Pashupata


Pashupata

▪ Hindu sect
      perhaps the earliest Hindu (Hinduism) sect to worship the god Shiva as the supreme deity; it gave rise in turn to numerous subsects that flourished in Gujarat (Gujarāt) and Rajasthan (Rājasthān), at least until the 12th century, and also travelled to Java and Cambodia. The sect takes its name from Pashupati, an epithet of Shiva meaning Lord of Cattle, which was later extended to convey the meaning “Lord of Souls.”

      The Pashupata sect is mentioned in the Indian epic the Mahabharata. Shiva himself was believed to have been the first preceptor of the system. According to legends contained in later writings such as the Vayu-Purana and the Linga-Purana, Shiva revealed that he would make an appearance on Earth during the age of Lord Vishnu's (Vishnu) appearance as Vasudeva (Vāsudeva) (Krishna). Shiva indicated that he would enter a dead body and incarnate himself as Lakulin (or Nakulin or Lakulisha, lakula meaning “club”). Inscriptions of the 10th and 13th centuries appear to corroborate the legend, as they refer to a teacher named Lakulin, who was believed by his followers to be an incarnation of Shiva. On analogy with the Vasudeva cult, some historians place the rise of the Pashupatas as early as the 2nd century BCE, while others prefer the 2nd century CE as a date of origin.

      The ascetic practices adopted by the Pashupatas included the thrice-daily smearing of their bodies with ashes, meditation, and chanting the symbolic syllable “om.” The school fell into disrepute when some of the mystical practices were distorted. Out of the Pashupata doctrine developed two extreme schools, the Kapalika and Kalamukha, as well as one moderate sect, the Shaiva-siddhanta school (Shaiva-siddhanta). The Pashupatas and the extreme sects were called Atimargika (schools away from the path) to maintain their distinction from the more rational and acceptable Shaiva-siddhantas, whose development led into modern Shaivism.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pashupata Shaivism — one of the main Shaivite schools. The Pashupatas (Sanskrit: IAST|Pāśupatas ) are the oldest named Shaivite group. [For the Pāśupatas as the oldest named Śaiva group, see: Flood (2003), p. 206.] Dating is uncertain, but the Pashupatas may have… …   Wikipedia

  • Lakulish — depicted as an aspect of Shiva. Lakulisha (Sanskrit: Lakuliśa, Devnagari: लकुलिश) (Etymology: लगुड (Staff) or लकुट (Mace) + ईश (Lord) = Meaning, The Lord with a Staff or Mace or Club or Stick) was a prominent Shaivite revivalist, reformist and… …   Wikipedia

  • Arjuna — For other uses, see Arjuna (disambiguation). A statue of Arjuna on a street in Bali Arjuna (Devanagari: अर्जुन, Thai: อรชุน, Orachun, Tamil: Arjunan, Indonesian and Javanese: Harjuna, Harjuno, Herjuno, Malay: Ranjuna; pronounced [ɐrˈɟunɐ] in… …   Wikipedia

  • Religious text — Religious texts, also known as Sacred Scripture, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts …   Wikipedia

  • Hindu mythological wars — The Wars of Hindu history depict great heroes and demons in battles filled with the force of celestial weapons and beings, religious mysticism, magic, and the supernatural. Overriding the battles is a deeper depiction of religion and fate.… …   Wikipedia

  • Elephanta (Insel) — Elephanta ist eine kleinere Insel im Bundesstaat Maharashtra in Indien. Die ruhige, dicht bewaldete Insel liegt in einer Meeresbucht rund 10 km östlich von Mumbai, dem ehemaligen Bombay und hat eine Fläche von ca. 2 km². Die wenigen Einwohner… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elephanta Island — Elephanta ist eine kleinere Insel im Bundesstaat Maharashtra in Indien. Die ruhige, bewaldete Insel liegt in der Bucht rund 10 km östlich von Mumbai, dem ehemaligen Bombay und hat eine Fläche von circa 2 km². Die wenigen Einwohner leben in einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hinduism — /hin dooh iz euhm/, n. the common religion of India, based upon the religion of the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, etc., having an extremely diversified character with many… …   Universalium

  • Shiva — For other uses, see Shiva (disambiguation). Shiva A statue de …   Wikipedia

  • Gujarat — This article is about the Indian state. For the district in Pakistan, see Gujrat District. For the city in Pakistan, see Gujrat. Gujarat ગુજરાત   State   …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.