Patrick Olivelle jpo at uts.cc.utexas.edu
Tue May 21 13:25:43 UTC 2013


Debt (ṛṇādāna) is the first of the so-called Title of Law (vyavahārapada) -- found in Kauṭilya's Arthaśāstra and Manu -- this is taken as the standard (prakṛti) legal dispute, and it is within this subject that most early authors (Manu, Yājñavalkya) present legal procedure (evidence etc.). So debt was a BIG DEAL in Indian thought, and it is from this that the theology of innate debts (Taittirīya Saṃhitā etc.) arose. But I do not see anywhere a concept of forgiving debts -- such as Jubilee. The only comparable thing is the rule that the interest cannot be reach a level more than the original sum: thus what is ever payable is double what was borrowed. Once the interest reaches that level, the principal ceases to accrue interest. There are ways around this, but that is a whole other story.



On May 21, 2013, at 5:15 AM, Jonathan Silk wrote:

> dear Colleagues,
> I've been asked whether (tout court) Buddhism or Hinduism have any clear attitudes toward debt. I understand the question not to refer to spiritual debt, but to monetary debt, and the origins of the questions to probably be whether we find things comparable to the idea of the Jubilee, or the Biblical necessity to release Hebrew slaves after 7 years of service (the origin of the Sabbatical, by the way!), and the like (at least as far as I know, there is no such provision in pre-modern India for manumission).
> Any advice would be most welcome, thanks!
> Jonathan
> -- 
> J. Silk
> Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
> Doelensteeg 16
> 2311 VL Leiden
> The Netherlands
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> http://listinfo.indology.info

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20130521/dd02af5e/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list