From Universe of Visnu to Universe of Siva


The 6th-7th centuries CE in South and Southeast Asia are characterized by a major shift in religion. Worship of the god Visnu (Vaisnavism) had flourished in the preceding centuries, supported by many of the kingly courts in India. In the said transitional period, the worship of Siva (Saivism) became the dominant religious model, with an impact reaching far beyond the borders of the Indian subcontinent, and stretching over many centuries. It had a lasting influence on the religious and political formations of the entire region.
The present project will be the first to study some of the foundational works of ritual and mythology of Vaisnavism and Saivism in tandem. This will uniquely enable us to explain what amounted to a sea change in terms of religion: the rapid takeover of the dominant position of Vaisnavism by Saivism.
Building on the long-running Skandapurana project, which will produce a complete critical edition of the 6th-7th century Saiva text called Skandapurana, the present project will integrate the cultural-historical study of Saivism with that of Vaisnavism. We aim to explain how and why the dominant discourse of a social and cosmic order controlled by Visnu came to be superseded by one in which Siva rules supreme. Our findings will elucidate one of the key historical moments in the formation of Hinduism, and contribute to a better understanding of Hinduism?'s pluralistic origins and identity.


Boek of monografie

Hoofdstuk in boek

  • K. Paramore, P.C. Bisschop(2016): Religion and Orientalism in Asian Studies pp. 39 - 50
  • A. Reeuwijk, P.C. Bisschop(2017): Voyage of Discovery pp. 136 - 143
  • P.C. Bisschop, D. Cuneo, L. den Boer(2017): Puṣpikā. Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions. pp. 1 - 13
  • P.C. Bisschop(2019): pp. 511 - 537
  • P.C. Bisschop(2019): Perspectives on Lived Religion pp. 165 - 172

Wetenschappelijk artikel

  • P.C. Bisschop(2016): Peter Schreiner (2013) Viṣṇupurāṇa. Althergebrachte Kunde über Viṣṇu Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 208 - 215
  • H.T. Bakker, P.C. Bisschop(2016): Bakker H.T. & Bisschop P.C. (2016), The Quest for the Pāśupata Weapon. The Gateway of the Mahādeva Temple at Madhyamikā (Nagarī)., Indo-Iranian Journal 59(3): 217-258. Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 217 - 258
  • P.C. Bisschop(2018): Buddhist and Śaiva Interactions in the Kali Age Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 396 - 410
  • P.C. Bisschop(2018): Review of: Ivan Andrijanić and Sven Selmer (eds.), On the Growth and Composition of the Sanskrit Epics and Purāṇas. Relationship to Kāvya. Social and Economic Context Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 185 - 189
  • N. Kafle(2019): The kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata in the Śivadharmaśāstra Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 340 - 383
  • P.C. Bisschop, E.A. Cecil(2019): Columns in Context History of Religions pp. 355 - 403
  • P.C. Bisschop(2020): Review of: Simon Brodbeck, Krishna's Lineage. The Harivamsha of Vyāsa's Mahābhārata Indo-Iranian Journal pp. 71 - 75

Publicatie bedoeld voor een breed publiek





Prof. dr. P.C. Bisschop

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Leiden, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leids Instituut voor Regiostudies (LIAS)


N. Kafle PhD, N. Kafle PhD, N. Kafle PhD, S. Mersch


01/01/2016 tot 31/12/2020