chapter  5
15 Pages

Established usage and absolute freedom of religion at Bodh Gaya: 1861–1915

In the years 1861-1915, there were three sets of players in contest over the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya: (1) the Saivite monastics under the Bodh Gaya Math, (2) the British government, and (3) the Mahabodhi Society. For each of these we can specify different interests and versions of history, not unchanging, that sometimes opposed and sometimes overlapped with the other two. Inside each group, considerable variation existed and, moreover, as was often the case in British India, the players shared many values and assumptions, so that no group was able to dictate the rules by which the game was played.