Before Krsna: Religious Diversity in Ancient Mathura

ISBN : 9780190127909

Kanika Kishore Saxena
328 Pages
146 x 223 mm
Pub date
Mar 2021
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Mathura is most famous for its association with Vasudeva-Krsna, an important deity of the Hindu pantheon. In ancient times, however, this site contributed towards the production of exquisite pieces of sculpture, inscriptions, and terracottas associated with Buddhism, Jainism, and the Naga and Yaksa traditions as well. The literature and art inspired by these traditions make the religious landscape of Mathura a fascinating subject of study. Before Krsna is one such work that entails an epigraphic analysis of Mathura from the early historical till the early medieval period. It examines the content of inscriptions from Mathura, correlates it with other archaeological and literary sources, and assesses the available data in the context of the social, political, and economic processes underway in the Indian subcontinent at that time. This monograph not only provides the reader a taste of Mathura's religious diversity and plurality over time, but is also relevant for understanding the history of specific religious traditions and the threads of interaction between them.


List of Abbreviations
List of Figures and Table
1. Introducing Mathura: A Multi-religious Landscape
2. Jainism: Worshipping Stupas, Ayagapatas, and Images
3. Buddhism: Patronage of Images, Stupas, and Viharas
4. Growth of the Cult of Vasudeva Krsna
5. Patronage of Hindu Deities and Brahmanas
6. Worship of Yaksas and Nagas
7. Conclusion
Appendix: Consolidated Data of the Mathura Donations
(Based on inscriptions from the third century BCE to twelfth century CE)
Select Glossary
About the Author
List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations

About the author: 

Kanika Kishore Saxena, has done her BA and MA (first position in Delhi University) from LSR college, and has been awarded President's Gold Medal for being the best student in Delhi University for excellence in academics, conduct, character, co-curricular and social services. Her PhD is also from Delhi University. She has been working as Assistant Professor of History and has taught in colleges like LSR and Miranda House. She is currently employed in Miranda House.

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