International Workshop on Tantric Studies Manipal, India

tantra-wrkshop-posterJanuary 23-27, 2017

Organized by
Centre for Religious Studies
Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities
Manipal University, Manipal, India


Centre for Religious Studies invites applications for a week-long Workshop on Tantric Studies from January 23-27, 2017 in Manipal.

About the Workshop

The workshop will principally include a close textual reading of selections from various Śaiva Tantric scriptures each followed by various contributions and discussions. We will read the extracts from the following texts:

Ratnatrayaparīkṣā of Śrīkaṇṭha with the anonymous commentary kept in the Oriental Library of Mysore (MS Orlas P 269)
(session headed by Prof Francesco Sferra)

Sarvajñānottara with Aghoraśiva’s commentary
(session headed by Prof Dominic Goodall)

Mokṣakārikā with the vṛtti of Rāmakaṇṭha
(session headed by Dr Hugo David)

The aim is to examine tantric scriptural and post-scriptural literature, much of which is unpublished or must be studied using numerous manuscripts.  The Ratnatrayaparīkṣā is a ninth-century Kashmirian work in over 300 stanzas that deals at length with all manner of tantric notions connected with sound, language and sonic creation.  A short commentary by the famous twelfth-century South Indian theologian Aghoraśiva has been published, but large fragments of what seems to be an older, more exploratory and theologically intriguing commentary of unknown authorship survive in a manuscript in Mysore.  The Sarvajñānottara is a non-dualist tantra that survives in a fragmentary ninth-century codex from Nepal, as well as in many damaged South Indian manuscripts. Its text can only fully be reconstructed, however, with the additional help of Aghoraśiva’s dualist commentary, a further interest of which is that it consistently subverts the text’s non-dualism by ingenious distortions. The Mokṣakārikā is a work on liberation by the earliest tantric theologian of whom works are known to survive, Sadyojotiḥ (c. 675–725). A tenth-century commentary by the Kashmirian thinker Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha has been published, but a recourse to manuscripts reveals that it can be improved on every page.

Deadline for Application:  Tuesday 1 November, 2016

Program and Faculty

Prof Dominic Goodall, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Pondicherry, India
Prof Francesco Sferra, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Naples, Italy
Dr Anjaneya Sarma, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Pondicherry, India
Dr Hugo David, Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Pondicherry, India

There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and participation. The morning and afternoon sessions will include the readings of the text in Sanskrit followed by special lectures in the afternoon. The seminar will be held in English and readings will be circulated in advance. Special events like Yakshagana performance which is a native folk theatre form of Malenadu region in Karnataka, will be organized besides an afternoon excursion to the local Jaina temples in Karkala. There also will be opportunities for exploring the incredible richness and diversity of the region.

Selection Criteria

Advanced comprehension of Sanskrit language and the reading ability in Devanāgarī script is required. We seek interested research students and scholars from across India and abroad. The selection will be made based on the strength of the application. We cannot accept more than 25 participants and the priority will be given to the applications from research scholars in disciplines or with experience in Sanskrit, Philosophy, Indology, Religion and Literature. There will be a participation fee for all participants. Applicants will be informed about the decision of selection after the deadline of application.

Location and Accommodation

The event will be hosted by Manipal University and its Centre for Religious Studies in the picturesque ocean-side state of Karnataka in south-western India. Scholars will be housed in international student residences. The space is wheelchair accessible. A registration fee will be charged that includes working lunch, tea/coffee with snacks and accommodation for five nights. Travel cost will not be reimbursed.

Registration Fees

Registration is mandatory for attending the workshop. If you are a member of Manipal University and want to attend the workshop, please get in touch with the coordinator to follow the process.

Regular Participants: Rs. 2000 (for single accommodation)

Student Participants: Rs. 1500 (for shared accommodation)

Application Information

Applications should include the following, preferably sent as PDFs. Description of research interests and their relevance to the topic of the workshop (max. 300 words). Brief Curriculum Vitae / resume highlighting relevant skills, experience and training.

Applications should be sent to:
Mr Vivek Kumar Radhakrishnan (Ph.D. Scholar)
Co-convenor-International Workshop on the Tantric Studies

with a copy to:
Dr Mrinal Kaul
(Convenor-International Workshop on the Tantric Studies)
Centre for Religious Studies
Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities
Manipal University

email: <>
Tel +91-820-29-23567 (Office)


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