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Buddhist inscription reveals attitude to women

Written by: Staff

Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Sep 2: A stone inscription of the first century BC, found by the Archaeology Department in Andhra Pradesh has yielded invaluable information on the Dhakini School of Buddhism, which used to give women pride of place.

According to the inscription, the school assimilated the Hindu practice of worship of female deities.

Mr D Kannababu, Assistant Superintendent, Archaeology Department, told newspersons here yesterday during excavation in West Godavari District in August this year, they had found a first century BC stone inscription in Brahmi script, which referred to the Dhakini Yana School.

The stone inscription was found in a mulberry garden in Gantamanenivari Gudem village. It read, ''Gift of bowlful of coins (massaks) given to Arya Sangha (Buddhist intellectuals) and adherents of Dhakini Yana School, who are residing in Jinanaya Mahaparvatha (Guntupalli cave temple) by house holder Nagaputra, hailing from Sakuda village, along with his wife Bodhi and daughter''.

The reference to a female Dhakini and the householder's family members - wife and daughter - marked a radical departure from ancient Buddhism, which excluded women, he said.

The five acre area in the remote village is full of remnants of Buddhist culture. A big Buddist mound, a Buddha idol with a lotus pedestal and pottery are among the finds. 'The place promises to be another Ajanta, said Mr Kannababu.


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