Flowers in Cupped Hands for Siva

A Critical Edition of the Śambhupuṣpāñjali, A Seventeenth-century Manual of Private Worship by Saundaranātha

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Deviprasad Mishra, S. Sambandhaśivācārya, Dominic Goodall
  • Paris: 
    École française d'Extrême-Orient
    , September
     416 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


The Śambhupuṣpāñjali is a seventeenth-century manual in 824 Sanskrit verses, with some prose, that describes the worship of Śiva, not in a temple, but in a South Indian domestic context. It is full of quotations from scriptures and manuals of the Śaivasiddhānta, notably those of Somaśambhu (C11th), Aghoraśiva (C12th) and Vedajñāna (C16th). About the author, Saundaranātha, we can deduce little other than his provenance, for he tells us that he also wrote a manual, now lost, about the worship of Śivasūrya (Śiva as the sun) in Maṇipravāḷam, a mixture of Sanskrit vocabulary and Tamil inflections and syntax, a literary idiom usually associated today with Vaiṣṇava commentarial works. Several features of his Sanskrit style also reveal the influence of Tamil. The introduction presents the work and gives a detailed synopsis of its structure.

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

Deviprasad Mishra joined the IFP in September 1999, where he has been cataloguing the IFP’s collection of predominantly Śaiva manuscripts, recognised as a “Memory of the World” collection by UNESCO in 2005. He took his doctorate in 2004 and published his doctoral work in 2011, namely a critical edition of the previously unpublished commentaries of Madhusūdana and Vaidyanātha on the Sūryaśataka, a century of Sanskrit stanzas in praise of the sun by the poet Mayūra. In 2015, he was honoured by the Government of India with the Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman for his contribution as a young scholar to Sanskrit studies.

Dominic Goodall is a professor (directeur d’études) at the EFEO, co-editor with Dr. Marion Rastelli of the Viennese dictionary of tantric terminology, the Tāntrikābhidhānakośa, and a contributor to the Hamburg Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa (EMCAA).

S. Sambandhaśivācārya worked at the French Institute of Pondicherry in the project of critically editing Śaiva literature from 1969 until his death in 2019. Coming from a family of Śaiva priests well-versed in the domain of temple rituals, and with a long experience in reading various ancient scripts, he made innumerable significant contributions, particularly in the preparation of the first critical editions of ground-breaking theological works such as Rāmakaṇṭha’s commentaries on the Mataṅgapārameśvara, Sārdhatriśatikālottara, and āgamas such as the Rauravottara, Ajita, Sūkṣmāgama and Dīptāgama.



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