Nilachala Kamakhya



rajib-sarmaRAJIB SARMA

Rajib Sarma is a practicing hereditary Chandipathak Priest and Purnabhisheka Sadhaka in the Kulacara Tantra Marga of the Kamakhya Temple Complex or Kamakhya Group of Temples. In addition to his dedicated work and study in the community as priest and sadhaka, he has conducted extensive historical, archaeological, socio-religious, and ethnographic research on the Kamakhya temple complex and Kamarupa since 1998. In 2002 he received the prestigious “Krishi Visharad Samman” from the Government of India for his contribution in the field of Sustainable Management of Plant Biodiversity and Conservation of Agro-biodiversity (Plant Genetic Resources) in the North-East India. Read more »



Sri Kamala Ranjan Bhattacharyya, Sri Sadhan Bhattacharyya, Sri Manash Bhattacharyya, and Sri Hriday Ranjan Bhattacharyya all are Gurus of Kulachara Tantra Tradition and are highly respected, dedicated, and knowledgeable senior members of the esteemed rajaguru (traditional gurus of the kings, or the royal gurus) family that has carried and passed on the lineage of the Kulacara Tantra Marga at the Kamakhya Temple Complex or Kamakhya Group of Temples for centuries.


Prof. Shitala Prasad Upadhyay is the Acharya (Saivagama) in the Sankhya-Yogatantragama Department of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. He did his studies under the two great scholars of India Pt. Raghunath Mishra and Pt. Vraj Vallabh Dwivedi. He is an initiated Sadhak of the Bhaskara Rai Sampradaya (Bhaskara Rai lineage) and his Guru was Prof. Batuk Nath Shastri Khiste. Prof. Shitala Prasad Upadhyay has authored and edited several books and published research papers in journals and also compiled critical editions.


Prof. Navjivan Rastogi, a direct descendant in the intellectual lineage of K.C. Pandey, represents contemporary indigenous Indian scholarship dedicated to unravelling the profound tradition of Abhinavagupta’s thought and its Kashmir Shaiva backdrop. Dr. Navjivan Rastogi carries forward the legacy of his mentor Pandey who is known to have re-presented Abhinavan thought to the world as constituting the metaphysical foundation of Indian aesthetics, philosophy of language, theories of meaning and an overarching paradigm of tantric praxis. He retired from active service as Head of the Department of Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and Honorary Director of the Abhinavagupta Institute of Aesthetics and Shaiva Philosophy at the University of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Prof. Navjivan Rastogi was and is a visiting Scholar/Fellow/Professor to several academic institutions and universities both in India and abroad. For years he was a Panel Member for the Sahitya Akademi awards in Sanskrit and is still a Preliminary Panel Adviser for Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar.  He served as a member Editorial Board, the SUNY (State University of New York) Series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir and also was one of the Convenors, Tantra and Agam Section of the 15th World Sanskrit Conference, Delhi (2012). Rastogi is also an Editorial Advisor, Malini, the official journal of the Ishvarashram Trust, Delhi. Dr. Navjivan Rastogi has authored and edited several books and published research papers in journals and also compiled critical editions.


Prof. Kamalesh Datta Tripathi is one of the senior scholars of Indology. He Started the programmes of studies and research in Agamas in the Faculty of Sanskrit Learning and Theology in Baranas Hindu University (BHU) , Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Inaia in 1977. He is presently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Dharma-Agama (Religious and Agamic Studies) and Faculty of Sanskrit Learning and Theology, Baranas Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. He is also the Advisor of the Varanasi Division of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and concretizing projects on Indian Arts and Aesthetics. Presently he is the Chief Editor and Director of Natyashastra Project of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) for bringing out critical edition of Natyashastra with its translation mainly for performing artists. The project was sponsored by Kalidasa Academy, Ujjaian and now the project has been taken up by IGNCA. He has been Dean of the Faculty for two terms and he has also been a member of Executive Council, B.H.U. He was invited in 1981 to Ujjain by Madhya Pradesh Government as the Director of Kalidasa Akademi. He is credited with raising the Akademi and putting it on the National as well as International map. He was visiting Professor in Sorbonne University (Peris), Copenhagan University (Denmark), Barcelona (Spain) in 2004, China and Germany. He was member of the academies and institutions, such as Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi (2003-2009), Rastriya Sanskrit Samsthana, New Delhi (1998-2003), Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratisthan, Ujjain (2003-2009), Center of the Sanskrit, J.N.U., New Delhi (2003-2006) and so on. He has been honoured by Sampurnanand Sanskrit University (1999),  Rastriya Sanskrit Samsthana (2000), Sahitya Academy Award (2005) and Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag (2005). He received Award of Govt. of India (Certificate of Merit) from President of India in 2007. Professor Kamalesh Datta Tripathi has authored and edited several books and published research papers in journals and also compiled critical editions.


