Shiva Bharaiva, the holy city of Varanasi and the Axis Mundi

Analysis of the myths concerning the divine figure of Shiva Bharaiva, the Linga of fire, the holy city of Varanasi, the symbolism of the "great universal crematory ground" and initiatory death: sacred geography of death and liberation.

di Beatrice Udai Nuth
originally published on turiya, author's blog
article based on research by Elizabeth Chalier-Visuvalingam

As a Dionysus for the Greek civilization, the savage God, the "outsider", Bhairava - the terrible aspect of Shiva - is of central importance for Hinduism. The classic iconography of this tantric deity par excellence can only be explained through the myth of Puranic origin that represents him as a killer of Brahmâ. Paradoxically, the public image of him throughout India is above all that of Kshetrapâla, the divine protector of the human settlement. Relegating his police function to eight demonstrations - stationed in the eight spatial directions - Bhairava is still revered as the deified magistrate of Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus. The further subdivision into a circle of sixty-four forms, each associated with a female consort, characterizes in particular the cult of the solar Mârtanda-Bhairava, which is worshiped at their core.

Some Purânas describe Shiva as having three, four or five faces. The five-faced form of Shiva found in the Linga Purâna is identified as Vishvarupa or the universal form of god. These five faces, which also correspond to the five-syllable mantra “Om Nama Shivâya”, are depicted as follows:

  1. Sadyojata (Mahadeva), eastern face (western in the linga), white;
  2. Tatpurusha (Nandivaktra), western face (eastern in the linga), yellow;
  3. Aghora (Bhairava), southern face, blue like eye drops;
  4. Sadashiva, upper face, crystalline,
  5. Vâmadeva, north, ferocious and terrible with curved fangs and red whiskers.

According to the Shiva Purâna, Bhairava is the complete form (pûrna-rûpa) of Shiva because this frightening image is indicative of His transcendence. Bhairava is "etymologically" so called because it protects the universe (bharana), and because it is terrifying (bhaa). It is also known as Kala Bhairava, because even Kâla (Time, or the god of death) trembles before him; like Mardaka because he kills the wicked; and as Pāpa-bhakshana because it consumes the sins of the bhaktas or devotees of him.

In this myth, Brahmâ and Vishnu, the other two members of the Hindu trinity, were arguing with each other for the status of the supreme God. They appealed to the testimony of the four Vedas, which they proclaimed unanimously Rudra-Shiva as the ultimate Truth of the universe. But the disputants were unable to accept that Rudra, endowed with so many revolting symbols of impurity and degradation, could be identical with the Absolute Reality of Brahman, the formless metaphysical reality behind all phenomena. It was at this juncture that Shiva appeared as a fiery pillar of light (jyotir linga) that united the underworld and the sky. The fifth head of Brahmâ taunted him and Shiva, overflowing with anger, created a dazzling Bhairava in human form. Addressing Kâla Bhairava as "Lord of Time or Death" (Kâla), as he shone as the god of Death, Shiva ordered him to chastise Brahmâ, promising him eternal sovereignty over his sacred city of Kâshî (Varanasi) in return.

Seeing Bhairava tear off the guilty head of Brahmâ, the terrified Vishnu praised Shiva and devoutly recited his sacred hymns, followed by a repentant Brahmâ. Both then recognized the supreme reality of Shiva. The severed head immediately attached itself to Bhairava's hand, where it remained as the skull intended to serve as his alms bowl. Shiva then ordered Bhairava to wander the world as a beggar to atone for the sin of Brahmanicide. “Show the world the rite of atonement to remove the sin of Brahmanicide, ask for alms with the penitential rite of the skull (kapâla-vrata)”. Creating a maiden called "Brahmanicide" (brahma-hatyâ), Shiva ordered her to relentlessly follow Bhairava wherever she went, until she reached the holy city of Kâshî, to which she would not have access. There, finally acquitted, the criminal god was immediately promoted to the rank of policeman-magistrate (Kotwal) and charged with barring the entry of other criminals into this city of death and final liberation.

