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Last Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2011 02:51 PM -0600
Last Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2015 06:37 PM -0600
Notes for the lecture given to the seminars organized by Prof. Michael Witzel on the Cultural History of Kashmir and Nepal. The pre-supposition behind the seminar series was that Indian culture could best be reconstituted not immediately at a "national" level but on a region-by-region basis. Witzel had been interested in our work in the Katmandu Valley and on Kashmir Shaivism. Despite the focus on Kashmiri Shaivism, the approach is a processual one that outlines a cumulative history from Buddhism to Hinduism to Islam. The title plays on the apparent paradox that, though Benares is the socio-religious center of Hinduism, the intellectual synthesis took place on the periphery (viz. Kashmir). I'd be happy to work with any scholar willing develop this into a full-fledged monograph faithful to the spirit of this outline. Most of the materials could be reworked into an introductory chapter for the Abhinavagupta project.
Professor of English and Comparative Literature,
University of Connecticut