Florinda De Simini, Associate Professor of the History of Ancient and Medieval India, The University of Naples
In this talk, I will focus on the rules regulating the relationships between the lay and the monastic communities of the Śaivas through the practice of ritual gifting. I will examine these rules as they are formulated in the early literature of the Śivadharma (6th–7th cent.), and discuss how they relate to the general Dharmaśāstric frame on one side, and to the post-initiatory rules (samayas) of the early Tantric traditions on the other. Particular attention will be given to how these precepts apply to the preservation and transmission of scriptural knowledge, a practice that lied at the core of the interactions with the laity, while also providing a foundation for the doctrine of liberation embraced by the ascetics.