Prof. Madhu Khanna received her PhD in Religious/Indic Studies from Wolfson College, Oxford University in 1986. She is the Founder & Chairperson of Tantra Foundation, a centre for traditional learning, creative arts and self-evolution. Prof. Madhu Khanna is Professor of Religious Studies of Centre for the Study of Comparative Religion & Civilization at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. She is also a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco (2013-2014), U.S.A. She was associate Professor (Religious/Indic studies) and Project Director and Honorary Advisor, Narivada: Gender, Culture & Civilization Network of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Delhi. She was awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 1991-1993 to research her project, “Indian Goddess and feminist Consciousness”. She has also researched and coordinated six major interdisciplinary cross-cultural exhibitions and was conferred the Mahavir Mahatma Award by Times Foundation for the “Eternal Gandhi” Multimedia Museum Exhibit. Prof. Madhu Khanna has authored several books and published research papers in journals worldwide.


Prof. Hugh B. Urban is a Professor of Religious Studies and South Asian Studies in the Department of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University (U.S.A.). His field of Teaching and Research are Comparative Religions, Religions of South Asia, New Religious Movements, Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies, Secrecy, Sexuality, Religion and Politics. He is primarily interested in Tantric traditions of North East India. He has authored several books and articles, book reviews and research papers.

PROF. (DR.) BETTINA SHARADA BÄUMER, Dr.h.c. (honoris causa)

Prof. Bettina Sharada Bäumer received her Dr. Phil. (Ph.D.) in Philosophy from the University of Munich, Germany. She did Post-Doctoral research in Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. She did “Habilitation” (Qualification for Professorship) at the Institute for the Study of Religions, University of Vienna. Prof. Bettina Sharada Bäumer was awarded Dr.h.c. (honoris causa) from the University of Salzburg (Austria) in 2002 (the first woman in the 380 years history of the University from the Faculty of Theology). In 2012 she received the “Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz fur Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse” from the Austrian Government, Ministry for Science and Research (Ministerium fur Wissenschaft und Forschung) for her merits in the bilateral relations between India and Austria at the scholarly level. She also held the scholarships from University of Zürich, Bavarian State Government and Government of India. Presently Prof. Bettina Sharada Bäumer is Director, Samvidalaya: Abhinavagupta Research Library, Varanasi. She was Lecturer in German, Banaras Hindu University (BHU),  Assistant and Lecturer in Sanskrit, Institute of Indology, University of Vienna (Austria), Research Director, Alice Boner Foundation for Research on Fundamental Principles in Indian Art, Varanasi, Member of the “Equipe de Recherche” (research group) on Hinduism under the direction of Andre Padoux, at the CNRS, Paris, Visiting Lecturer in German, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi, Senior Research Fellow, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, Visiting Professor at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, Honorary Coordinator and then Consultant, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts,  Professor in Religious Studies, University of Vienna, Visiting Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Bern, Switzerland, Visiting Professor, University of Salzburg, Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla , Coordinator, Orissa Research Project (DFG- Germany). Prof. Bettina Sharada Bäumer has authored / edited / co-edited / translated several bookss, articles, research papers, compilations, critical editions, felicitation volumes, online publications, etc.


Dr. Mark Dyczkowski received his Doctorate in Sanskrit Studies, specializing in Kashmiri Śaivism from the University of Oxford. He is acting as research assistant and consultant for foreign scholars who come to Varanasi to search for data, both textual and anthropological from 1979 till today. He received Commonwealth Scholarship to research Tantric Sources of Kashmiri Saivism at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He is the academic advisor and in-put supervisor for the Muktabodha on-line digital library of Tantric texts in Sanskrit (Please visit the website WWW.MUKTABODHA.ORG) from 2005 till date. He had a contract with the Oriental Institute of the University of Naples to teach Indian philosophy and religion. He was a visiting Professor at the University of Prague. He has authored several books, published research papers in journals worldwide and compiled critical editions of Sanskrit texts.

Mark Dyczkowski has studied North Indian classical music on Sitar since 1967 with renowned teachers in India. These include Prof. Rajband Singh and Dr. Gangrade both of whom are retired heads of department of instrumental music at the music college of BHU, Shri Omir Bhattacarya who learnt from Ashik Ali Khan, father of Mustaq Ali Khan who belong to the Varanasi Seniya school of sitarists. Since 1990 Mark has studied with Buddhaditya Mukherjee. Dyczkowski began performing regularly since 1974. He has performed in several countries in Europe including England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic as well as the United States.


