TALK. Prof. Alice Collett at UCLA on Feb. 16

Stephanie Balkwill's picture

Dear Colleagues,

The Center for Buddhist Studies at UCLA is hosting Prof. Alice Collett of St. Andrews University for an in-person talk entitled, "On Cāntisirī: Buddhism and Brahmanism amongst the Ikṣvākus." I have pasted the abstract below. 

The talk is at 4pm PST on Thursday, Feb. 16.

All are welcome to attend this fascinating research presentation, but please fo register at the following link:

With warmest wishes to all,

Stephanie Balkwill, Ph.D.


On Cāntisirī: Buddhism and Brahmanism amongst the Ikṣvākus

Cāntisirī was a royal Ikṣvāku woman who, along with a group of other royal and noble women, left to posterity a set of inscriptions. The Ikṣvāku dynasty ruled a region of South India between the third and fourth centuries. As indicated by the name chosen for the dynasty, these rulers patronised Brahmanism and certain of the kings, on the inscriptions, are recorded to have sponsored and performed royal Vedic rituals.  Within this context, as a member of the royal family, Cāntisirī developed an interest in the teachings of the Buddha, and records on her inscriptions an aspiration to attain nirvana, for herself.  In this talk, I will first introduce the Ikṣvākus and life in their ancient city, then discuss the seeming interplay of Buddhism and Brahmanism within the life of this royal and noble woman. Questions that arise are – What did Cāntisirī understand nirvana to be? Are there any identifiable Brahmanical religious aspirations expressed on these Buddhist donor inscriptions? Does the example of Cāntisirī suggest we should modify or loosen our understanding of boundaries between religious traditions in this historical period?   

Categories: Lecture