Sanskrit language and literature; Buddhism in India and Nepal; Hinduism; Tantrism and Yoga Studies
Ph.D. in Classical Indian and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna
Recent books are listed below. A complete list….
This book deals with the iconography of Hindu deities as presented in Sanskrit texts. Volume one presents the 108 deity descriptions extracted from the sixteenth-century North Indian Mantramahodadhi by Mahīdhara. Each entry includes the Sanskrit text in transliteration, a literal translation, a note on the distribution of the iconographic attributes and explanatory notes on the deities, taking into account similar descriptions found in other Sanskrit texts. Volume two compares for the first time deity descriptions extracted from two earlier and closely related texts, the anonymous Prapañcasāra and Lakṣmaṇadeśika's Śāradātilaka (twelfth century). The Sanskrit text of the 78 deity descriptions extracted from the Prapañcasāra and the 101 descriptions from the Śāradātilaka is presented with a literal translation and remarks on the iconography. (208) illus., (62 col.), appendices, bib., indexes.
According to Newar Buddhists, Śākyamuni Buddha returned to his birthplace, Lumbinī, after his enlightenment. Visual representations of his journey and visit to Lumbinī date back to at least the seventeenth century and became especially popular in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Nepal. They show the Buddha riding standing up on a Nāga (commonly identified with Śeṣa) while being attended by Hindu deities in service to him. Indra holds an honorific parasol steady over the Buddha from behind and a number of Hindu divinities are lined up in a procession and perform specific services. The theme, known as the lumbinīyātrā, is found on its own or as one of the events in the life of Śākyamuni Buddha, or else as a subsidiary scene in larger paintings with a focus on a different Buddhist figure. Both long and short versions are extant. This book traces the history of the theme by examining literary sources in Sanskrit and Newari and pictorial representations in different media, including painting, metalwork, terracotta and woodcarving. Book has 61 color illustrations and 4 appendices.