[Buddha-l] Inquisition and untouchability
karp at uw.edu.pl
Tue Sep 17 13:16:17 MDT 2013
<<Did it provide criteria and institutional frameworks for imposing social
>From a different angle:
In his foreword to "The Genealogies of Lâl Beg" (originally published in
"The Legends of the Punjab", vol. I, 1884 [modern reprint Patiala 1962],
p. 529), Richard Temple put forward an opinion that - at one time -
Buddhist monks fulfilled priestly functions for the (North) Indian castes
of sweepers and latrine-cleaners.
Lâl Beg, whose subsidiary names are Lâl Guru, Lâl Khân, Sâmalî Beg, Lâl Shâh,
Mîrân Shâh, Lâl-o-lâl, and many another honorific title, is the tutelary
saint of the scavenger castes of the Eastern Panjab, and the pivot on which
all their notions of religion turn. Owing to the state of complete
ignorance in which the scavenger classes of India live, it is only with the
utmost difficulty that anything can be elicited with certainty about him.
The wildest and most contradictory stories as to his origin are told, but I
have long been of opinion that the name should be Lâl Bhekh (*bhikshu*) or
the Red (saffron-clothed) Monk, and stories I have recently unearthed
confirm this view: (See, *Panjâb Notes and Queries, *vol. I., 1883-4). He
is probably merely the personification of the priest of the scavengers, who
*is* a “ saffron-clothed monk,” and all the legends about him emphatically
point to this conclusion.
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