Dana or ritual gift-making has engaged the attention of Brahmanical lawgivers from the earliest times and, by the end of the first millennium AD, had even become the thematic focus of innumerable nibandhas or digests. It was, however, only in the later half of the twentieth century when, in the context of feudal formations during the early medieval period, the practice of issuing land grants as a form of ritual gift-making came to evoke a lot of historical interest. The present volume is an eclectic collection of articles written over a period of almost twenty years, dealing with a religious institution that is unique to Indian culture.
The period of history surveyed in the volume covers over two millennia of cultural growth and development and broadly spans the Vedic, post-Vedic, and the Gupta / post-Gupta periods. This volume will be of paramount interest to scholars of Ancient and Medieval Indian History, Kingship and Religion in South Asia.