Last Updated : Jul 23, 2018 04:02 PM IST | Source:

Moneyshastra with Devdutt Pattanaik: Temple economics - Chapter 2

This video series speaks about Hinduism in Southeast Asia during the Vedic period which has a profound impact on the region’s cultural development and its history.

Anusua Banerjee @moneycontrolcom

Hinduism based on a temple is very different from the Hinduism based on Yagya, which means Puranic or old. On the contrary, Agamik Hinduism is different from Vedic or Nigamik Hinduism. The old methods of worship in India are called Srauta traditions, where there were no temples.

Hinduism came about years later, which was called Puranic or Smarta tradition. This method involved an image of the deity at the center. But principally it is the same. You have to make offerings to the deity and in exchange, the deity gives you something else. Now the whole temple is designed like a series of transactions which enables wealth to be distributed.

So, the Brahmins who lived around the temples earned their living by taking care of the Gods. Across India, when you go to a temple, you first see a marketplace where goods are exchanged. This creates an economic ecosystem which involves service providers, product makers, traders, and bankers.

This is not India- centric, temple traditions span from Indonesia to Thailand and Cambodia. Around 1,000 years ago, these traditions were spread via ships where Brahmins created temple cities. Of course, now those temple cities are in ruins, but they are replaced by Buddhist monasteries and stupas which functioned exactly the same way.

Therefore when you see these structures, you realise how India’s economy was based on temples. And then spirituality and materialism, finance and godliness all mingled and merged into a single whole.
First Published on Jul 23, 2018 03:58 pm
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