Written by one of the eminent historians this book brings out substantially the chief features of King Asoka's glorious rule. It represents Asoka as a great humanitarian, wise stateman, good administrator, social reformer and upholder of truth, law and order. Nowhere else can we get such an immense wealth of information on the social and cultural milieu in the reign of this monarch. The book is divided into eight chapters. Of these the first six deal with the early life and family of the Emperor, the details of his career as king, his administration, religion, monuments, and the social conditions of the country during this period. The last two chapters contain the text of the inscriptions, their translation and annotation. Chapters II and VII are followed by appendices on the Asokan chronology from the legends and Rock Edicts. Chapter VIII has an appendix on the Script, Dialect and Grammar of the inscriptions. The value of the book is enhanced by the insertion of an index and addenda on some valuable inscriptions and Rock Edicts, fifteen plates and a map of Asoka`s Empire.
Of the sixteen samskaras which encompass a Hindu life the last one is performed for the dead by their sons or grandsons or relatives. Many passages in the Puranas and Dharmasastras extol the role of the son in the life of devout Hindu. The present book deals with the rite of Sraddha and vindicates the popular belief that Sraddha, being an important topic, forms an integral part of Hindu Dharmasastra. The belief in the after-death survival of deceased ancestors and their separate world belongs to the Indo-Iranian period and as such is pre-Vedic. Ancestor-worship for one's prosperity, continuation of one's race, is as old as the Rgveda. Contents Preface, Introduction, The Antyesti Samskara, Appendices, Glossary
This book elucidates the early Buddhist teachings and beliefs concerning meditaions and its role in the process to liberation. In a number of cases, the Buddhist canonical texts reject practices which they accept elsewhere. When these practices-sometimes rejected, sometimes accepted-correspond to what is known about non-Buddhist practices, the conculsion in then proposed that they are non-Buddhist practices which have somehow found their way into the Buddhist texts. A similar procedure enables one to choose between conflicting beliefs.