The Suksmagama is a hitherto unpublished and important Saivagama dealing with many Saiva rituals as they are performed in temples. It is held to be one of the twenty-eight fundamental scriptures of the Saivasiddhanta.
The present volume furnishes a critical edition of the first thirteen chapters, out of a total of about a hundred. The edition is based on the collation of eight paper manuscripts and is prefaced by an introduction (both in English and in Sanskrit) that gives a detailed summary of the edited text. The reader will find here treatment of many rites, such as the punyabavacana (a rite rarely described at length in other scriptures), the preparation of the pancagavya, rites for the worship of gives in temples, the fire worship, and finally a very detailed description of the grand temple festival.
This second volume of the Suksmagama critical edition contains descriptions of a variety of rites and ceremonies concerning divinities and humans, mostly performed in the temple. Many of them arc in the form of festivals celebrated in honour of 8iva and the Goddess. Others include anointing the Lit, with a continuous How of liquids, less well-known ceremonies connected with the Goddess, special rites exclusively performed for the sake of kings, as well as ordeals and an interesting and unusual chapter dealing with the organisation of the temple personnel.
This volume has been prepared and published with the help of Region Ile-de-France (Programme ARCUS he-de-France - Inde)
This third volume of the Suksmagama critical edition contains descriptions of a variety of rites and ceremonies concerning Siva and the Goddess and for the welfare of the society. Many of them are in the form of installations of a Sivalinga, of the image of the Goddess and of the provisional temple. Others include festivals such as the collecting of pearls from the sea, the chariot festival, the offering of a golden crown to the Linga, the installation of the temple kitchen, tank, well and of the monastery. The performance of atonement rites in order to make up for omissions in various rites, the installation of the Naga and that of the altars inside the temple for bali-offering are also treated in detail.
This volume has been prepared and published with the financial assistance from Sri Sambamurthy Sivacharyar Foundation, Chennai and Sadyojat Samskrita Prakashan, Cuddalore.
S. Sambandhasvacarya has been working in the French Institute of Pondicherry since 1969 in the project of critically editing the Saivagama-s. Coming from a family of temple priests, well versed in the domain of temple rituals and with a long experience in reading various ancient scripts he has rendered great help in the first critical editions of agama-s such as the Matangaparamesvara, Sardhatrisatikalottara, Rauravottara, Ajita and Diptagama.
T. Ganesan has been working as a Senior Researcher in the French Institute of Pondicherry since 1985. His current research project A Comprehensive History of Saivasiddhanta in Tamilnadu involves the work of surveying the contents of the entire gamut of Saivasiddhanta literature (Sanskrit and Tamil). The first critical edition of the ancient Saiva text, Varunapaddhati along with the unpublished commentary of Nigamajnana II is one of his main research publications concerning the Saiva ritual system.
S. Sambandhasivacarya has been working in the French Institute of Pondicherry since 1969 in the project of critically editing the Saivagama-s. Coming from a family of temple priests, well versed in the domain of temple rituals and with a long experience in reading various ancient scripts, he has rendered great help in the first critical editions of agama-s such as the Matangaramesvara, Sardhatrisatikalottara, Rauravottara, Ajita and the Diptagama.
Bruno DAGENS (Professor emeritus, Universite Paris-III Sorbonne nouvelle, member of UMR 7528 and associated researcher at the IFP), has translated Mayamata and authored several studies about Indian tradition in South and Southeast Asia.
Marie-Luce BARAZER-BILLORET (Senior lecturer, Universite Paris-III Sorbonne nouvelle, member of UMR 7528 and associated researcher at the IFP), is studying Southern Saivism; she has authored several articles and co-authored the translation of the Rauravagama, the critical edition of the Diptagama and a book on Siva.
T. Ganesan has been working as a Senior Researcher in the French Institute of Pondicherry since 1985. Under his current research project "A Comprehensive History of Saivasiddhanta in Tamilnadu", he has published a detailed monograph Two Saiva Teachers of the sixteenth century. Nigamajnana I and his disciple Nigamajnana II. The first critical edition of the ancient Saiva text, Varunapaddhati along with the unpublished commentary of Nigamajnana II is one of his main research publications concerning the Saiva ritual system.