There are three basic iconographic representations of Bhairava that stem from this myth. Like Brahma-shiras-chedaka, he grabs by the hair the severed head whose dripping blood is greedily licked by his dog, and thus becomes a Kapâlin or "bearer of skulls". Like Kankâla-mûrti, he is shown killing a man or carrying his body (or skeleton) on his shoulder. This illustrates an episode in Bhairava's wandering in which he kills Vivaksena, the guardian of Brahma who tries to prevent his access to the abode of Vishnu. In both cases, he is naked or wearing tiger or elephant skin, a garland of human skulls, snakes around his neck and arms, and has a somber and grotesque appearance, with dark skin and monstrous teeth. Third, like the milder Bhikshâtana-mûrti, he wanders to beg from the wives of the Seven Vedic sages in the forest of Daru. In this episode, women are so seduced by her naked beauty that they abandon all shame.

But why this celebration of a criminal deity? Although Bhairava's punishment perfectly matches that prescribed for the grave crime of Brahmanicide in the Hindu law books, his simultaneous exaltation rather reflects the doctrines and practices of the Kâpâlika ascetics, who took this classical representation of Bhairava as their divine archetype. Even when they were not originally Brahmanicides, these Kâpâlikas still performed the Mahâvrata or the "Great Penance" of carrying with them the skull bowl and the staff (khatvânga) of the brahmanicide, to attain the blessed state of spiritual liberation and obtain magical powers. The ascetic was often accompanied by a partner as an image of Brahmahatyâ, as sexual union was considered the most powerful means to such a condition. The classical iconography of Bhairava therefore portrays the god under the human aspect of a transgressive Kâpâlika.


Bhairava Kshetrapâla - the divine protector

The normal location of Kshetrapâla in a Hindu temple is the Northeast. The Agni Purâna (51, 17) gives an interesting description of Shiva as Kshetrapâla. He carries a trident and a skull. The Kshetrapâla can have two, four arms (indicating its pure form [sâttvika]), or six (active form [râjasa]) or eight (dark or terrible form [tâmasa]). Bhairava is the typical Kshetrapâla, or guardian, placed to protect the purest centrally located deities, such as Vishvanâtha in Kâshî, of whom he acts as guardian (dvâra-pala) in the temples. Bhairava preserves the socially central divinity, like Vishvanâtha, from any direct contact with impure elements, which are nevertheless essential for the proper functioning of the social whole. The terrifying deity of transgression can never become the object of public worship as such, and the only way for him to receive common worship is to transform himself into an equally terrifying god-protector for a more central, peaceful and benign deity. Hence the promised sovereignty of Kâla Bhairava over Kâshî has been translated into reality in him being the guardian guardian (kotwal) of the Lord Vishvanâtha, the patron god of Vârânasî (Kâshî), the holy city of the Hindus.

Bhairavâshtamî or the eight forms of Bhairava

In his eightfold manifestation Bhairava presides, alone or in tandem with the eight mother goddesses (Mâtrkâs), the space-ritual organization of sacred cities such as Vârânasî. In this center of Hindu culture, Bhairava reigns as the policeman-magistrate (kotwâl), to whom pilgrims who swarm from the farthest reaches of the subcontinent must necessarily pay homage. In Kathmandu, a similar role is played by the towering black figure of Kâla Bhairava - who in some ways resembles the Buddhist Mahakala - in the royal square in the center of the capital of Nepal. Government officials and quarrels regularly swear by this terrible image, which occasionally received human sacrifice until the nineteenth century.

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The eight aspects of Bhairava, further subdivided into eight (8 x 8 = 64), are named as follows:

  1. Asitânga Bhairava: golden complexion, with well-formed limbs, with the trishûla (trident), the damaru (hourglass-shaped drum), pâsha (noose) and khadga (sword).
  2. Ruru Bhairava: pure white, adorned with jewels with rubies, carries an akshamâlâ (rosary), ankusha (elephant goad), a pustaka (book) and a vînâ (lute).
  3. Canda Bhairava: blue color and good-looking, they carry agni (fire), shakti (spear), gadâ (mace) and kunda (water pot) in their hands.
  4. Krodha Bhairava: color of smoke, carries khetaka (shield), a long khadga (sword) and parashu (ax).
  5. Unmatta Bhairava: white color, handsome and carries in his hands the kunda, the khetakâ, the parigha (iron club or club with iron) and bhindipala (javelin).
  6. Kapala Bhairava: yellow color, carries the same weapons as the previous group.
  7. Bhishana Bhairava: carry the same weapons as the group above, and is red in color.
  8. Samhara Bhairava: the color that looks like lightning, carries the same weapons as the previous group.

