SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Hans Bakker - The Quest for the Pāśupata Weapon

Dr Hans Bakker (University of Groningen, British Museum)

Date: 11 May 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 11 May 2016Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: L67

Type of Event: Seminar


The lecture will take its start from one of my earlier publications: “At the Right Side of the Teacher: Imagination, Imagery, and Image in Vedic and Śaiva Initiation” (In: P. Granoff & K. Shinohara eds., Images in Asian Religions. Toronto 2004). In this article I discussed an architrave found at the excavation site near the village of Nagarī (Madhyamikā) in Rajasthan, in front of a Mahādeva Temple (6th century). In January 2016 this site was visited by a team of Indologists (Beyond Boundaries, ERC programme). A detailed analysis of the iconographic programme of the 12 panels in this architrave has led to a better understanding. This iconography will be the subject of the lecture.


Dr. Hans T. Bakker (1948) retired in 2013 from the University of Groningen, where he occupied the Gonda Chair of `Hinduism in the Sanskrit Tradition & Indian Philosophy' since 1996. He has been visiting professor at the University of Vienna (2003), at the Graduate School of Letters of the University of Kyoto (2007), and visiting fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (2003{04). He is founder and editor of the Groningen Oriental Studies (Forsten/Brill, Groningen/Leiden), and has been Editor-in-Chief (editor since 2012) of the Indo-Iranian Journal (Brill, Leiden). He supervised the NWO programme A Historical Enquiry Concerning the Composition and Spread of the Skandapurāṇa. As co-applicant he took part in the research programme Politics, Ritual and Religion in India, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (RPG-168). Since 2014 he is project curator at the British Museum, taking part as re-search collaborator in the European Research Council programme Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State. His most recent publications include (ed.) Mansar. The Discovery of Pravareśvara and Pravarapura, Temple and Residence of the Vākāṭaka King Pravarasena II. Proceedings of a Symposium at the British Museum, London, 30 June 1 July, 2008. Library of the University of Groningen, Groningen. e-book: 'The Temple of Maṇḍaleśvarasvāmin. The Muṇḍeśvarī Inscription of the Time of Udayasena Reconsidered.' Indo-Iranian Journal 56.3-4 (2013), 263-277. ‘ Composition and Spread of the Skandapurāṇa. An Artist's Impression.’ Concluding Lecture of `VVIK Indologendag 2013: The Study of the History of Hinduism in the Sanskrit Tradition. Leiden: The Skandapurāṇa, Volume II B, Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles.

Critical edition with an Introduction and Annotated English Synopsis by Hans T. Bakker, Peter C. Bisschop, and Yuko Yokochi . Brill, Leiden 2014. The World of the Skandapurāṇa. Northern India in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. Brill, Leiden/Boston 2014

Organiser: Peter Flügel

Contact email: