The Tattvārthādhigamabhāṣya, which is an early commentary on the Tattvārthādhigama attributed to Umāsvāti, contains several passages in verse. The inclusion of these verses has not been studied before, even though they are relevant for the discussion of the relationship between the Tattvārthādhigama and the bhāṣya. This article provides an analysis and translation of these verses, including the introductory verses and the colophon that usually accompany this text. Although some scholars regard the bhāṣya as an auto-commentary, the outcomes of this analysis indicate that the bhāṣya was written by a different author. Further, this study shows that some of the verses in the bhāṣya are derived from other Jaina works in Sanskrit that are no longer extant. This suggests that the Tattvārthādhigama was not the only Jaina philosophical text in Sanskrit at the time of the final redaction of the bhāṣya.
Located in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, the area of Badoh-Pathari is home to a rock shelter with a sculpted panel depicting seven mother goddesses. A weathered inscription next to the sculptures was reported as early as 1926. The inscription is dateable to the fifth century on the basis of its palaeography and the art-historical dating of the site. Though partly effaced beyond hope of decipherment, roughly half of the text can be read with confidence, while some of the rest may be restored conjecturally, and some speculatively. The epigraph pays homage to Rudra and Skanda in addition to the Mothers themselves, and is thus a key resource concerning mātṛ worship in the Gupta period. It mentions the otherwise unknown local ruler Jayatsena of Avamukta (a region also named in the Allahabad pillar inscription), and may refer to the reign of Kumāragupta (I).
A number of prominent scholars of Zoroastrianism have recently taken up Marijan Molé’s thesis that Ahura Mazdā created the world by way of a sacrifice. This article examines the sources that have been adduced for the thesis. It concludes that neither in Avestan nor Pahlavi texts do we find any evidence for the supposed cosmogonic sacrifice.
This paper examines the description of the funeral ritual to be performed for a lay Digambara Jain which is provided by Somasenabhattāraka in his Traivarnikācāra , written in Maharashtra in 1610. This description represents the fullest textual account hitherto available of premodern Jain mortuary ceremonial for a non-renunciant. Despite Jainism's consistent rejection of brahmanical śrāddha ceremonies intended to nourish deceased ancestors, Somasenabhattāraka clearly regards the performance of these as a necessary component of post-funerary commemoration. The paper focusses on Somasenabhattāraka's references to árāddha and the ancestors and suggests how categories deriving from brahman ritual ideology were maintained in a devalorised form in the Digambara Jain context.
This paper begins with the identification and analysis of some earliest textual references to Pāśupata ascetics, their tenets, and behaviours. Then it inquires into the genesis of Pāśupatism by analysing some critical passages of the Pāśupatasūtra, going beyond Kauṇḍinya’s Bhāṣya. It analyses relevant passages from the Jaiminīyabrāhmaṇa, Mahābhārata, and Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa, and shows how the Vedic govrata or anaḍudvrata has been first adopted and then adapted in Pāśupata tradition, and how Indra, a deity associated with the original vow, comes to be depicted as the primaeval observer of the newly defined pāśupatavrata. It argues further that the conception of the celestial bull as a divinity and the idea of imitating the bull’s behaviour to please that divinity are at the heart of the Pāśupata praxis, in all stages of its development. This paper also argues in favour of recognising “Megasthenes’ Heracles” as Indra, and the Sibae people mentioned in his report as the Śibis.
This paper considers the limitations of the Śaivas’ prescriptive literature as evidence of the reality of their religion and stresses the benefits of reading it in the light of inscriptions and other forms of non-prescriptive evidence. It utilizes these other sources to address a number of questions that the prescriptive texts do not or cannot address. The first is that of the early history of Śaivism between the Mauryas and the Guptas. It concludes that when initiatory Śaivism achieved its dominance, as it did after the Gupta period, it did so on the basis of a widespread tradition of popular devotion that goes back at least to the second century bc, and that while the ingenuity and adaptability of the emerging Śaiva traditions were instrumental in this rise, a more fundamental cause may have been that in investing in these traditions their patrons were adopting an idiom of self-promotion that would be efficacious in the eyes of an already predominantly Śaiva population. It then presents evidence of this rise to dominance, explains the contradiction between the power and wealth of the Atimārga’s pontiffs seen in inscriptions and the ascetic disciplines prescribed in its literature, shows that the Āmardakamaṭha, the Mantramārga’s earliest monastic centre, at Auṇḍhā, was already active in the sixth century, argues that it was the initiation of rulers, seen in inscriptions from the seventh century on, that enabled the Mantramārga to spread throughout the subcontinent, and demonstrates that already in the seventh century Śaiva initiation had become routinized as a calendrically fixed duty imposed on temple-attached officiants as a condition of their tenure, thus illustrating how inscriptions can reveal mundane realities that the high-minded prescriptive literature is designed to conceal and transcend.
Indian Buddhist literary sources contain both systematic and casual rejections of, broadly speaking, the caste system and caste discrimination. However, they also provide ample evidence for, possibly subconscious, discriminatory attitudes toward outcastes, prototypically caṇḍālas. The rhetoric found in Indian Buddhist literature regarding caṇḍālas is examined in this paper.