Kāpālika (Skt., ‘skull-wearer’). A sect of Śaivism which flourished from the 7th to 14th cents. CE, also called the Somasiddhānta. The Kāpālikas were cremation-ground (śmaśāna) dwellers who covered themselves with the ashes of corpses and carried a skull which they used as a bowl. The terrifying form of Śiva as Bhairava, Mahākāla, or Kāpālabhṛt (‘skull-carrier’) was the central deity of the cult. Kāpālika practice aimed at a vision of, and possession (aveśa) by, a deity or power (śakti), in order to achieve perfection (siddhi). Practice included the consuming of corpse-flesh and scatalogical substances, meditation whilst seated on a corpse, sexual rites with low-caste women, and animal, human, and self-sacrifice. The Kāpālikas were scorned and feared by orthodox Brahmanism, and if a brahman saw one, he would stare into the sun to purify himself. The Kāpālikas were absorbed into the Nāthas and Aghorīs.
More From encyclopedia.com
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus [baptized Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus] (b Salzburg, 1756; d Vienna, 1791). Austrian… Macmillan , Macmillan •Alan, gallon, talon •raglan •biathlon, heptathlon, pentathlon, tetrathlon, triathlon •Guatemalan, Marlon •Ellen, felon, Magellan, Mellon,… cocker spaniel , cock·er span·iel / ˈkäkər/ (also cock·er) • n. a small spaniel of a breed with a silky coat. Coccus , coc·cus / ˈkäkəs/ • n. (pl. coc·ci / ˈkäkˌ(s)ī; ˈkäkˌ(s)ē/ ) Biol. any spherical or roughly spherical bacterium. DERIVATIVES: coc·cal / ˈkäkəl/ adj.… biathlon , Alan •Alan, gallon, talon •raglan •biathlon, heptathlon, pentathlon, tetrathlon, triathlon •Guatemalan, Marlon •Ellen, felon, Magellan, Mellon, melon… Bhairava-Kālī , Kula (Skt., ‘family’). 1. The family lineage and home in Hinduism, of importance (along with jāti and gotra, the original ancestor) in determining th…
About this article
Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article