Nisvasamukhatattvasamhita A Preface to The Earliest Surviving Saiva Tantra
Author: Edited by Nirajan Kafle with a foreword by Dominic Goodall
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This volume presents the first edition, along with an English translation, of a Sanskrit work of perhaps the seventh century surviving in a single ninth-century Nepalese witness: the Nisvasamukhatattvasamhita. It would be difficult to exaggerate the usefulness of this primary source for the history of the Saiva religions. Ostensibly an introduction to the Nisvasatattvasamhita, it purports to sketch the religious context in which the Mantramarga emerged. In so doing, it provides invaluable help in mapping the contours of the relations between four different traditions of early Saivism, namely: 1) that of the Pancarthika Pasupatas, 2) that of the Lakulas (here lokatita), 3) the Mantramarga and 4) pre-Mantramarga "lay" practices. The work is bracketed by a detailed introduction and an appendix presenting material borrowed into the Sivadharmasangraha.