publication on Saiva visualisation

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 10 15:51:54 UTC 2006

Dear Colleagues,

This is to announce our tardy "2005" publication on "Saiva  

"The Pancavaranastava of Aghorasivacarya. A twelfth-century South  
Indian prescription for the visualisation of Sadasiva and his retinue."

Editors: Dominic Goodall, Nibedita Rout, R. Sathyanarayanan, S.A.S.  
Sarma, T. Ganesan, S. Sambandhasivacarya.
Collection indologie 102. Pondicherry: Institut Français de  
Pondichéry / Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 2005.

237 p. + 26 p. illustrations.

The volume presents a critical edition of a once celebrated  
liturgical hymn in 100 verses by Aghora"siva.  That 12th-century  
theologian of Chidambaram is well-known both for his commentaries and  
for his ritual manuals: the M.rgendrapaddhati and the  
Kriyaakramadyotikaa.  The latter, completed in 1157 AD, remains one  
of the principal authorities for the performance of ritual in South  
Indian "Saiva temples today.

In his Pa~ncaavara.nastava, “Praise of the Five Circuits”,  
Aghora"siva shows how the central deity of the "Saiva Siddhaanta  
should be visualised in worship. The initiate should see the benign,  
white, consortless, 5-faced and 10-armed Sadaa"siva enthroned on an 8- 
petalled lotus.  Arranged around him in 5 concentric rings are  
anthropomorphic forms of the 11 mantras that are his heads and body- 
parts, then 8 souls that administer the universe, then 8 members of  
his family, the 10 divinities that protect the directions, and  
finally the anthropomorphised weapons of those protectors.

Annotation and a selection of photographs accompany the text.

Dominic Goodall
Pondicherry Centre,
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient,

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