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Author: Peter Bisschop
Skandapurāṇa 167 is concerned with a description of Śaiva sacred sites and may be dated to the latter half of the 6th or first half of the 7th century. As such it is a very valuable source for the history and topography of early Saivism. In addition it contains an account of the origins of the Pasupata movement in its descriptions of Karohana, the site of Siva's descent as Lakulisa. The present volume contains a critical edition of two different versions of Skandapurāṇa 167, one transmitted in early Nepalese palm-leaf manuscripts, another transmitted in two later recensions styled Ambikakhanda and Revakhanda. The latter version has never been published before and opens up new perspectives for the study of the transmission of Puranic literature and the historical development of Śaivism. The introduction deals with the sacred topography of Śaivism, the early Pasupata movement and editorial principles. The editions are preceded by an English synopsis and are accompanied by an extensive philological and historical commentary.
Author: Peter Bisschop


The figure of Candeśa (Candeśvara) in early Śaivism has been the subject of two recent studies by Diwakar Acharya and Dominic Goodall. The present article proposes to identify a sculpture in the British Museum, hitherto identified as Lakulīśa, as representing Candeśvara. Attention is drawn to the iconographical similarities to a Śaiva deity depicted on the Cālukya shrines of Mahākūta and Pattadakal. A passage from the lay Śivadharma proves crucial in understanding the identity of Candésvara in early Śaivism, which leads to a renewed consideration of the deity invoked in the final line of the Mathurā Pillar Inscription of Candragupta. Finally the Śivadharma's descriptions of two other Ganas, Bhrngiriti and Vināyaka (Ganésa), are briefly analyzed in the light of the significant fact that both Ganas are referred to as 'son of Rudra'.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
The Appeasement of All Gods and Powers in the Śāntyadhyāya of the Śivadharmaśāstra
Author: 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.