Jean-Michel CREISMEAS (Ph.D Student, Universite Paris III - Sorbonne nouvelle) is currently working on his thesis dealing with "Yoga according to Saivasiddhanta
The original idea of bringing out an edition of the Suksmagama is due to Pandit N. R. BHATT who passed away recently. When he was asked some ten years ago which agamic text was in need of immediate edition, especially in the field of rites and ceremonies, he had proposed this text from which he had often quoted in the footnotes of his editions. For him, the Suksmagama was one of the very important texts left unpublished - there was no pre-critical edition printed in grantha script -dealing with ritual in a fairly comprehensive and original way. He was particularly emphatic that this agama contains descriptions of rites often mentioned but only rarely described. The auspicious day (punyaha) ceremonial, which is dealt with in the first chapter, is an example, and there are still others even more rare, especially in an agamic context. Of these, the ordeals will be dealt with in the second volume of this work. Besides, amongst other noteworthy characteristics, N. R. BHATT used to point out an interesting comment made in the Suksmagama concerning the complementary relationship between the temple and the sivalinga, the first serving as the body for the second as its self. Such comments which lead from ritual to theology had been made use of in some 16th-century works, notably in those of Nigamajnanadesika (= Nigamajnana II). Lastly, N. R. BHATT underlined that the Suksmagama belonged to the category of agamic works which give a rather prominent place to Vedic elements; on that point its edition would be, for him, an appropriate complement to that of the Diptagama, another agama that makes frequent use of Vedic material, mantras and texts.
All these considerations vindicate N. R. BHATT's proposal. and his interest in the Suksmagama started early which explains why he has collected for the French Institute Library several manuscripts - often of good quality - on which the present edition is based. As wished by N. R. BHATT, this edition is to be in the line of the works he had prepared himself during his long tenure at the French Institute or of those he has initiated and advised before and after his retirement, whose main purpose was to provide instruments for the systematic study of an important aspect of religious history of South India.
The continuity very much wished by N. R. BHATT is ensured by the presence of S. SAMBANDHASIVACARYA in the team in charge of the project, who is the last active member of the group of traditional scholars that he had brought together at die French Institute for the study of Saivagama-s. The personal involvement of Sri. SAMBANDHAN as a temple priest makes his exceptionally qualified to guide a project of which a secondary purpose is to give his the opportunity of passing his knowledge and the tradition he represents on to young Indian and foreign scholars; that was a reason to launch the program soon as possible.
At the start Dr. G. S. V. Dattatreyamurti, a young Sanskrit scholar just engaged as a research assistant at the French Institute, was asked to work with Sri. Sambandan on the project. However, D. G. S. V. Dattatreyamurti left h French Institute in August, 2008 in order to join Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Viswa Mahavidyalaya, Enathur, Kanchipuram. In the meantime he h. prepared a first draft of the critical edition of chapters planned for the first volume and of their summaries. After his departure at the time of relaunching of the project a double problem appeared. On the technical side it was necessary to change the software used which would lead to the retyping of the work. On the editorial side, it appeared that the whole work required a complete revision, due to the novelty of the subject for a young scholar well trained in vyakarana and other branches of Sanskrit literature. Thus it was decided to start the work again on a fully new technical and editorial basis. It is that of this first volume which, prepared in Pondicherry, is to be followed in the near future by a second one of which the elaboration is going on at present simultaneously in Pondicherry and in Paris. On the French Institute side, the responsibility of the whole work is entrusted to T. GANESAN and S. SAMBANDHA SIVACARYA. In India an other institution is also involved: it is the "Veda Agama Samskrita Maha Patashala" Bengaluru. In Paris project h. been taken up by Dr. M.-L. BARAZER-BILLORET as a programme of UMR "Mondes iranien et indien" (Paris) for which it is a follow up of that dealing with the edition of the Diptagama brought to completion in 2009.
The present third volume of the critically edited text of the Suksmagama follows the earlier volumes of the same text. It contains the chapters 54 to 85 which are preceded by a detailed introduction, summary of chapters in English and the same (patalarthasamgraha) in Sanskrit. The introduction discusses about the sources utilised for this volume, the arrangement of patala-s, as well as some of their special features. Interesting points regarding close similarities, sometimes even borrowings, from other Saivagama-s such as the Suprabhedagama, Karanagama, are also discussed in the introduction.
As was the case in the previous two volumes, the final draft of this volume is a fruit of many joint reading sessions of all the chapters of the text undertaken by the editors both at Pondicherry and at Paris during the period between 2012 and 2015.
We express our sincere thanks to the authorities of the Sri Sambamurthy Sivacharyar Foundation, Chennai, The Sadyojat Samskrita Prakashan, Cuddalore and the Ambalsoft Infotech put. Ltd., Chennai for their great interest and support for the publication of this volume. We convey our sincere gratitude to Dr. T. S. Shanmugam Sivacharyar, the founder president of Sri Sambamurthy Sivacharyar Foundation and to Sri. Sambandha Sivacharyar, the founder of the Sadyojat Samskrita Prakashan for their generous financial support for printing this volume of the Suksmagama. We also express our sincere thanks to the successive Directors of the French Institute of Pondicherry, Mr. Pierre Grard and Mr. Frederic Landy for providing the required support for the smooth functioning of the project.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Children’s Books (51)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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