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May 30, 2007



Interesting. The lack of reading ability has also been used to keep some people in a disadvantaged and backward social state. For instance, the Hindu socio-religious texts of Vedas were passed through recitation and repetition. Only high-caste Brahmins could recite the Vedas and listen to them being recited. Should any low-caste, untouchable have heard the recitation, molten lead was poured in his ears for having committed the sin. I imagine that written forms made them more accessible.

That said the Pali language, in which Buddha's teachings are written is known to go back up to 300BC, as it is found on some architectural monuments of that period in India. The teachings of Buddha were perhaps captured contemporaneously although whether he spoke Pali is debatable as Sanskrit was wide-spread then as well.

And it is believed in some circles that 'standing on the shoulders of giants' was less a philosophical statement that Newton's derogation of the short stature of Robert Hooke!

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