Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(6,280 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 him as the sole lord and…

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Acharya, Diwakar, “Pāśupatas”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 23 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2018

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