Pañcarātra

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Pañcarātra. An early Vaiṣṇava tradition and sect with a large number of texts called Saṃhitās, of which the ‘three gems’ (the Pauṣkara, Sāttvata, and Jayākhya Saṃhitās) are the most important and earliest (5th–6th cents. CE). The Jayākhya Saṃhitā is the locus classicus of Pañcarātra religious practice, which consists of the divinization of the body through the assimilation of a divine mantra body by nyasa and visualization. Bhakti and grace are also important. Other topics dealt with are outer worship (bāhya yoga), temple building, initiation, śraddha, and funeral rites.