ‘that the theory of caste resorts implicitly or obliquely to the Varnas in order to complete its treatment of power.’11 According to him, ‘it is only once this differentiation (between status and power) has been made that hierarchy can manifest itself in a pure form.’12

This theory of four Varnas is very crucial to Dumont. His basic as-sumption that status encompasses power is based on the theory of four Varnas. We have already said that Varnas were only two and we cannot use Varna for later social formations. Even if we consider that the theory of Varna has continued as an ideology, how can Dumont derive a principle from one system and apply the same without qualifications to another system. If we observe, Dumont fails to derive the same principle wholly based on the principles of jatis. He has to resort to Varna system for this.

Dumont criticizes those scholars who give importance to economic and political aspects in understanding the position of jatis in the mid-dle level. He says that they are missing the essential characteristic of the Indian system by neglecting the extremes. For him, ‘what happens at the extreme is essential.’13 But can he neglect the empirical findings of other scholars? It is here his thesis of subordination of power to status comes under strain. He tries to give a sort of concession to the empirical facts without modifying his earlier hypothesis.14 He writes:

power exists in the society, and the Brahman who thinks in terms of hier-archy knows this perfectly well; yet hierarchy cannot give a place to power as such without contradicting its own principle. Therefore it must give a place to power without saying so, and it is obliged to close its eyes to this point on pain of destroying itself.15

He further writes that ‘power in some way counterbalances purity at secondary levels, while remaining subordinate to it at the primary or non-segmented level.’16

This above passage shows that whenever power is encountered in so-ciety, status or hierarchy must ‘close its eyes’. That means whichever group or jati in the society controls power, makes status ‘close its eyes’. If a low jati through some means acquires power then status has to ‘close its eyes’. That means control of power is important in a society. This goes against Dumont’s thesis that power is subordinate to status. Only those groups that do not have power come under the purview of Dumont’s ideology. Dumont’s argument that power at the primary or non-segmented level remains subordinate to status is not valid, because the lowest jatis (whom he includes in the primary level) do not have any power. When they do not have any power, there is no question of power becoming subordi-nate to status at the primary level. Moreover, the middle jatis numerically form the majority of the population. The extremes — brahmanas and ‘untouchables’ — form only a small fraction of the total population. If a particular principle or ideology leaves out the major section of society from its influence, can we call it as the ‘underlying principle’?

Dumont suggests that when brahmanas take up other functions ‘they lose their caste characteristics with respect to other Brahmanas who serve them as priests.’17 If purity and impurity is the underlying principle of jati system, where brahmanas are placed at the top and only they have the chance to be placed at the top, if status is more important than economy, and if ideology is a conscious phenomenon, why do brahmanas prefer occupations other than priestly occupation, which is the purest of all oc-cupations? Madan found that among Kashmiri Pandits, Karkuns (‘work-ers’) are higher in status to gor(‘priests’).18 Dumont fails to take this into considerations and his theory has no answer.

The ethnographic notes of Barth about Swats of Western Pakistan, which Dumont uses to show us that the Muslims are influenced by the Hindu ideology, in fact tell us some other story besides Dumont’s. Dumont writes:

There are no Hindus in this remote valley of the High Indus (formerly ‘north-west Frontier’), except for certain unimportant elements. Yet the population is divided into groups, which strongly resemble castes. These groups are linked together by something equivalent to a jajmani system, they are ranked by status and a high proportion of marriages are endoga-mous19

Dumont also points out ‘that it is not a question of a caste system but of a system of patronage and clientele which has assimilated caste-like and Hocartian “liturgies”… In other words, in the Indian environment, the ideological features may be missing at certain points or in certain regions, although other features constitutive of caste are present.20

If ideology is the basis on which ‘caste’ depends, then, how come other features of ‘caste’ show up their presence but not ideology, which is central to the system? This shows that caste can exist without ideol-ogy. This also shows that there is something else, which is central to the jati system, which influences even the other religious groups. This is in-dicated by Barth, but has gone unnoticed because of Dumont’s preoc-cupation with ideology. It is mentioned that ‘something equivalent to a jajmanisystem’ exists among the Swats. It is to be seen that the same jajmani system exists in other religious groups in India. This indicates that the jajmani system (not the way Dumont explains it) is the underlying structure, which arranges different groups irrespective of their religious affiliations into the production relations.

