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Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape

Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India

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Elizabeth A. Cecil

In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.

Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India

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Hans T. Bakker

The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.

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Edited by István Keul

The essays in the volume Consecration Rituals in South Asia address the ritual procedures that accompany the installation of temple images in Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist and Jain contexts, in various traditions and historical periods. Through the performance of complex rites designated with the term pranapratishtha (establishment of, or infusion with, life), man-made sculptures are ritually transformed into (receptacles of) deities. The collection is thematically and methodically broad, with a large number of detailed textual studies, but also with ethnographic contributions that discuss contemporary instances of consecration rituals. Among the overarching themes are issues related to historical continuity and change, as well as transformational moments in such rituals.

Contributors are: Marie-Luce Barazer-Billoret, Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz, Ronald M. Davidson, Shingo Einoo, Marko Geslani, Dominic Goodall, Ellen Gough, István Keul, Elisabeth Raddock, S.A.S Sarma, Anna A. Ślączka, Annette Wilke.

How the Brahmins Won

From Alexander to the Guptas

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Johannes Bronkhorst

This is the first study to systematically confront the question how Brahmanism, which was geographically limited and under threat during the final centuries BCE, transformed itself and spread all over South and Southeast Asia. Brahmanism spread over this vast area without the support of an empire, without the help of conquering armies, and without the intermediary of religious missionaries. This phenomenon has no parallel in world history, yet shaped a major portion of the surface of the earth for a number of centuries. This book focuses on the formative period of this phenomenon, roughly between Alexander and the Guptas.

Culture and Circulation

Literature in Motion in Early Modern India

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Edited by Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch

Culture and Circulation reflects an innovative approach to early modern Indian literature. The authors foreground the complex hybridity of literary genres and social milieus, capturing elements that have eluded traditional literary history. In this book, jointly edited by Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch, Hindi authors rub shoulders with their Persian counterparts in the courts of Mughal India; the fame of Mirabai, a poetess from Rajasthan, travels to Punjab; the sayings of Kabir are found to be as difficult to pin down as the holy men who transmitted them. Drawing on new archives in several Indian languages, Culture and Circulation presents fresh ideas that will be of interest to scholars of Indian literature, religious studies, and early modern history.
Contributors include Stefano Pellò,Thibaut d'Hubert,Corinne Lefèvre, John Stratton Hawley, Gurinder Singh Mann, Thomas de Bruijn, Catharina Kiehnle, Allison Busch, Francesca Orsini, Heidi Pauwels, Robert van de Walle.

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Hans T. Bakker, Yuko Yokochi and Peter C. Bisschop

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IIb

Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles

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Edited by Hans Bakker, Yuko Yokochi and Peter Bisschop

Skandapurāṇa IIb presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 31-52 from the Skandapurāṇa, with an introduction and English synopsis. The text edited in this volume includes central myths of early Śaivism, such as the destruction of Dakṣa's sacrifice and Śiva acquiring the bull for his vehicle. Also included is an extensive description of the thirteen hells (Naraka).

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Hans Bakker

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.