The Brahmayamalatantra or Picumata Revelation, Ritual and Material Culture in an Early Saiva Tantra Volume I
Author: Shaman Hatley
The Brahmay?mala or Picumata is one of the earliest surviving goddess-oriented (??kta) tantras, its core probably dating back to the late seventh or early eighth century. Though long forgotten, it is thus crucial to understanding the early history of the Tantric traditions. Spanning more than twelve-thousand verses and 104 chapters, this monumental work is transmitted in a beautiful Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript of the eleventh century, which forms the principal basis for this critical edition. Complementing volume II, edited by Csaba Kiss in the same series, this volume includes the first published edition and annotated translation of five chapters of the Brahmay?mala. The volume also presents pioneering studies on topics these chapters illuminate: Tantric ?aiva conceptions of revelation and the canon, the history of Tantric coital ritual, the mythology of Bhairava, and the iconography and symbolism of the skull-staff (kha?v??ga). As with other texts published in the Early Tantra Series, study of the Brahmay?mala helps reshape our knowledge of Tantric ?aivism and religion in early medieval India.