Although Kâla-Bhairava is the most important and central Bhairava, it is not counted among the eight traditional Bhairavas located in the eight different directions of the holy city. These eight Bhairavas, to whom he has relegated his function as Kotwal, are as follows:

1) Ruru Bhairava ("The Dog") which protects the southeast;
2) Canda Bhairava ("The ferocious") in the south;
3) Asitânga Bhairava ("The black") now located in a niche in a temple to the east;
4) Kapali Bhairava (“The bearer of the Skull”) now in Lât Bhairava in the northwest;
5) Krodhana Bhairava ("The wrathed") inside the sanctuary of a temple of the Goddess that protects the southwest;
6) Unmatta Bhairava (“The fool”) in a small shrine in a village on the Pañcakroi road - along which pilgrims circle the whole city - protecting the west;
7) Samhara Bhairava (“The destroyer”) in his small temple in the northeast; And
8) Bhishana Bhairava ("The Terrible") in his small temple that protects the north.

In addition to this classic series of eight Bhairavas, there are images of the god scattered around the city: outdoors, housed in small temples, or in a secondary location in the temple of some other deity. Its temples also often house images of Ganesha, Kâlî, Hanumân or a Shivalinga. Most often it is just an amorphous stone decorated with vermilion. In the southwest corner of the great Vishvanâtha temple there is a beautiful image of Bhairava. Bhairava's public image is that of the policeman-magistrate in the service of the pure benign King Vishvanâtha, "the lord of the universe". Yet in Nepal, in the Deccan, and elsewhere, the two deities are constantly "confused": in Varanasi itself, Vishvanâtha is secretly worshiped as the destructive (Samhâra) Bhairava on the occasion of the latter's birthday on the Bhairavâshtamî (eighth of the waning fortnight of the month of Mrgashîrsha). The terrible guardian is ultimately the esoteric transgressive identity of the Brahmanical Vishvanâtha.


The Kotwal of Varanasi

"Kala Bhairava, the 'Black Terror', is widely known as the kotwal, the police chief of Kāśī, and the section of the city where his temple is located is known as the Kotwalpuri Dandapani, the stick-bearer, the chief of police. According to the legends, Bhairava was perplexed as to what to do after the absolution of his sin of brahminicide in Kāśī and therefore Visvanatha asked him to become the Kotwal of Kāśī. He accepted, but Kāśī appeared to him as a huge Sivalinga and, not knowing where to go, decided to take a dog as a vehicle. Visvanatha apparently keeps Bhairava with him for his duties as gatekeeper in his temple, but according to Kailashpati Tiwari, the Mahant of Visvanatha temple, the image of Kala Bhairava facing the main linga is a belated addition.

"The god of the great pilgrimage temple is - whatever his name and myth - the pure god, withdrawn into himself, the god of ultimate salvation. Its most terrible forms, in addition to being considered at the limit, are not appropriate for worship, because they are also dangerous for devotees, and are relegated to the most inaccessible sites, surrounded by all kinds of taboos, pacified with appropriate offers ... In short, even if the god is the master of the universe of which the temple is the center, he has no direct function of protector here and now. This is delegated to a lower god, Bhairava is the protector of the territory, or kshetrapala - in its classical form. The main sanctuary does not claim to represent the god in his supreme form - contradiction in terminis - but suggests at best his nature of renunciation as the ultimate reason of the world. "(Biardeau)

The independent temple of Kala Bhairava, popularly known as Bhaironath, now located between Chaukhamba Lane, the "Main Street" of premodern Varanasi, and Maidagin Park, was in fact a "spiritual center of Kāśī for the strictest of Shaiva ascetics, the Kapalika or 'skull bearers', and their later descendants, the Gorakhnatha and Kanphata yogis. These ascetic groups take as their model the ascetic and fearful Shiva, whose ways are at odds with the conventions of ordinary caste society. For them, Bhairava embodies this unconventional aspect of Shiva. Today, however, the temple is no longer the exclusive domain of these extremist yogis and is, rather, patronized by ordinary household heads for its protective blessings.

