Finding space for Upasikas in the annals of ancient Indian Buddhism: Inscriptional evidence of the lay female devotees
Conference Proceedings, National Seminar on women’s Issues, Department of Economics, R K Talreja College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Ulhasnagar, 20th March 2015, ISBN-978-93-83342-6
The Fourfold Sangha envisaged by the Buddha consisted of upasikas or female lay worshipers as one of its vital constituents. Textually the term upasika means ‘one who sits close by.’ A large number of donative inscriptions recorded by the laywomen in ancient India show that the cause of propagation of dhamma was upheld not only by queens, princesses and nuns but by ordinary women too.
This paper will explore the patronage by the lay women for the propagation of Buddhism and for the construction of various Buddhist sites across India.
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