The Paraakhyatantra A Scripture of the Saiva Siddhaanta

Dominic Goodall ddsg at SATYAM.NET.IN
Wed Jan 5 07:20:16 UTC 2005

The following publication has recently appeared (December 2004)
and is available from the French Institute of Pondicherry 
(<>) or through Motilal Banarsidass.

The Parâkhyatantra  A Scripture of the Saiva Siddhânta,
A critical edition and annotated translation
by Dominic GOODALL.
Pondicherry, Institut Français de Pondichéry/ Ecole française 
d’Extrême-Orient, 2004.
Collection Indologie 98.
cxxvi+669pp.  Indian Rupees 1000.

This volume furnishes one more previously unpublished document of the 
pre-tenth-century thought-world of the Saiva Siddhânta, a religion that was 
spread across and beyond the Indian subcontinent at the probable time of 
this work's composition. For the Parâkhyatantra dates from the period 
before the appearance of the most significant body of theological exegesis 
in the history of the school, namely the writings of the tenth-century 
Kashmirian lineage of Bha.t.ta Râmaka.n.tha II.  The addition of the 
Parâkhya to the still small corpus of published early Saiddhântika writings 
should be a welcome event to the student of classical Indian religions. 
What is presented here, however, is not the whole text but only those 
chapters of it that deal with doctrine and yoga.  Those on ritual and other 
aspects of religious practice have not been transmitted in the unique codex 
- a beautiful palm-leaf manuscript in minute Nandinâgarî script - and are 
therefore lost.  Many quotations from the text have been located in later 
literature, and a fully positive apparatus reports the readings of all 

A complete English translation - the first to appear of an early 
Siddhântatantra - accompanies the Sanskrit text.  Copious notes discuss 
textual difficulties and problems of interpretation.  In doing so, they 
draw on parallels with other Saiddhântika writings, both published and 
unpublished. The introduction places the Parâkhya in its context, gives a 
résumé of the work, characterises its language and concludes with a 
detailed discussion of the sources and of how they have been used.

Dr. Dominic Goodall,
Centre of Pondicherry,
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient,
19 Dumas Street, P.O. Box 151, Pondicherry 605001, INDIA.
Tel. 0091 413 2334539.  Fax 0091 413 2330886.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list