Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Anupam JashEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_558-1



Lākulῑśa is the founder of the Pāśupata tradition of Śaivism, who lived in the second century.


Śaiva Pāśupata tradition owes its origin to Lākulῑśa, who is believed to be Śiva incarnate. The word “Lākulῑśa” literally means “lord with a stuff.” In Sanskrit “Lakut” denotes “stuff” and “Īśa” denotes “Lord” ([1], p. 185).

Lākulῑśa revive the Pāśupata doctrine embraced by the Pāśupata sect which is one of the oldest Śaivite sects. However, according to one opinion, the Pāśupata doctrine originated with Lākulῑśa and so there cannot be any question of his reviving it.

The Purāṇic Myth

The Liṅga purāṇa speaks of a tradition according to which Lākulῑśa is regarded as the twenty eighth and the last Śiva incarnate ([2], pp. 206–207). We learn from the Vāyu Purāṇa (V. 1.23.202–214), Lākulῑśa was contemporaneous with Vyāsa and Kṛṣṇa, as the 28th avatāra of Rudra. According to the Liṅga and Vāyu purāṇa, while roaming around as a mendicant (or Brahmacārin...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Johnson WJ (2010) Oxford dictionary of Hinduism. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Maxwell TS (1988) Visvarupa. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Siddhantashastree RK (1975) Saivism through the age. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Private Limited, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dalal R (2010) Hinduism an alphabetical guide. Penguin Books, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Majumdar AK (1983) Concise history of ancient India, vol III. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Private Limited, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Daniélou A (2003) Shaiva oracles and predictions on the cycles of history and the destiny of mankind. Inner Traditions International, RochesterGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sakhare MR (1942) The history and philosophy of Liṅgāyat religion. Mahavir Press, BelgumGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Singh U (2008) A history of ancient and early medieval India: from the stone age to the 12th century. Pearson Longman, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Choubey MC (1997) Lakuliśa in Indian art and culture. Sharada Publishing House, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fleet JF (1907) Siva as Lakulisa. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 39:419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rao TG (2017) Elements of Hindu iconography. Motilal Banarasidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pandey KC (1986) An outline of history of Saiva philosophy. Motilal Banarasidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Parameshwarananda S (2004) Encyclopedia of Saivism, vol 3. Sarup & Sons, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bhandarkar RG (1965) Vaisnavism, Saivism and minor religious systems. Indological Book House, VaranasiGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dasgupta SN (2010) A history of Indian philosophy, vol V. Motilal Banarasidass, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Shastri PA (1940) Pasupata sutras with Pancharthabhasya of Kaundinya. University of Travancore, TrivandrumGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sinha J (1975) Schools of Saivism. Sinha Publishing House, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hara M (2002) Pasupata studies. The De Nobili Research Library, ViennaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBankura Christian CollegeBankuraIndia