The door to the courtyard, in the center of which stands the sixty-meter-high temple of Kala Bhairava, is guarded by her animal, the dog. According to Kuber Nath Sukul, Kala Bhairava was rededicated to its present location in the 1825th century, when the Omkaresvara shrine was destroyed following the Muslim conquest. It was housed here, in humble districts, so as not to attract adverse attention until XNUMX, when the tiled hut was replaced by the current temple. Inside the bronze shrine, apart from Bhairava's silver mask garlanded with flowers, the rest of the image, pot-bellied, seated on a dog holding a trident, is completely covered with a robe and garlands. At the foot of his throne are silver sandals. Worshipers ring four bells on the porch of his shrine, flanked by two dogs, to announce their presence in Bhairava. The circumambulation of the temple enclosure includes a series of secondary shrines to Kali, Hanuman, Ganesa, Krisha and Radha, Karttikeya, the nine planets (navagraha) and several Ungas. Temple priests administer Bhairava's blessing by striking or dusting devotees with a peacock feather stick, carried by Bhairava in his sculptural representations.

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According to a picturesque description, just as a foreigner must present himself to the police authorities, so the pilgrim who comes to the holy city must pay devoted homage to Bhairava. And just as a runaway criminal can surrender himself and surrender to a magistrate, a sinner oppressed by Bhairava's agents can surrender at the Bhairava temple. "Even the devotees of Vishvanatha, if they were not devotees of Bhairava, would encounter all kinds of obstacles in Varanasi," it is said. Although no longer considered mandatory in our day, the greeting to Bhairava should be observed by all pilgrims to Kāśī. As with other black deities, such as Krishna and Kali, the eighth day of the moon is dedicated to the worship of Bhairava.


The pole and the vase: the Axis Mundi and Bhairava in the primordial cosmogony

Just as Indian policemen are traditionally armed with truncheons, Bhairava is also regularly depicted with a stick or a club. The nonconformist and anti-social ascetics Pâshupata Shaiva wore the staff in ritual imitations of their legendary deified founder, Lakula. The term lât is probably a corruption of the laguda (stick), and even the Kâpâlikas carried clubs called khatvânga in ritual imitation of their deity Bhairava, who wanders with a human skull in one hand and the stick in the other.

Un pillar, now only a five-foot-high log encased in a copper plate and smeared with vermilion, on the northern fringe of Vârânasî is identified with the lât of Bhairava. Although completely unknown to the Purânas, Lat Bhairava it is now identified with the Puranic Kapâlin Bhairava, which was originally found in other parts of the city. It was here, in the large basin called the Kapâlamocana next to the pillar, that Bhairava was acquitted of Brahmanicide and promoted to Kotwal. The Lât is of central importance to Hinduism, because this is how Bhairava shows "punishment" to all those lucky enough to die in Varanasi, thus absolving their sins and granting them immediate liberation.

Bhairava not only uses the lât, he himself is the lât, especially when he takes the form of the cosmic pillar (stambha). The lât, the pillar and the Bhairava are equally identified with the Axis Mundi. It is here in Kāśī that Rudra-Shiva appeared as the linga of light (jyotirliga): what Mircea Eliade called Axis Mundi, the pillar in the center of the world, which originates in the depths of the underworld, erupting from the surface of the earth to crack the roof of the sky. The annual celebration of the marriage of the pillar with an adjacent “mother” well (kûpa-jananî) still continues in rudimentary form.

The cosmogonic setting becomes evident in the erection of the wooden pole, also called the linga, during the New Year festival in Bisha, Nepal. The linga is not only from Bhairava, but it is also Bhairava, and the vegetation attached to its top is assimilated to the sperm, so much so that there is a mad rush, when the pole is knocked down after the New Year, to collect some of this. vegetation that has the power to grant children to sterile couples. The founding myths of this "marriage" with mother earth who receives and carries the linga explicitly state that Kâla Bhairava came from Benares.

Bhairava represents the Hindu king offering himself (transposition of the Vedic sacrifice) in what is simultaneously conceived as a sexual union. This death-in-union is, however, only the prelude to rebirth of the sacrificial king and, with it, the rejuvenation of the whole kingdom. Hence, the promise of fertility that accompanies Lât Bhairava's marriage. As the embodiment of Rudra's anger, Bhairava emerging from the cosmic pillar represents the consecrated Vedic sacrificer (dîkshita) who is identified - as the victim - with the stake.

