human sacrifice and death penalty

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Tue Apr 28 11:22:08 UTC 1998

Mikael Aktor wrote:

>Of course there is a point in rejecting the stereotype that Indian 
>culture is religious throughout, and AS´ may be a good argument in that 
>effort, but isn't this pretty basic, after all? It is, I believe, more 
>fruitful (and interesting) to investigate the interrelations between 
>politics and religion than looking at each domain in isolation.

I would like to thank Mikael for a thorough contribution to the debate. I
would of course agree with the statement above. At the same time, however,
we have to remember that Indic literature is heavily slanted towards Brahmin
literature. Kshatriyavidya is much less known, and may not even have been
codified in shastras. 

AS for connections between ritualism and arthashastra, I may perhaps point
to Brian K. Smith's book Classifying the Universe. On page 58ff, he
discusses the relationship between the "upper castes" and the vaishyas. I
find the discussion quite illuminating, because some of the attitudes
presented there are also found in the arthashastra. The fact that
arthashastra was increasingly introduced into dharmashastra shows the
importance of the subject. For brahmins working at court, it must have been

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at
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