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Religions 2014, 5(3), 738-750; doi:10.3390/rel5030738

The Body Divine: Tantric Śaivite Ritual Practices in the Svacchandatantra and Its Commentary

Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Dept. 2753, 311B Holt Hall, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body and Religion)
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Abstract

This work examines ritual, cosmology, and divinization as articulated in select passages of the Svacchandatantra and its commentary by the late tenth century non-dual theologian, Kṣemarāja. Both the Svacchandatantra and its commentary prescribe the worship of the deity Svacchandabhairava, a form of Śiva, and his consort Aghoreśvarī. Drawing on Gavin Flood’s notion of entextualization, I examine how the rituals described seek to inscribe the corporeal body so that the practitioner is made part of the larger Tantric body and tradition. This present study serves to illustrate the formulation of a Tantric body in the rituals prescribed in the Svacchandatantra and commentary and to extend the theory of entextualization to include the ritual environment. I argue that a Tantric Śaivite religious identity is formulated through rituals which seek to create linkages between the cosmos, the body, and by extension, the ritual environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hinduism; Tantra; Tantric Śaivism; Kṣemarāja Hinduism; Tantra; Tantric Śaivism; Kṣemarāja
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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McCarter, S. The Body Divine: Tantric Śaivite Ritual Practices in the Svacchandatantra and Its Commentary. Religions 2014, 5, 738-750.

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