new publication

Axel Michaels axel.michaels at YAHOO.DE
Sat May 10 10:21:59 UTC 2008

Michaels, Axel:
Śiva in trouble : festivals and rituals at the Paśupatinātha temple of Deopatan / Axel Michaels. - Oxford [u.a.] : Oxford University Press, 2008. -  286 S. - (South Asia Research) 
ISBN 978-0-19-534302-1 / 0-19-534302-6
£ 41,00 / US$ 74,00 (Hardback)

The town of Deopatan, three kilometers northeast of Kathmandu, is above all famous for its main sanctum, the temple of Paśupati, the "lord of the animals," a form of Śiva and the tutelary deity of the kings of Nepal since ancient times. By its name alone, the temple attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has made itself known far beyond the Kathmandu Valley. However, for the dominant Newar population the town is by no means merely the seat of Śiva or Paśupati. It is also a city of wild goddesses and other deities. Due to this tension between two strands of Hinduism -- the pure, vegetarian Smarta Hinduism and the Newar Hinduism which implies alcohol and blood sacrifices -- Śiva/Paśupati has more than once been in trouble, as the many festivals and rituals described and analyzed in this book reveal. Deopatan is a contested field. Different deities, agents social groups, ritual specialists, and institutions are constantly seeking dominance,
 challenging and even fighting each other, thus contributing to social and political dynamics and tensions that are indeed distinct in South Asia. It is these aspects on which Axel Michaels concentrates in this book. 

1. The Pasupatinatha Temple Area. 3
2. The Procession of Lamentation (Duducyacyajatra). 47
3. The Worship for the Salvation of the Country (Desoddharapuja). 55
4. The Festival of the Goddess Pigamai. 69
5. The Festival of the Goddess Vatsala. 79
6. The Procession with the Trident (Trisuljatra). 107
7. The Goddess of the Secret and Her Procession (Guhyesvarijatra). 127
8. Bala's Fourteenth (Balacaturdasi). 153
9. Siva under Refuse and Goblin's Fourteenth (Lukumahadyah, Pisacacaturdasi). 169
10. The Great Night of Siva (Mahasivaratri). 183
11. Pasupatinatha as a Place of Pilgrimage (Tirthayatras). 193
12. Deopatan Revisited. 209
13. Conclusion: Smarta and Newar Hinduism. 227

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