The Brahmayamala Tantra or Picumata, Volume I

Chapter 1-2, 39-40, and 83

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Shaman Hatley
  • Pondicherry, India: 
    French School for Asian Studies
    , April
     709 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by John Nemec forthcoming.


The Brahmayāmala or Picumata is one of the earliest surviving goddess-oriented (śāktatantras, its core probably dating back to the late seventh or early eighth century. Though long forgotten, it is thus crucial to understanding the early history of the Tantric traditions. Spanning more than twelve-thousand verses and 104 chapters, this monumental work is transmitted in a beautiful Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript of the eleventh century, which forms the principal basis for this critical edition. Complementing volume II, edited by Csaba Kiss in the same series, this volume includes the first published edition and annotated translation of five chapters of the Brahmayāmala. The volume also presents pioneering studies on topics these chapters illuminate: Tantric Śaiva conceptions of revelation and the canon, the history of Tantric coital ritual, the mythology of Bhairava, and the iconography and symbolism of the skull-staff (khaṭvāṅga). As with other texts published in the Early Tantra Series, study of the Brahmayāmala helps reshape our knowledge of Tantric Śaivism and religion in early medieval India.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

 Shaman Hatley is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research concerns Tantric Śaivism, yoga, and goddess cults in early medieval India. 


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