"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 6 2020





Аuthor Margarita F. ALBEDIL
Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Research Fellow, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

   The article deals with the sacred complex Pashupatinath, it is considered the main shrine of Shiva and a place of pilgrimage throughout the Hindu world. Here they worship the ancient image of Shiva-Pashupati as «the lord of the animals. It has been known since the days of the Proto-Indian civilization that existed in the Indus Valley and its tributaries in the III-II millennium BC, and created by the ancestors of the Dravids, who now inhabit southern India.

   It can be assumed that Nepali Pashupati is a distant descendant of the Proto-Indian supreme god and therefore has Dravidian roots, but this hypothesis cannot be proved at present. The ancient shrine of Pashupatinath, the stone lingam of Shiva, is kept in the main temple of the complex. Together with other places of worship, it forms the vast Field of Shiva or Pashupati. It performs daily Nityapuja rituals, as well as many special Naimitikapuja rituals; the latter are most often associated with certain calendar dates, days of new moons and full moons, solstices, with the cycle of agricultural work, etc.

   There are also many festive rituals of the annual cycle, both common to all Hinduism, and purely local. Pilgrims from all over the Hindu world come to Pashupatinath. But there are especially many of them going on the Great Night of Shiva, which is celebrated according to the lunar calendar in February-March. In Hinduism, two traditions are combined here: high, priestly, general Hindu and local, Newar, with the archaic elements. This phenomenon has hardly been studied in Russian oriental studies, although it deserves special attention.

   This article is based on fieldwork of the author.

Keywords: Nepal, Hinduism, Pashupatinath, Shiva, pilgrimage, tirtha
Pages 69-73