Prof. Raffaele Torella is Professor of Sanskrit at University of Rome “Sapienza”, where he has also taught for long time Indian Philosophy and Religion, and Indology. He is the coordinator of the South Asia Section in the Sapienza Doctoral Course in “Civilisations and cultures of Asia and Africa”. He is also the Director of Rivista degli Studi Orientali and Rivista di Studi Sudasiatici. His primary fields of research are: Kashmir Śaivism, linguistic speculation, Buddhist epistemology and manuscriptology. Prof. Raffaele Torella has authored several books and published research papers in journals.


Dr. Irma Piovano is the Director of the CESMEO (International Institute for Advanced Asian Studies), since its foundation (1982). She has been a pupil of the late Prof. Oscar Botto (1922-2008) and with his precious collaborator and faithful partner she has carried out important events, such as International Conferences,  and essential Editorial projects, such as Indologica Taurinensia, The Journal of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies, the Corpus Iuris Sanscriticum that has the patronage of the International Union of Academies, the First Sanskrit Italian Dictionary (outcome of a collective work of many scholars of different Italian Universities) and the new translation of the Valmiki-Ramayana based on the text edited by G. Gorresio. She was designated Regional Director (for Romance-speaking countries of Europe) of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies, in 2006, then Honorary Vice-President of  the same association and was awarded the Degree of “Vachaspati”  by the Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri  Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in 2007. She continues her studies with the aim to investigate how and how much the cultural heritage has shaped the present Indian thought and lifestyle which is an item very important to understand the contemporary Indian society.


Dr. Prem Saran joined the Assam cadre of Indian Administrative Service in 1978 and he retired as the Chairman of the Nodal Agency of the Integrated Watershed Management Programme of Govt. of Assam. Dr. Prem Charan earned his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from University of California in 1995; received his MA in Cultural Anthropology from University of California in 1993; received his MA in South Asian Studies from Pennsylvania University in 1987; received his MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta in 1977 and received his BE (Chem) from National Institute of Technology, Suratkal in 1975. He has authored several books, published research papers in journals worldwide and developed HR models. Dr. Prem Saran is also initiated into the Tantra Marg of the Kamakhya Kaula lineage of the Kamakhya Temple Complex.


Prof. Robin Dev Choudhury received his PhD for his thesis Archaeology of Brahmaputra Valley of Assam (Pre-Ahom Period) under Prof. H.D. Sankalia from the Deccan College Post Graduate & Research Institute, Pune, India in 1970. He has also obtained Diploma in Museology from National Museum, India in 1973. He was Director General, National Museum, Govt. of India; Vice-Chancellor of National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology; Director of Museums, Govt. of Assam; Director of Archaeology, Govt. of Assam. After relinquishing his office as Director General, National Museum, Govt. of India he joined Tezpur University, Assam as Professor of Department of Cultural Studies. Apart from the above he was Secretary of the Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti, Guwahati, Assam from 1992-1998. He was the founder General Secretary of Indian Art History Congress and presently he is the Chairman of the organization. He has authored several books, research papers, articles in journals worldwide and also edited reputed journals.


Prof. Rajnish Mishra teaches at the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Since last 12 years he has been teaching and supervising doctoral and post-doctoral researches in the areas of Indian and Western Literary Theories, Sanskrit Linguistics, Kashmir Shaivism, Buddhism, Indian Philosophical Systems and Indian Intellectual Traditions. He published a widely reviewed book Buddhist Theory of Meaning and Literary Analysis. He has also authored several books, research papers, chapters of book, book-reviews. He presented more than 50 research papers in national and international seminars and conferences. He is Associate Editor of Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, (in 11 vols.) and Assistant Editor of Encyclopaedia of Indian Poetics (of Sahitya Akademi). Prof. Rajnish Mishra been offered the prestigious Prof. H. Zimmer Chair at University of Heidelberg (Germany) for two years to teach Indian Intellectual History.


Dr. Nishipad Dev Choudhury received his PhD for his thesis Historical Archaeology of Central Assam from Earliest Times to 12th Century A.D. from University of Sagar, India in 1974. Dr. Nishipad Dev Choudhury retired as the Deputy Director of Assam State Museum 1997. Presently he is the President of Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti, Guwahati. Apart from being Joint Secretary of Assam Sahitya Sabha during 1977-1980 he served many organizations in different capacities across India. Dr. Nishipad Dev Choudhury has authored, edited, co-edited, translated books, research papers, articles, compilations, critical editions, felicitation volumes.


