Tag Archives: saiva

The Kaumāra cycle in the Skandapurāṇa’s Śaṃkara-saṃhitā

Many khaṇḍa-s, māhātmya-s and saṃhitā-s attach themselves to the sprawling “Mega-Skandapurāṇa”. We use this term to distinguish it from the “Ur-Skandapurāṇa”, which was first published by Bhaṭṭārāi in the late 1980s and is now known to survive as three related … Continue reading

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On the rise of the mātṛkā-s and the goddess Cāmuṇḍā

The roots of the mātṛkā-s in the śruti and the Kaumāra tradition The standard list of 7/8 goddesses known as the mātṛkā-s is a hallmark feature of the classical religion: Brāhmī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Indrāṇī, Cāmuṇḍā, sometimes with the … Continue reading

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Twin Āditya-s, twin Rudra-s

This note originated as an intended appendix to the article on Rudra and the Aśvin-s we published earlier. The first offshoot from that work, which we published separately, explored the links between Rudra, Viṣṇu and the Aśvin-s in the śrauta … Continue reading

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The minimal triangle circumscribing a semicircle

Consider a fixed semicircle with center at and radius . Let be the isosceles triangle which circumscribes it (Figure 1). Figure 1 What will be the characteristics of the minimal form of the said triangle, i.e. triangle with minimum perimeter, … Continue reading

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A note on lost Śaiva centers: consideration of examples from Magadha and Vaṅga

To be read in conjunction with this handout: Harihara in the Indosphere One of the poorly understood but immensely important facets of Hindu history is the role of the saiddhāntika Śaiva-s in the cultural unification of the Indosphere within the … Continue reading

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Rudra’s portion of the ritual offering, the Kaṭha Āraṇyaka and the Atharvaśiras: a brief journey through early śaiva thought

A version of this article was published first at India Facts There is a persistent motif of the deva Rudra (Śiva) being originally refused ritual offerings of the yajña to which the other deva-s were entitled. Rudra eventually acquires his … Continue reading

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The dance of the bhairava

bhairava on a cadaver from Nepal netrAku~nchana-sAraNa-krama-kR^ita-pravyakta-naktaM dino dik-chakrAnta-visarpi-sallari-saTA-bhArAvaruddhAmbaraH | hasta-nyasta-kapAla-kandara-darI-muktAbhra-dhArAH pibann unmukta-dhvani-bhinna-karNa-kuharaH kravyAd ayaM nR^ityati || netra= eye; Aku~nchana= closing; sAraNa= opening; krama= periodic; kR^ita= act; pravyakta= manifest; naktaM= night; dinaH= day; dik= direction; chakra= circle; anta= ends; [dikchakrAnta= … Continue reading

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Some notes on the shaiva temple celebrations and an excursus on the fishing, diving and hunting festivals of rudra

An integral aspect of the life of the post-Vedic Hindu community was participation in the temple celebrations. It was considered highly beneficial in the tAntrika tradition, both to the individual and the community, and helps explain the basic premises of … Continue reading

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A narrative on the kAlAmukha-s: implications for the bhairava-srotas

We had earlier briefly considered the kAlAmukha-s on these pages. While once prominent in both the north and south of the country, their last occurrences are recorded only in the south (though they clearly acknowledge their connections to the northern … Continue reading

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