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Early Hindu sect that worshiped Shiva as the supreme deity. Numerous subsects flourished in northern and northwestern India until at least the 12th century and spread to Java and Cambodia. Pasupata teachings were believed to have originated with Shiva himself, reincarnated as the teacher Lakulin. The sect's rise is dated roughly between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD. The ascetic practices adopted by the Pasupatas included smearing their bodies thrice-daily with ashes. Out of Pasupata doctrine developed two extreme schools, Kapalika and Kalamukha, as well as one moderate sect, Shaivism.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pasupata, visit Britannica.com.
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