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Hindu Ascetics and the Political in Contemporary India

Abstract : This chapter examines the social and political implications of ‘ascetic practice’ in modern and contemporary India. For the purposes of this analysis, I will consider Indian ascetics who have a meditative and/or yoga practice and who refer to it as a ‘sādhana’. Starting with the assumption that no form of asceticism proposes unambiguous social principles applied to specific contexts, I will examine the way that those who claim to practise ascetic disciplines – most notably, those who have renounced their social role as a member of a specific caste and family – relate to and act in the society around them (Barnard and Kripal 2002; Godrej 2016, 2017). Considering the late colonial period up until the beginning of the twenty-first century from an ethnohistorical perspective, I intend to outline various ways in which these individuals render their social conduct compatible or coherent with their ascetic practices.
Keywords : Yoga Hinduism India
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Contributor : Raphael Voix <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:19:14 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 9, 2021 - 3:27:24 AM




  • HAL Id : halshs-03099762, version 1



Raphaël Voix. Hindu Ascetics and the Political in Contemporary India. Karen O’Brien-Kop; Suzanne Newcombe. Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies, Routledge, pp.146-155, 2020, 9781138484863. ⟨halshs-03099762⟩



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