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Vedic Cosmology and Ethics

Selected Studies

Series:

Henk W. Bodewitz

Edited by Dory H. Heilijgers, Jan E.M. Houben and Karel van Kooij

How did ‘Vedic man’ think about the destiny of man after death and related ethical issues? That heaven was the abode of the gods was undisputed, but was it also accessible to man in his pursuit of immortality? Was there a realm of the deceased or a hell? What terms were used to indicate these ‘yonder worlds’? What is their location in the cosmos and which cosmographic classifications are at the root of these concepts? The articles by Henk Bodewitz collected in this volume, published over a period of 45 years, between 1969 and 2013, deal with these issues on the basis of a systematic philological study of early Vedic texts, from the Ṛgveda to various Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇykas and Upaniṣads.

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IV

Adhyāyas 70 – 95. Start of the Skanda and Andhaka Cycles

Series:

Peter Bisschop and Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa IV presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 70-95 from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis.
The text edited in this volume includes the myths of Viṣṇu’s manifestation as the Man-Lion (Narasiṃha), the birth of Skanda, the birth of Andhaka, and Hiraṇyākṣa’s battle with the gods culminating in his victory and capture of the Earth.
Thanks to generous support of the J. Gonda Fund Foundation, the e-book version of this volume is available in Open Access.

Universal Śaivism

The Appeasement of All Gods and Powers in the Śāntyadhyāya of the Śivadharmaśāstra

Series:

Peter Bisschop

In Universal Śaivism Peter Bisschop provides a critical edition and annotated translation of the sixth chapter of the Śivadharmaśāstra `Treatise on the Religion of Śiva’, the so-called Śāntyadhyāya 'Chapter on Appeasement’. The Sanskrit text is preceded by an extensive introduction on its composition, transmission and edition.
The Śivadharmaśāstra has arguably played a crucial role in the formation, development and institutionalisation of Śaivism. Through a detailed study of its extensive śānti mantra, Peter Bisschop shows how the text advocates a system in which all worldly and cosmic power is ultimately dependent upon Śiva. The mantra itself is a mine of information on the evolving pantheon of early Brahmanical Hinduism.
Thanks to generous support of the J. Gonda Fund Foundation, the e-book version of this volume is available in Open Access.

Religion and Conflict Attribution

An Empirical Study of the Religious Meaning System of Christian, Muslim and Hindu Students in Tamil Nadu, India

Series:

Francis-Vincent Anthony, Christiaan (Chris) Hermans and C.J.A. (Carl) Sterkens

Religion can play a dual role with regard to conflict. It can promote either violence or peace. Religion and Conflict Attribution seeks to clarify the causes of religious conflict as perceived by Christian, Muslim and Hindu college students in Tamil Nadu, India. These students in varying degrees attribute conflict to force-driven causes, namely to coercive power as a means of achieving the economic, political or socio-cultural goals of religious groups. The study reveals how force-driven religious conflict is influenced by prescriptive beliefs like religious practice and mystical experience, and descriptive beliefs such as the interpretation of religious plurality and religiocentrism. It also elaborates on the practical consequences of the salient findings for the educational process.

Following the Cap-Figure in Majapahit Temple Reliefs

A New Look at the Religious Function of East Javanese Temples, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Series:

Lydia Kieven

Following male figures wearing a cap (cap-figures) in temple reliefs of the Javanese Majapahit period (ca. 1300-1500) leads to astonishing results on their meaning and function. The cap-figures, representing commoners, servants, warriors, noblemen, and most significantly Prince Panji, the hero from the East Javanese Panji stories, are unique to depictions of non-Indic narratives. The cap-figure constitutes a prominent example of Majapahit’s creativity in new concepts of art, literature and religion, independent from the Indian influence. More than that, the symbolic meaning of the cap-figures leads to an esoteric level: a pilgrim who followed the depictions of the cap-figures and of Panji in the temples would have been guided to the Tantric doctrine within Hindu-Buddhist religion.

This title is available online in its entirety in Open Access.