Prof. Kiran Chandra Sarma was retired as the Vice-Principal of B. Baruah College (Gauhati University). He was a professor of Sanskrit. He is a literary pensioner and received many awards for his contribution to the field of Sanskrit studies since 1997 and most prestigious of them is the “Sanskrit Ratna” award in 2013. He is the founder of Assam Veda Vidyalaya (a traditional institute of Guru-Shishya parampara). He is the President of Assam Devalaya Sangha (organization of the temples of Assam). He is the only representative of Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan. Prof. Kiran Chandra Sarma has authored and edited several books and also compiled critical editions.


Prof. Uma Kanta Deva Sharma was a Professor of Nyaya Darshana in the K.K. Handique Govt. Sanskrit College, Guwahati, Assam. He received the Tarkatirth from Calcutta. He has authored several books and published research papers in journals. He is also initiated into the Tantra Marg of the Kamakhya Kaula lineage of the Kamakhya Temple Complex.


Prof. Antonio Rigopoulos (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is Associate Professor of Sanskrit and Indology at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. His main fields of research are: the ascetic and devotional traditions of medieval and modern Maharashtra (special focus on the Datta-sampradaya); annotated translation of Sanskrit texts on renunciation and bhakti; the guru institute; termite mound mythologies. Prof. Antonio Rigopoulos has authored several books, research papers, articles, book reviews, etc.


Prof. Cinzia Pieruccini is an associate professor of Indology in the University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano). She is a member of AISS (Associazione Italiana di Studi Sanscriti), and of the Editorial Board of the journal Pandanus of Prague University. She is an active member of the indological activities which, for about fifteen years, are being promoted by a coordinated international group of Universities (Milan, Prague, Crakow, Warsaw and Calicut). Prof. Cinzia Pieruccini has translated some important literary works from from Sanskrit and Maharashtri into Italian. She has made research studies on Sanskrit erotic treatises and on kāvya, studying in particular the relationships between kāvya and the great Epics, Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa, in the depiction of nature. Her other field of research is Indian visual arts, in particular temple architecture and iconography. Prof. Cinzia Pieruccini has authored several several books, research papers, articles, book reviews, critical editions, etc.


Kumud Chandra Bhattacharyya graduated in Electrical Engineering from the Institute of Technology, BHU, and has done M. Tech from IIT, Kanpur. He joined Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum in 1972. He was associated with the indigenous development of Inertial Guidance Systems for ISRO Launch Vehicles such ASLV, PSLV, and GSLV, and also contributed to the quality and reliability management of real-time software development and space missions. From 2002, he worked as Director, North Eastern Space Applications Centre of ISRO at Shillong, Meghalaya, and initiated many space technology applications projects in the NE Region. After retirement, he was Adviser, Science & Technology to Govt of Tripura. From 2009, he is Adviser to Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd, and a Guest Faculty at National Power Training Institute, Guwahati. He was appointed a Director of Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd. He has experience of setting up more than 50 small scale solar power plants in Assam. He is a Fellow of Institute of Engineers (I), and life member of Computer Society of India, Indian Society of Geomatics, Indian Society of Remote Sensing etc.


Prof. Pranav Jyoti Deka has completed his Post Graduation in Geology from Benaras Hindu University, India and received his PhD in Economic Geology from Leningrad Mining Institute, U.S.S.R. in 1966. He retired as Professor of from Gauhati University in 2003. He specializes in Mining Geology, Gemology, Lexicography, Religious History (Hindu and Buddhist), Vedic Astrology, Drama and Fiction Writings. He has authored several books, dictionaries, fictions, short stories, dramas, translations, articles, research papers. Some of his important works are: Nilachala Kamakhya: Her History and Tantra; Dharmar Pran Tatwa (in Assamese); Scientific Evidences for Vedic Astrology; Charya Geet Aru Buddha Tantra (in Assamese); Jyoti Dwibhasic Abhidhana (An Anglo-Assamese Dictionary with 60,000 English and 1,00,000 Assamese entries); Students Own Assamese English Dictionary and Jyoti Bilingual Thesaurus (English-Assamese).


Prof. Paul Bryan Donnelly is an associate professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University, USA. He received his PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. His publications are: Like a Waking Dream (with Geshe Lhundup Sopa), Wisdom Publications, 2012. He has two entries in the Oxford Bibliiographies online: one on Nagarjuna and another on the Mulamadhyamakakarikas. He has essays in the volume Incompatible Visions: South Asian Religions in History and Culture, Center for South Asia, 2005.


