Buddhism, donors and donations at Sannati (3rd century BC- 3rd century AD) – an archaeo-material perspective

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Authors:

Hema Thakur

Source:

International Conference on the Growth and Development of Indian Culture: Historical and Literary Perspectives (Pre-historic Period-12th C CE.) , Dr. S.R. Rao Memorial foundation for Indian Archaeology, Art and Culture, Bengaluru (2018)

Keywords:

donations, Sannati, Stupa

Abstract:

Sannati in North Karnataka was famous as a Buddhist centre in the early centuries of the Christian era. Buddhism reached Deccan including Karnataka from North during the Mauryan period. Asoka’s contribution towards the spread of Buddhism in Karnataka appears to have remained in the memories of common people and was actually acknowledged in the form of his portrait which was a gift from Gahapati Tondaka.  Buddhism may have reached Karnataka from outside but the much needed support which enabled Buddhism to strike roots and flourish was most probably local. In this context the inscriptions recording donations provide useful insights into the construction and maintenance of the stupa and other related paraphernalia.  The aim of the paper would be to understand the relations between  benefactors and beneficiaries. Interestingly, donations were being made not only by lay people and their families but also by nuns and monks. What was the source of income of the clergy as they were not only meeting their own requirements but were also donating.  In this paper the crucial aspect of support to the Buddhist establishment would be discussed and located in the local geo-spatial environment