The World of the Skandapurāṇa explores the historical, religious and literary environment that gave rise to the composition and spread of this early Purana text devoted to Siva. It is argued that the text originated in circles of Pasupata ascetics and laymen, probably in Benares, in the second half of the 6th and first half of he 7th centuries. The book describes the political developments in Northern India after the fall of the Gupta Empire until the successor states which arose after the death of king Harsavardhana of Kanauj in the second half of the 7th century. The work consists of two parts. In the first part the historical environment in which this Purāṇa was composed is described. The second part explores six localities in Northern India that play a prominent role in the text. It is richly illustrated and contains a detailed bibliography and index.
Hans Teye Bakker (1948) is professor emeritus of Sanskrit and Hinduism at the University of Groningen.
He published numerous books and articles on the history of Hinduism. He is one of the editors of the critical edition of the Skandapurāṇa.
All interested in the cultural history of Northern India of the classical and medieval period.
Sanskritists and historians of religion who are concerned with Purana literature and the development of Saiva devotion in the 6th and 7th centuries.