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Description: Since the 1960s, yoga has become a billion-dollar industry in the West, attracting housewives and hipsters, New Agers and the old aged. Marketed as a clear path to self-realization, mind expansion, and taut abs, yoga is also perceived as an ancient and unchanging Indian tradition based on the revelations of benign and limber sages. But this modern conception of yoga derives from nineteenth-century European spirituality,Sinister Yogisreveals, and the true story of yoga's origins in South Asia is far richer, stranger, and much more entertaining. To uncover this history, David Gordon White focuses on yoga's practitioners. Combing through millennia of South Asia's vast and diverse literature, he discovers that yogis are usually portrayed as wonder-workers or sorcerers who use their dangerous supernatural abilitieswhich can include raising the dead, possession, and levitationto acquire power, money, and sexual gratification. As White shows, even those yogis who aren't downright villainous bear little resemblance to Western assumptions about them. At turns rollicking and sophisticated,Sinister Yogistears down the image of yogis as detached, contemplative teachers, finally placing them in their proper context.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 3/30/2011
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
|List of Illustrations|
|Note on Transliteration|
|Tales of Sinister Yogis|
|Ceci n'est pas un Yogi|
|Embodied Ascent, Meditation, and Yogic Suicide|
|The Science of Entering Another Body|
|Mughal, Modern, and Postmodern Yogis|