Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Indian Political Thought
There are diverse strands of political thought in ancient India, and this diversity is not premised merely on different understandings of the nature and purpose of polity but also on the philosophical underpinnings of such understandings, such as the significance of the transhuman domain in human affairs, the nature of the self, conception of the world, goals, and purposes of life, and the nature of understanding as such. Some of these strands of thought have a remarkable continuity over time, although their autonomy as a defensible body of thought or even their role in sustaining allegiance to the political order and defending its legitimacy did not remain the same. Sometimes opposition to a dominant strand of thought led to the reconstruction of certain other streams of thought that led to alternative political striving. Existing evidence suggests that there was much contestation within and across strands of thought, and institutions developed ...