Spoke In The Wheel


Authors: Amita Kanekar

9788189059569 | PB | pp. 469 | 2014 | Navayana

This research work posits Gautama Buddha as a political thinker. It performs the task of interrogating historically the Buddhist and brahminical worldviews and shows that Buddha constructed a very powerful speculative political philosophy which can form the basis of reconstructing ancient Eastern political philosophy itself.

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So begins a search for the Buddha and a fight over his message. Was it renunciation? Individual salvation? Universal compassion? Tolerance, or even intolerance? Questions surface among the Buddha’s followers, fearful and then angry, to be fought over viciously even as the sangha rises to glorious imperial patronage that will sustain it for over a millennium and reach it to half the world.

This is the story of that story, of the Buddha as seen by his admirers, among them an ordinary monk, one of the questioners, and an extraordinary king, who seemed to have all the answers. In unassuming but agile prose, Amita Kanekar takes us to the time of the Buddha, then to that of Ashoka, and back again. The wheel is in motion, we move from one to the other, spinning with the wheel, becoming one with change.

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Kancha Ilaiah









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About the Author

Amita Kanekar is a Mumbai-based writer, she teaches comparative mythology at the University of Mumbai. She was born in Goa in 1965. She has lived in the US as a child, and also teaches architectural history.


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