Ritual Elements of the Śrīvidyā within the Mythical Narrative of the Tripurārahasya

20.05.2022 15:15

Silvia Schwarz Linder | Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies


The Tripurārahasya is a Sanskrit work of South Indian origin, probably composed between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries CE, and associated with the Śākta tradition of Tripurā, later known as Śrīvidyā. This lecture focuses on some Tantric ritual elements embedded in the Purāṇa-style mythical narrative of the Māhātmyakhaṇḍa, the first of the two extant sections of the work, which celebrates the deeds of Tripurā and of the goddesses who are regarded as her manifestations or shares. The topics discussed include: the initiation ceremony (dīkṣa), the mantra of Tripurā (Śrīvidyā) and the method of her worship (pūjā). A crucial component of this worship is the Śrīcakra, the yantra that is both the diagrammatic yet dynamic form of the Goddess, and the essential support for meditation and ritual worship directed at her. In the Māhātmyakhaṇḍa, the Śrīcakra is transposed into a narrative element and becomes the centre of the abode of Tripurā on the Island of Jewels (maṇidvīpa), as well as the pattern according to which the stronghold of Lalitā is constructed. It will be shown how the maṇidvīpa and the Śrīcakra retain their Tantric character and meaning in the Tripurārahasya, even as they are incorporated into a mythical narrative.



Seminarraum 1 des ISTB | online (join us online: https://moodle.univie.ac.at/mod/bigbluebuttonbn/guestlink.php?gid=pKC4lXrOJ3sx)