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The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu LawA New History of Dharmaśāstra$
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Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198702603.001.0001

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(p.335) 26 Pilgrimage
The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Law

Knut A. Jacobsen

Oxford University Press

The chapter analyzes the place of pilgrimage in the Dharmaśāstra literature. It suggests that the mentioning of specific place names, the narratives of the places, and their merit distinguish the emergence of a textual tradition of pilgrimage. The topic of pilgrimage places and pilgrimage enter the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition fully only with the Dharmanibandhas, and the number of texts that treat tīrtha and tīrthayātrā as a subject of Dharmaśāstra is surprisingly small. Arguably, the inclusion of pilgrimage in the Dharmanibandhas was to infuse orthodoxy into a tradition that was to some degree driven by the economic benefits of the tīrtha priests. Further, their inclusion indicated that pilgrimage had become central to the economy of certain places. Another purpose may perhaps have been to establish rules and regulations to promote pilgrimage as a practice appropriate for Brahmans. Finally, geographical integration was probably also a factor.

Keywords:   pilgrimage, tīrtha, divinity and place, Dharmanibandhas, economy, rules and regulations

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