Flowers in Cupped Hands for Śiva
A critical edition of the Śambhupuṣpāñjali, a seventeenth-century manual of private worship by Saundaranātha
The Śambhupuṣpāñjali is a seventeenth-century manual in 824 Sanskrit verses, with some prose, that describes the worship of Śiva, not in a temple, but in a South Indian domestic context. It is full of quotations from scriptures and manuals of the Śaivasiddhānta, notably those of Somaśambhu (C11th), Aghoraśiva (C12th) and Vedajñāna (C16th). About the author, Saundaranātha, we can deduce little other than his provenance, for he tells us that he also wrote a manual, now lost, about the worship of Śivasūrya (Śiva as the sun) in Maṇipravāḷam, a mixture of Sanskrit vocabulary and Tamil inflections and syntax, a literary idiom usually associated today with Vaiṣṇava commentarial works. Several features of his Sanskrit style also reveal the influence of Tamil. The introduction presents the work and gives a detailed synopsis of its structure.