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In: Consecration Rituals in South Asia
Being the Earliest Commentary on the Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa. Volume I
Volume Editors: Dominic Goodall and Harunaga Isaacson
For more than a millennium Kalidasa's long poem Raghuvarnsa ("The Lineage of Raghu") has been acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of Sanskrit literature. Many thousands of manuscripts survive, transmitting versions of the text, which often differ considerably, and many classical commentaries. Most of these have not yet been consulted by modern scholars, and as a result there is still no truly authoritative edition of the poem. This volume presents a critical edition of the first six chapters of the oldest commentary known to survive, by the Kashmirian scholar Vallabhadeva (10th century). This commentary has never before been published, so this is the first time that one of the most important sources for the text and the interpretation of Kalidasa's poem has been made available. Vallabhadeva's work is also of intrinsic value as one of the earliest commentaries in Sanskrit on a belletristic work. Kashmirian manuscripts of the poem have not hitherto been used by editors: ten have been collated, and their readings, which are often supported by Vallablhadeva's commentary, reported in the critical apparatus. The apparatus also records the readings of the six pre-modern commentaries that have appeared in print. The notes discuss problems of textual criticism and some questions related to the interpretation of the poem; they also report the readings of two other unpublished commentaries that are transmitted in palm-leaf manuscripts preserved in Nepal: those of Srinatha and Vaidyasrigarbha. A lengthy Introduction discusses the transmission of the poem and the commentary and the distinctive style of the latter.
The Bawd's Counsel: Being an Eighth-century Verse Novel in Sanskrit
Volume Editors: Csaba Desző and Dominic Goodall
In this unique verse novel, "The Bawd's Counsel", Dāmodaragupta paints a vivid tableau of eighth-century urban life in Northern India. Instead of the gods, sages and heroes of legend that people the Sanskrit literary epics, here gurus, princes and merchants jostle upon the streets of Benares, Patna and in the gardens of Mount Abu with bawds, prostitutes, rakes and rustics, and they are shown grappling with matters of life, death, love, lovelessness and livelihood. These mortal actors have been woven into tales that are narrated with considerable grace and wit. The author, a minister at the court of a Kashmirian king, evinces particular empathy with those who have drawn the shortest straws—the abandoned prostitute in love, for instance, or the married woman seduced into a socially ruinous adulterous relationship. Caustically irreverent humour, meanwhile, is meted out to religious hypocrites, to the tiresomely self-important, and to men of rank with more money than sense. In spite of the intrinsic interest of the work—both as a piece of literature and as a document of the social history of its time—it has not received much attention in recent years, either in India or elsewhere. A German translation of an incomplete nineteenth-century edition was published in 1903, which was in turn rendered into French and the French then into English, and there have been translations into Hungarian and Japanese. This volume, which contains not only a fresh edition that draws on a hitherto unconsulted Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript of the thirteenth century, but also a metrical English translation, aims to bring this novel to the wider audience it deserves.

The string of territories called Campā, lying in what is today Vietnam, has yielded about two hundred and fifty inscriptions spanning over ten centuries, from ca. 400 well into the fifteenth century ce. These inscriptions have not yet drawn much attention from the point of view of the shared religious history of South and Southeast Asia. In the present contribution, we focus on a group of seven short Sanskrit inscriptions issued by a king named Prakāśadharman-Vikrāntavarman who ruled in the seventh century. A careful reading of these texts, in parallel with related Sanskrit texts from South Asia, reveals something of the intellectual and religious cosmopolis of which the poets behind these inscriptions were a part, suggesting for instance that tantric Śaiva scriptures had reached Campā by the late seventh century.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
The Skandapurāṇa Project
Series Editor: Hans Bakker
Editorial Board / Council Member: Peter Bisschop, Dominic Goodall, and Harunaga Isaacson
The Skandapurāṇa offers an unprecedented glimpse into the development of Śiva worship and his mythology. This Sanskrit Purāṇa, long considered lost, was known only obliquely from testimonia in digests of Brahminical customs and social regulations. Transmitted to us in several palm leaf manuscripts from Nepal—including the oldest known dated Purāṇa manuscript (810 CE)—as well as paper manuscripts from North India, now at last this seminal text for the understanding of Indian religious traditions is made available in the superb and definitive critical text edition of the Skandapurāṇa Project.
The edition allows far-reaching new insights into the geographical expansion of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the ‘Pāśupatas’ (the name derived from one of Śiva’s many epithets, Paśupati, ‘Lord of Creatures’) amidst the development of other religious communities in early India, and especially, the cultivation of somatic and mental techniques ( yoga), the salvific potential of pilgrimage to Śiva’s many shrines, as well as the worship of his iconic emblem ( liṅga), all of which practices were to become definitive features of the devotional repertoire of medieval—and today's—Śiva worshippers. The Skandapurāṇa is also a vital source for the history of the mythology of Viṣṇu and the Goddess.
Firmly grounded in the scholarly methods that are the hallmark of classical Indology—philology, textual criticism, and the meticulous study of manuscript sources—the Skandapurāṇa Critical Text Edition comes with an annotated English synopsis of this important, rich, but also entertaining text.

‘The Skandapurāṇa, dating in all probability from the seventh century and preserved in manuscript evidence from Nepal that postdates its creation by no more than about two centuries, provides a uniquely clear window into the world of lay Śaiva devotion and its supporting mythologies during the seminal period when the Śaiva ascetic orders were moving with the support of the laity to the centre of Indian religion. The project to produce a critical edition and analysis of the whole of this rich and lucid text is among the most important in current Indological research. The volumes published so far are of very high quality both in the scholarship of their authors and the interest of their contents. The completion of the project will be a major landmark in Indological research.’ - Alexis Sanderson
Essays in Honour of Alexis G.J.S. Sanderson
Academic study of the tantric traditions has blossomed in recent decades, in no small measure thanks to the magisterial contributions of Alexis G. J. S. Sanderson, until 2015 Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University. This collection of essays honours him and touches several fields of Indology that he has helped to shape (or, in the case of the Śaiva religions, revolutionised): the history, ritual, and philosophies of tantric Buddhism, Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism; religious art and architecture; and Sanskrit belles lettres. Grateful former students, joined by other experts influenced by his scholarship, here offer papers that make significant contributions to our understanding of the cultural, religious, political, and intellectual histories of premodern South and Southeast Asia.

Contributors are: Peter Bisschop, Judit Törzsök, Alex Watson, Isabelle Ratié, Christopher Wallis, Péter-Dániel Szántó, Srilata Raman, Csaba Dezső, Gergely Hidas, Nina Mirnig, John Nemec, Bihani Sarkar, Jürgen Hanneder, Diwakar Acharya, James Mallinson, Csaba Kiss, Jason Birch, Elizabeth Mills, Ryugen Tanemura, Anthony Tribe, and Parul Dave-Mukherji.
In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions
In: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions