Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(6,268 words)

The Earliest Times

Pāśupatas were instrumental in the development and spread of Śaivism in ancient times. They were the earliest of sectarian Śaiva groups but are now extinct. They required exclusive faith in Rudra(-Śiva), which meant that a Pāśupata had to worship Rudra, putting aside all other deities and ancestors, and regard h…

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Acharya, Diwakar, “Pāśupatas”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 29 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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