Listen how the wise one begins construction of a house for Viṣṇu: vijānatā yathārabhyaṃ gṛhaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ śṛṇv evaṃ. Chapters 1-14 of the Hayaśīrṣa Pañcarātra
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
: vijānatā yathārabhyaṃ gṛhaṃ vaiṣṇavaṃ śṛṇv evaṃ (Sanskrit)
This dissertation consists of a translation of the first fourteen chapters of Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra and a detailed analysis aiming at its contextualization in historical, cultural, and theological milieus. The Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra is a Sanskrit text from approximately the ninth century A.D. primarily dealing with rituals concerning the construction of a temple to the god Viṣṇu. The text is probably from Eastern India, most likely Bengal or Orissa. The Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra belongs to the Pāñcarātra tradition, a Viṣṇu centered movement within what we today call Hinduism. The Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra has incorporated older texts, most of which are no longer extant, and has also been a source-text for later works, most notably the Agni Purāṇa and the Hari Bhakta Vilāsa. The text is named after Hayaśirṣa, the horse-headed incarnation of Viṣṇu, who represents Viṣṇu’s divine character as revealer of śruti. This is the first time that the Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra has been translated. The text is important for Sanskrit textual history, art history, cultural history, religious history of the subcontinent, but unavailable to even most Sanskrit scholars because of a lack of access to the Sanskrit text. The translated chapters deal with preliminary work including choosing the participants for the undertaking. They list, therefore, prerequisites and qualifications, particularly of the ācārya, the specific qualities required of the site, and for digging the foundation. The Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra situates the temple at the center of the universe by means of the vāstupuruṣamaṇḍala. The vāstupuruṣamaṇḍala is, I argue, both a ritual and a practical diagram: it is used ritually to locate the temple at the center of the universe; and it is used practically to plan the layout of the temple. The rituals marking the beginning of temple construction, like ritual plowing, can be traced to Vedic ceremonial practice, including, but not limited to, ritual plowing in the Vedic fire altar. The text focuses on certain moments within the construction because of the ritual function of these moments. The text is primarily a ritual text, possibly written for the ācārya. The Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra is central to the understanding of temple construction and the rituals around it making the view of these more complete.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley , 2011. , 308 p.
Hayaśirṣa Pañcarātra, Sanskrit, temple, Viṣṇu, Agni Purāṇa, Hari Bhakta Vilāsa, ācārya, vāstupuruṣamaṇḍala, ritual, construction, ceremonial practice
History of Religions Specific Literatures
Research subject History Of Religions
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93649OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-93649DiVA: diva2:750608
Goldman, Robert P., ProfessorGoldman, Sally J., DoctorWilliams, Joanna, ProfessorGreenewalt, Crawford, Professor