(PRWEB) July 5, 2003
Nityananda Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Nepal and Asian Studies (ÂCNASÂ) of Tribhuvan University, Kathamandu, Nepal, has just received the report of a joint research project, ÂThe Karmacharyas: Religious/Secular Role in Bhaktapur City.Â This study is the first systematic research undertaken on the Karmacharyas of Bhaktapur. The Karmacharyas are a caste of royal tantric priests who held prominent religious and social positions in the era of the Malla kings of Nepal (from the 12th to the 16th century).
Nityananda Institute and CNAS undertook this study in an effort to document and preserve the unique sacred practices of the Karmacharyas, whose tradition is in danger of extinction. The study included a survey of extant source materials, including rare ritual texts, as well as field observation, interaction and interviews with practicing Karmacharyas. The research team was granted access to many sacred rituals that have never been seen before by outsiders.
The steering committee for the project was led by Professor Tirtha Prasad Mishra of the CNAS, Chairman, and Swami Chetanananda Saraswati of Nityananda Institute, Co-Chairman. The chief researcher for the project was Dr. Purushottam Lochan Shrestha of Tribhuvan University.
Nityananda Institute, based in Portland, Oregon, has been actively engaged in efforts to locate and preserve tantric texts of various spiritual traditions for many years. Tribhuvan UniversityÂs CNAS coordinates research programs in cultural and heritage studies. This study was the first joint project between Nityananda Institute and CNAS.