Nirajan Kafle is a researcher at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.
My research is focused on the study of lay religious practices in Early Medieval India, with particular focus on historical development and exchanges between the main branches of Hinduism, Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism. I am currently holding a Post-Doctoral research position at Leiden University where I am working in the NWO project ‘From Universe of Viṣṇu to Universe of Śiva’. My research within this project is about the origin and development of the ritual calendar system meant for lay Śaiva and Vaiṣnava people. To map the connections between these traditions through this calendar system, I am engaged in studying two important lay Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava works, the Śivadharma and the Viṣṇudharma respectively. My research also engages with other Sanskrit textual traditions, mainly Purāṇas and the Mahābhārata, as well as other lay materials . I am also interested in Śaiva Tantra, Kāvya, inscriptions and Vedic texts.
I finished my PhD from Leiden University in October 2015. For my doctoral research I prepared a critical edition and annotated translation of the Niśvāsamukha, a Śaiva work. In order to contextualize the historical evolution of the Niśvāsamukha as a text, I presented my critical edition along with the first five chapters of the Śivadharmasaṅgraha, a text bearing a similar theme as the Niśvāsamukha. The text of these five chapters is given in an appendix.
2004–2005: MA (Honours with gold medal) in Classical Indology from Nepal Sanskrit University, Balmeeki Campus, Kathmandu
2015: PhD from Leiden University
2002–2007: Cataloguer/assistant researcher at Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project / Nepal Research Centre, Kathmandu
2007 – 2008: Lecturer at Kathmandu University, Centre for Buddhist Studies, Kathmandu Nepal
2008 – 2011: Full time research officer at Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Centre de Pondichéry, India
2011-2014: researcher at Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project / Nepal Research Centre, Kathmandu
2012 – 2014: Lecturer at Lumbini University, Kathmandu
March 2013 – June 2013: Visiting scholar at University of Kyooto, Japan
From April 2014 to September 2014: Local head of Historical Documents of Nepal, Kathmandu branch
From September 2014 to Febraury 2014: Research Scholar at IIAS, the Netherlands
2014 – 2015: Served as a research officer as well as a Sanskrit teacher at Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Centre de Pondichéry, India
2016 to present: Post-Doctoral researcher at LIAS, Leiden University
- BA and MA Sanskrit courses at Leiden University
- The Liṅgodbhava myth in early Śaiva sources, from Oxbow Books Press, Oxford (2013).
- Critical edition and annotated translation of the Niśvāsamukha. (forthcoming)
- The textual history of the Nārāyaṇīya section of the Mahābhārata in the light of the composition of the Viṣṇudharma (forthcoming)
- A critical edition of Dharmaputrikā in collaboration with Dr. Anil Kumar Acharya (forthcoming)
Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā the earliest surviving Śaiva Tantra, 2015
Workshops and conferences attended
- Workshop on the Maṇicūdajātaka, University of Pune, India, 1-18 November 2011. Coordinator: Dr. Albrecht Hanisch, Nepal Research Centre, Kathmandu.
- The third international workshop on Early Tantra, University of Hamburg, Germany 2010. Coordinators: Dr. Dominic Goodall and Prof. Harunaga Issaccion .
The first International Indology Graduate Research Symposium, University of Oxford, 2009.
The second international workshop on Early Tantra, EFEO, Pondicherry 2009. Coordinators: Dr. Dominic Goodall and Prof. Harunaga Issaccion.
The first international workshop on Early Tantra, NRC, Kathmandu, Nepal 2008. Coordinators: Dr. Dominic Goodall and Prof. Harunaga Issaccion.
An international workshop on the Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā, EFEO, Pondicherry 2007. Coordinator: Dr. Dominic Goodall.
A South Asian University youth conference, University of Nagpur, India, 2002.
No relevant ancillary activities