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The Origins of Yoga and Tantra
Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century

$56.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521695343

$ 56.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Yoga, tantra and other forms of Asian meditation are practised in modernized forms throughout the world today, but most introductions to Hinduism or Buddhism tell only part of the story of how they developed. This book is an interpretation of the history of Indic religions up to around 1200 CE, with particular focus on the development of yogic and tantric traditions. It assesses how much we really know about this period, and asks what sense we can make of the evolution of yogic and tantric practices, which were to become such central and important features of the Indic religious scene. Its originality lies in seeking to understand these traditions in terms of the total social and religious context of South Asian society during this period, including the religious practices of the general population with their close engagement with family, gender, economic life and other pragmatic concerns.

    • Explores the origins of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, yoga and tantra within an open-minded but critical perspective
    • Gives full weight to the grounding of the more esoteric and abstruse aspects of Indic religious life
    • Gives a balanced treatment of the evolution of the three major religious traditions foregrounding their common features and close connections
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … a masterful book that I am very grateful to have read …' Yoga and Tantra

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521695343
    • length: 431 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 10 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Stories and sources
    Part I. Meditation and Yoga:
    3. The second urbanisation of South Asia
    4. Two worlds and their interactions
    5. Religion in the early states
    6. The origins of the Buddhist and Jain orders
    7. The Brahmanical alternative
    8. Interlude: asceticism and celibacy in Indic religions
    Part II. Tantra:
    9. The classical synthesis
    10. Tantra and the wild goddesses
    11. Subtle bodies, longevity and internal alchemy
    12. Tantra and the state
    13. The later history of yoga and tantra
    14. Postlude.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Hermits, Yogis, and Madmen: Buddhist Saints and Their Stories
  • Author

    Geoffrey Samuel, Cardiff University
    Geoffrey Samuel is Professorial Fellow at the School of Religious and Theological Studies at Cardiff University. His publications include Mind, Body and Culture: Anthropology and the Biological Interface (2006).

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