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

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 27, 2008 - Religion
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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.

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User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

Let me start with two negatives, which explain the 4 (rather than 5) star rating: First of all, the academic practise of inserting credits to authors mid-sentence is immensely irritating, and this is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kukulaj - LibraryThing

Samuel is an anthropologist and his book discusses the social and cultural contexts through which yoga and tantra developed, from roughly 400 BCE up to 1200 CE. So he doesn't go into deep meanings of ... Read full review


1 Introduction
2 Stories and sources
Part one Meditation and yoga
Part two Tantra

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About the author (2008)

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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