Like Siva-Lakulisa, in Bhairava's sculptural representations, il erect penis it is often depicted together with the staff. The identification of the two is again possible only through the equation of the axis mundi with the phallus or linga. As Eck notes:

“In some versions it is the castrated linga of Shiva which is the linga of fire. In the versions discussed here, however, the proud Linga is not part of Shiva, but rather Shiva is part of it. "

But this assimilation of the phallic dimension of the cult of Siva-Bhairava could have been possible only because the cosmic pillar was already universally identified with the procreative phallus in a cosmogonic context.

"Wherever these evidences survive - in the Vedic worship of the skambha, in the Sanskrit stambha, in the Celtic Irmensul, in the Doric Agyieus, or in the Greek stauros (later assimilated to the Christian cult of the Cross) - the same sacred pillar or pole was also worshiped in phallic form as a symbol of regeneration or resurrection. In the archaic myth the pillar that separates and unites heaven and earth in cosmogony was also conceived as the Victory of light over darkness, order over Chaos, and as a divine symbol of regeneration. The annual reenactment of this "victory" was the most important event in the prehistoric calendar, the purpose of which is to revitalize nature and social order at the end of each year. In this ritual, heaven and earth were imagined joining after the initial separation to consume and reproduce life on earth as universal parents (Sanskrit janitri), the archetypal married couple. On a popular level, the column symbolized the generative organ with which Father Heaven inseminated Mother Earth. "

The ease with which Bhairava, in the form of the lingam, has been assimilated to the primitive cult of the cosmogonic pillar seems to suggest that both forms of worship, although independent of each other in concrete manifestations, are ultimately generated in a common framework of psycho-physical esoteric techniques, where the axis mundi would be the macrocosmic projection of the central spine or, rather, the fiery ascent of vital energy through its median channel (sushumna). It is therefore quite natural that Kāśī, as the center of the universe in which the axis mundi is located, is under the sovereignty of Bhairava who has remitted his sin of brahminicide to the very place where the pillar of the world was. .

«The myth of the fiery linga begins and ends in Kāśī, in Kāśī mythology this is the place where the light tore the earth, and this is the place called Kapalamochana Tirtha, 'Where the Skull fell' … In the spiritual tradition of Kāśī, however, it is stated that the linga of light did not simply emerge from the earth at Kāśī. Rather it was the Kāśī itself, the 'Luminous'. The entire sacred territory of Varanasi confined within the Panchakroshi Road is the linga of light. "


Kāśī: Goddess and the line of light

In many Mahātmya, Varanasi is identified with the goddess: "In Kāśī Khanda 7:66, Varanasi is personified as a goddess whose 'flickering eyes' are Lolark and Keshava, and whose arms are the rivers Varana and Asi" (Pathak and Humes). Today this goddess is worshiped in the Trilocana temple next to the ghāt of the same name. This temple also houses one of the twelve lingas of light (jyotir liṅga) of India. The mythology of the jyortir liṅga is very important in Varanasi, because it is in Kāśī that the pillar of fire originally appeared. Kāśī is even identified with this line of light.

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"Kāshî is also the line of light ... The entire sacred territory included by the Pañcakrosi road is the line of light, the fiery emblem of the Lord" (Eck). But the sages ask why Kāśī has a feminine name if he is a liṅga? Śiva replies that he is himself both Śiva and Śakti, thus emphasizing the androgynous character of the holy city. Kāśī has been connected with goddess worship since ancient times. Recognized since the Maurya era, its flowering occurs mainly between the eighth and twelfth centuries. Today the city contains many representations of the Goddess. But what is important here is the close relationship between Bhairava and the Goddess as identified with the entire sacred city:

«... since the Kāśī in which Bhairava has to go to get rid of the head of Brahmā, it is also the body of the goddess with whom Śiva wishes to reunite, as well as being the liṅgam of light that survives the Pralaya and in which Śiva and Śakti are one. . "

The true form of Kāśī is not only the Śiva liṅga, no different from the pillar of light from which Bhairava was born, but also the Goddess Citā (which means both "funeral pyre" and "Consciousness"). Kāśī, the city of light, is lit above all by the fires of death. The perpetual cremation of corpses at Manikarnikā, the navel of Kāśī, transforms this "great cremation ground" into the cosmogonic center that transcends the space-time order of the Hindu sacrificial universe, incessantly re-emerging (only) from her womb, only to (re-) dissolve in the microcosmic pralaya modeled on the sacrifice of the Vedic fire. In Abhinavagupta's description, the entire image of the cremation ground is internalized, through a play on the word citi / citā:

« Look inside the very body of this Citi, shining like the Fire at the end of Time, where everything dissolves and all elements are consumed. This cremation ground in the form of emptiness is the most terrible field, the territory of yogis and perfect (siddhas), in which all forms are disintegrated. The chains of darkness are dissipated by the circle of its own fiery rays (the sense organs) to reveal only the (supreme) state of bliss, free from all temptation (vikalpa = doubt). After entering this receptacle of all the gods, this cremation ground of consciousness, so terrible, with its innumerable funeral pyres (citi) scattered all around, who would not reach perfection (by performing kulayāga)? »(Tantrāloka 29: 182-85).


Bhairava conquers death in Kāśī

“Death in Kāśī is not a feared death, because here the ordinary God of Death, the frightening Yama, has no jurisdiction. Death in Kāśī is known and faced, transformed and transcended. "

One could easily reverse causality and state that, if Yama is banished from Kāśī, this is because it does not represent Death as such but only natural death, the unconscious death that takes the common mortal by surprise and breaks his aspirations of life. From here the apparent paradox of Kāśī, which is the Mahasmasana or "Great universal crematory ground", where every pious Hindu hopes to die, as well as the only city from which the God of Death himself is excluded. But death within Kāśī is the will to die, sometimes even taking the legitimate form of religious suicide. Death 'transformed and transfigured' and Bhairava, usurping the throne of Yama in Kāśī, must necessarily represent what could rightly be called a initiatory death.

“Yama, the God of Death, here cannot approach the dead man with the noose in his hand. Kala Bhairava takes care of the dead and he is the servant of Shiva and, indeed, Shiva himself. Even if there is some punishment to be served, it is guaranteed to be short-lived and to be followed by the bliss of liberation. "

Cremation in Kāśī, homologated with the cosmic dissolution (pralaya), is conceived as a form of fire sacrifice. Based on the cosmogonic function of this perpetual cremation process it can be explained why “while in India the cremation ground is generally on the periphery or outside the human settlement area, in Kāśī it is right in the center. Just as India is said to be the 'navel' (nabhi) of the world, and Kāśī the navel of India, Manikarnika is the navel of Kāśī.

What is important in the present context is that funeral rites transform natural death in Kāśī into the most concrete and vivid symbol of a sacrificial or initiatory death which can also occur before physical death. We would like to suggest here that if the adepts of Bhairava, being themselves the incarnation of Bhairava, do not fear death, this happens because they are already undergoing initiatory death in life and the subsequent natural death is, for them, only a faint shadow and a tangible physical symbol of that initiatory death. Bhairava as axis mundi is the projection into the macrocosm of the spinal column, and initiatory death has involved the forcing of the vital airs through the sushumna in the form of a fireball that crosses the skull to the opening of Brahma (brahmarandhra).

Not only does the sacred mystical geography of Kāśī confirm that cremation at Manikarnika is intended as an upward ascent along the sushumna, but the appellation of the latter used in esoteric Tantric texts such as Smasana very clearly reveals that this ascent constitutes the true initiatory death. Although Kāśī is sometimes identified with the place of the Ajna Chakra, between the nose and eyebrows, she is also identified with the subtle body in her together with her. «The rivers Asi and Varuna on the sides of the city and a third river which flows through the center are identified with the three main veins of the yogic body, the ida, pingala and sushumna…».

Under normal conditions, the third river is not visible and its precise location open to interpretation. Some identified it with the Brahmanala, a small stream of which there are now no obvious traces, but which is presumed to flow into the Ganges at Manikarnika. According to this identification, therefore, the central vein of the mystical body of Kāśī ends at the cremation ground, equating it to the highest center of yogic anatomy.



Elizabeth Chalier-Visuvalingam (University of Nanterre, Paris-X / Harvard University):

- Shiva and his Manifestations (, 2007)
- Bhairava and the Goddess (in "Wild Goddesses in India and Nepal", 1994)
- Bhairava Kotwal of Varanasi (in "Varanasi through the ages", 1986)

Quotations in quotation marks, where not indicated otherwise, are taken from:
ECK, D., (1983). Banaras: City of Light. London. Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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