For the early relations of Buddhism to Brahminism we have the ancient ritual and speculative works known as the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. But as will be seen, the difficulty is to prove that early Buddhism had any direct contact with these works. The problem is not lessened by the fact that the Brahminism referred to in the Buddhist records belongs to a different region from that described in the ritual works. The first question is the relation of Buddhism to the contemporary rival schools, and for this we are limited, except in the case of Jainism, to Buddhist accounts, which are in all cases legendary. They are stereotyped accounts of doctrines, attributed in some cases to particular leaders, but no more historical than the early legends of Buddha himself. Doubtless there is a historical basis, but we learn little about the holders of these doctrines, the so-called six heretics, beyond the statements of their teaching. These

statements, however, have a great importance in the development of Buddhist thought, for each heretic became distinguished as the holder of a characteristic doctrine, the denial of karma, and so on, and these doctrines are the leading ideas against which Buddhism for centuries directed its arguments.