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Early Tantric Vaisnavism : Three Newly Discovered Works of the Pancaratra the svayambhuvapancaratra devamrrtapancaratra and astadasavidhana

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Three Newly Discovered Works of the Pancaratra. The Svayambhuvapancaratra, Devamrrtapancaratra and Astadasavidhana

Critically edited from their 11th- and 12th-century Nepalese palm-leaf manuscripts with an Introduction and Notes by Diwakar Acharya

Publisher Institut Fran?ais de Pondich?ry

ISBN 978-81-8470-206-4


The three works presented in this volume are hitherto unpublished texts of great significance for the early history of tantric Vai__avism, and we have grounds for supposing that they are older than any hitherto published Vai__ava Tantras. They preserve archaic elements not found in other Pa?car_tra works, such as Vai__ava brahma-mantras styled after the P__upata ones, and the veneration of eight heroes of the V___i clan, as well as of the pentad of Var_ha, Narasi_ha, Trivikrama, V_mana, and Vasudeva. Their ritual makes profuse use of Vedic mantras, one of them even requiring the installation of Vedic hymns (rather than tantric mantras!) chosen from each of the ten ma__alas of the _gveda in every image of Vi__u. In a spirit rare in the Vai__ava traditions of the second millennium, these scriptures call on devotees to identify Brahm_, Vi__u and _iva. They thus present a picture of Tantric Vai__avism in the first millennium AD as imbricated with _aivism and Brahmanism and tell us much about the early history of tantrism and of Hinduism in general.

The first and third of these texts are transmitted to us in a single palm-leaf manuscript dated to Nepal Samvat 147 (1027 AD), and the second in a slightly newer and undated one, both from the treasure trove of the National Archives, Kathmandu. This volume contains a first edition of these texts with a detailed introduction, including an English synopsis, along with text-critical notes and indices, as well as facsimiles of the manuscript leaves.

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Weight 0.7 kg