Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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An Ājīvika (“Follower of the Way of Life”; Dundas, 2002, 28) is an adherent of what has been called “a vanished Indian religion” (this is the subtitle of A.L. Basham’s classical study of this religion [1951]; note that the term “Ājīvika” was not exclusively used for adherents of this religion; see below). This religion (here called Ājīvikism) arose at the time of Jainism – or rather, at the time of the most recent Jaina tīrthaṅkara (or jina), Vardhamāna Mahāvīra – and in the same region. Its founder is known by the following names: Makkhali Gosāla (Pal.), Gosāla Maṅkhal…

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Bronkhorst, Johannes, “Ājīvika”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 23 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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