Coming to the question of change, Dumont argues that ‘caste society managed to digest what was thought must make it burst asunder.’21 For Dumont, ‘a form of organization does not change, it is replaced by an-other; a structure is present or absent, it does not change.’22 Nevertheless Dumont was forced to recognize the changes that have been taking place in Indian society.

Central to Dumont’s thesis is that: a) Indian society is based on ideology; b) religion encompasses politico-economic aspects. There is great inconsistency when Dumont applies his principles in reality. Wherever it is possible he argues that religion encompasses politico-economic aspects. When he confronts with empirical reality he compromises and says that for its own survival ideology has to close its eyes to power.

His thesis of ideology is ahistorical; it does not explain how this particular ideology or set of values came into existence and under what conditions they might change. Since ideology is a conscious thing for Dumont there is no possibility of changing the present Indian society. A theory which cannot explain how the institutions and the society with which it is dealing have come into existence, a theory which ‘closes its eyes’ whenever there is a difficulty, a theory which ‘encompasses but which it does not explain’, cannot provide us a better understanding of the Indian society.23

We made an effort to show that Varna and jati belong to two differ-ent modes of production. We have traced out the material bases of both Varna and jati and located them in their respective social formations. In the process of transformation, some elements of the pastoral society influenced the shaping of new institutions. For example, the basic aspect of jati, i.e., endogamy, was influenced by two factors. Firstly, in the notion of Varna, a distinction is maintained between Aryans and dasas. Aryans preferred to marry amongst themselves. Secondly, Indian society had as-similated lot of tribal elements. Tribes were assimilated into the main society as a group and in the process some tribal aspects were incorpo-rated into the society. One such aspect is endogamy. Thus, the notion of endogamy was influenced by notions of Varna distinctions and the new tribal absorption.



We have given only an outline of the present framework. A number of aspects are to be studied systematically. For example, the existence of ‘kshatriya-peasant’ formation in later-Vedic period has to be properly studied and brought into focus. Many scholars have mentioned the role of Buddhism in the transformation process. This aspect has to be restud-ied from the present point of view, i.e., the role of Buddhism in assimilat-ing gana-sanghas into the monarchical system. Lastly, the same approach could be pursued to study the medieval Indian society. Only recently have historians and other social scientists have started studying jati and village community in the medieval period. Our perspective emphasizes the im-portance of these kinds of studies and provides proper tools of analysis to study the medieval Indian society in its historical context.



