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Exchange, gifting, and sacrificing: Premodern Indian perspectives
In both the Vedic and the classical periods, a special elite class of people existed that were called Brahmins. In a rough manner, one might say that their material wellbeing depended on dakṣiṇā in the Vedic period and on dāna in the classical one.
Broadening the perspective beyond dakṣiṇā and dāna, this book is on all sorts of giving in the context of pre-modern India, using Vedic, Sanskrit, Buddhist and, to a much lesser extent, Roman and Christian sources. The Brahmanical theory of the gift (i.e., the theory of dutiful gifting, dharmadāna) is a major focus of, and has provided a major motivation for, this study.