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By Sree Padma Holt, A. w. Barber

Explores the significance of Buddhism because it built within the Krishna River Valley of Andhra (modern-day Andhra Pradesh) and its effect.

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35, p. 40 Rock Edict XIII mentions Andhras as followers of Aßoka’s dharma. 51. See the discussion in E. J. , 1963), pp. 33–37. Here, it is interesting to entertain a theory that the Caityaka sect of the Mahåsåμghikas originated in Andhra [B. S. L. Hanumantha Rao, op. , pp. 79–85]. The Caityakas are so called because the decoration and worship of caityas formed an important part of their cult. In light of our discussion, there would appear to be some plausibility to this theory as the worshipers of the indigenous cult of the dead, the Caityakas would have abetted the rise of st¶pa cultic activity.

The sculptural carvings at Amaravati depicting yakƒas carrying flower garlands to 36 Sree Padma decorate the st¶pas is also quite explicit regarding their form of worship. It may signal how yakƒas, either as supernatural figures or as members of indigenous tribal communities, were fused into the worship of the Buddhist st¶pas. 52. Gregory Schopen, “Immigrant Monks and Protohistorical Dead: The Buddhist Occupation of Early Buddhist Sites in India,” in his Buddhist Monks and Business Matters, pp. 360–361.

In conclusion, I want to briefly allude to some of the reasons behind the close ties between the trading class and Buddhist establishments. The spread and vitality of trade was directly linked to the spread and vitality of Buddhism. As a religion appealing to commoners because of its “casteless” concerns and its religious ethic of giving, it proved attractive to a wide variety of people. Traders found that in Buddhism, there were fewer barriers between them and the other classes (cultivators and artisans) with whom they came into contact with in the business of trade.

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