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Abhinavagupta

Abhinavagupta  

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(c.975–1025)Greatest of the Kashmiri Śaiva theologians. His works deal with the theoretical, yogic, and ritual aspects of the Tantric Trika and Krama traditions, the theology of the Pratyabhijñā ...
Ādiśaiva

Ādiśaiva  

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A subcaste of hereditary and endogamous Tamil temple priests, who are specialists in Śaiva Siddhānta ritual. They are also known as Śaivabrāhmaṇa (‘Śaivite brahmins’).
Aghorī

Aghorī  

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A member of a Śaiva ascetic sect, related to the now defunct Kāpālika tradition, that worships Śiva in his Aghora (terrible) form. Most prevalent in Vārāṇasī (but now few in number), Aghorīs live and ...
Āḻvārs

Āḻvārs  

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6th–9th centuries ce)The name given to twelve South Indian poet-saints, whose works, and the personal experience of God that they evoked, were highly influential in the development and practice of ...
āmnāya

āmnāya  

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A word referring to a particular ‘stream’, ‘current’, or transmission of teachings and practices, which flows from teacher to pupil through the generations. The term is used by both Śaiva and ...
Aṇṇaṇmār

Aṇṇaṇmār  

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Religion
This folk epic of the Tamil Nadu region of India has been sung by professional storytellers at festivals since the fifteenth century. The narrative tells of a grandfather who leaves ...
Appar

Appar  

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(Late 6th or 7th cent. ce).A Tamil poet, one of the sixty-three Nāyaṇmārs. A devotee of Śiva, his 312 surviving hymns remain in use. He is a model of the self-effacing servant of the Lord.[...]
Āṟumuka Nāvalar

Āṟumuka Nāvalar  

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(1822–1879)An exponent of Śaiva Siddhānta, based on the Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka, who wrote and published works in Tamil on the correct performance of temple worship. His purpose was to educate ...
Aruṇācaleśvara Temple

Aruṇācaleśvara Temple  

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Mostly 16th–17th centuries ce)One of the great South Indian Śaiva temple complexes and pilgrimage sites, situated at Tiruvaṇṇāmalai.
asceticism

asceticism  

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The practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons. The term comes (in the mid 17th century, via medieval Latin or Greek) from Greek ...
ash

ash  

1 The mineral content of a product that remains after complete combustion, which consists mainly of minerals in oxidized form. See also fly ash.2 Volcanic dust that erupts from a volcano, and either ...
Atharvaśiras Upaniṣad

Atharvaśiras Upaniṣad  

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A late Upaniṣad containing Śaiva material.
atimārga

atimārga  

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One of the two main branches of Śaivism described in the Śaiva Āgamas or Tantras (the other being the mantramārga, or ‘path of mantras’). The atimārga, which is entered on solely in order to attain ...
Balinese Mythology

Balinese Mythology  

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A visitor to Bali will be struck by the importance of the stories from the Hindu epic the Ramayana in various rituals. In fact, Bali is the only Hindu-Buddhist civilization ...
Banaras

Banaras  

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Banaras (also Kasi or Varanasi) is a tirtha, a spiritual pilgrimage city on the sacred Ganges River in northern India. Pilgrims come from all over India to bathe in the ...
Basava

Basava  

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(c.1106–1167)The founder of the Liṅgāyats. Various accounts of his life have been given. According to a sympathetic biographer, Basava was brought up by foster parents as a Śaiva brahmin. At sixteen ...
Bāul

Bāul  

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c.15th–17th centuries ce)The name given to the followers of a bhakti tradition originating in Bengal, whose characteristic activity is to renounce the householder life and wander the countryside ...
Bhairava Tantras

Bhairava Tantras  

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With its subdivisions, a body of texts representing one major division of the mantramārga branch of the Śaiva Āgamas or Tantras (the other being the Tantras of the Śaiva Siddhānta). They take their ...
bhakti

bhakti  

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(Sanskrit, worship)The devotion due to God, the blessed one (Bhagavat).
bhasman

bhasman  

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Ash widely used as a purifying substance and, when mixed in a paste, for marking the body with sectarian insignia, particularly amongst Śaivas. Indicating his great ascetic and purificatory power, ...

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