Bangalore based author/historian, Vikram Sampath is the author of three acclaimed books: “Splendours of Royal Mysore: the Untold Story of the Wodeyars” on the Mysore royal family; “My Name Is Gauhar Jaan: The Life and Times of a Musician”- the biography of India’s first recording superstar Gauhar Jaan of Calcutta and “Voice of the Veena: S Balachander – A Biography” the story of eminent veena maestro late Dr. S. Balachander. Vikram was awarded the Sahitya Akademi’s first Yuva Puraskar and the ARSC International Award for Excellence in Historical research in New York for his book on Gauhar Jaan. He is a Visiting Faculty of Music History at the University of Queensland, Australia and was awarded the prestigious Visiting Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, where he researched the early gramophone recordings of Indian music. Vikram is also part of several prestigious Government Committees- Govt. of India’s Information & Broadcasting Ministry Committee on Archives for All India Radio & Door Darshan, Dr. Sam Pitroda Committee on archives, Karnataka Government Tourism Vision Group, Karnataka Planning Commission, etc. Vikram is an engineer/mathematician from BITS-Pilani and an MBA from SP Jain, Mumbai. He is also a trained Carnatic vocalist and writes regularly for newspapers and magazines. He has established the “Archive of Indian Music”- India’s first digital sound archive for preserving and digitizing old gramophone records of the country and is one of the Founder Directors of the “Bangalore Literature Festival”.


Sri Rittasheel Sharma is the only living Guru (Teacher) of the Shakta Tntra lineage of the Sri Chandi Dham, Prayag (Allahabad). His was trained in the Shakta Sadhana by his father who started Para Vani Adhyatmik Sodh Samsthan and Kalyan Mandir Prakashan. Their journal “Chandi” is regarded as one of the best publication on Shakta Tantra. After the demise of his father he has become the Guru of the lineage and continued the endeavor of writing / compiling / editing text related to Shakta Tantra. Since last 40 years Sri Rittasheel Sharma has been actively involved with continuing the Shakta Tantra lineage, conducting research on Shakta Tantra, publication of the journal “Chandi” and books on Shakta Tantra. He is also one of the founding members of Bharatiya Shakta Sadhak Sanmelan and founder of Pt. Devidutt Shukla Smarak. Sri Rittasheel Sharma has authored / compiled / edited many text related to Shakta Tantra and all are available through Kalyan Mandir Prakashan, Sri Chandi Dham, Alopi Devi Marg, Prayag- 211006, Uttar Pradesh.



Dr. Jayanta Banerjee is a respected physician and pathologist who practices in Kolkata. He is initiated into the Tantra Marg of the Kamakhya Kaula lineage of the Kamakhya Temple Complex, and during his visits to the temple he also volunteers in the medical center, providing medical care to residents and devotees.


Dr. Anita Choudhury has received her PhD in Sanskrit from Gauhati University. Presently she is a Research Officer in the Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies, Govt. of Assam. She is a manuscriptologist.


Kulasundari Devi is a PhD candidate in Philosophy & Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California, USA, with a concentration in Asian & Comparative Studies. She is the founder of and the Sri Kamakhya Mahavidya Mandir in Alameda, California, USA, and is a Sadhika of the Kulachara Tantra Marga of the Kamakhya temple complex. Kulasundari provides direct assistance to the Foundation for History and Heritage Studies in the areas of website design and administration, as well as resources, assistance, and support in the area of academic research.


Conrad Ekkens has professional experience covers a range of specialties. He is Associate Director of Global Knowledge Management for an international firm, specializing in program delivery and project and portfolio management. He is currently completing certification as a professional executive and personal Coach. Conrad holds the Master of Music degree in voice from Georgia State University and sang professionally in the United States for nearly two decades. He also obtained the Diplôme de Cuisine in Italian cuisine from the International Culinary Center in New York USA and Colorno, Italy; these studies included an apprenticeship at a 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Tuscany. Conrad has been studying tantra as a student of Dr. Rudolph Ballentine in North Carolina, USA since 2007. After moving to India in 2012, Conrad visited the Kamakhya temple and is initiated into the Tantra Marg of the Kamakhya Kaula lineage of the Kamakhya Temple Complex later that year. He continues an intimate and grateful relationship with all of his teachers.


Bandana Sarma is active in the community at the Kamakhya temple complex, is knowledgeable in the areas of traditional textiles, foods, and other cultural traditions there, and continues to actively assist in projects to preserve and protect the ecological, ritual, and cultural heritage of the Nilachal Hills alongside her husband, founder Rajib Sarma.

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