  1. Thapar, Romila. 1984. From Lineage to State, Delhi, p.22.
  2. Sharma, R. S. Material Culture and Social Formations in Ancient India. Delhi, p.56.
  3. Sharma, R. S op.cit., p.57.
  4. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., pp.59–60.
  5. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., pp.60–61. Khadira Ploughshare is very hard and compared with bones in the Satapatha Brahruana.
  6. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., pp.60–61.
  7. This tradition of characterizing the society in broad terms is prevalent in Buddhist sources also. Pali sources divide the society broadly intobrahmanas, Kshatriyas and gahapatis. Nevertheless there is a major difference between these two sources. Pali sources have never provided a mythical status to the divisions in which they described the society and further, unlike brahminical sources, they have never coloured the empirical reality with their framework. They mentioned about the existence of Jatis, etc. They recorded the reality more objectively than brahminical writers who have always consciously eliminated those parts which do not fit into their framework (of four Varnas).
  8. Fick, R. 1920. The Social Organisation in North-East India in Buddha’s Time, Calcutta. p.10. This is evident from the later development of the theory of mixed unions and the notion of dvija (twice-born) to relate jati with Varna.
  9. The use of the word peasant might not be appropriate to this period. The word “Warrior-peasant” or “Kshatriya-peasant” is used here only to distinguish him from the warrior or Kshatriya who has not directly participated in the agricultural activities.
  10. Interestingly, both Panini and Kautalya mention about the existence of gana-samghas in the western Ganga valley. But both these writers belong to post-Vedic period by which time Pali sources have widely mentioned about gana-samghas.
  11. We shall call the system that was referred to by four Varna theory as “proto-monarchy” system, because, as we have stated earlier, the four Varna theory is misleading and this system has ultimately become the monarchy in post-Vedic period. The word “proto-monarchy” suggests the continuity between the later Vedic and post-Vedic periods. Similarly, the word “proto-gana-samgha” is used to refer to the “kshatriya-peasant” formation in later Vedic period.
  12. Kosambi, D. D. 1975. An Introduction to the Study of Indian History. Second edition. Bombay p.16; Also Chakravarti, Uma. 1983. ‘Renouncer and Householder in Early Buddhism,’ Social Analysis. May (13):71.
  13. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., p.73; Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.30.
  14. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India in Historical Outline, Delhi, p.87; Sharma, R.S op.cit, p.76.
  15. Sharma, R.S op.cit, p.76.
  16. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.87.
  17. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.35.
  18. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.122.
  19. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.61
  20. Sharma, R.S op.cit, p. 83.
  21. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.86 .
  22. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.127.
  23. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., pp.87-88
  24. Sharma, R.S. op.cit, p.84.
  25. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.102. Kosambi believes that “the first brahmanas were a result of interaction between the Aryan priesthood, and ritually superior priesthood of the Indus Culture”.
  26. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.134.
  27. This very isolation gave them flexibility and solidarity beyond the tribe which helped them to survive as a group in times of crisis.
  28. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.86.
  29. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.132
  30. Ibid. p.132.
  31. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.58.
  32. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., pp.63-65.
  33. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.132.
  34. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.85. Kosambi mentions that some of the Punjab tribes of Alexandria’s time divided the grain among the tribal households according to need and burned the surplus rather than barter it in trade.
  35. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., pp.66-67.
  36. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.70
  37. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., pp.95-96.
  38. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.123.
  39. Sharma, R. S. op.cit., p.99.
  40. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.147.
  41. Fick, R. op. cit., pp.252-314.
  42. Fick, R. op. cit., pp.79.
  43. Thapar, Romila. op.cit., p.166.
  44. It will be interesting to study whether Khattiyas in gana-samghas followed any rituals or not. If they followed any rituals what kind of rituals they have followed! From the Buddhist reaction to rituals it seems that gana-samghas are (most peculiarly) against any kind of rituals.
  45. Chakravarti, Uma. 1987. The Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism. Delhi, p.87.
  46. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.109.
  47. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.108.
  48. Kosambi, D.D. 1975. op.cit., p.164.
  49. ‘Renouncer A counter Culture?’ in Romila Thapar, Ancient Indian Social History, Hyderabad. p.94.
  50. Quoted in Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.103.
  51. Thapar, Romila. 1978. ‘Ethics, Religion and Social protest in the first Millennium B.C. in Northern India,’ in Romila Thapar, Ancient Indian Social History. Hyderabad. p.55.
  52. Thapar, Romila. 1978. op.cit., p.55
  53. Chakravarti, Uma. 1987. op.cit., p.101.
  54. Chakravarti, Uma. 1987. op.cit., p.110.
  55. Quoted in Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., pp.107-108.
  56.  Thapar, Romila. 1978. op.cit., p.87.
  57. Chakravarti, Uma. 1987. op.cit., p.179.
  58.  Thapar, Romila. 1981. ‘The householder and the renouncer in the Brahminical and Buddhist traditions,’ Contribution to Indian Sociology (New Series) 15 (1–2):285.
  59. Quoted in Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.113.
  60. Chakravarti, Uma. 1983. ‘Early Buddhism,’ Social Analysis. May, (13):73.
  61. Kosambi, D.D. 1987. op.cit., p.110.
  62. Ibid. p.110

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