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

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Yoga and tantra are practised in modernized forms right through the world today, but most introductions to Hinduism or Buddhism tell only a part of the story of how they developed. This book seeks to consider their origins within the wider picture of the evolution of religion and society in South Asia.

Yoga, tantra and other forms of Asian meditation are practised in modernized forms right through the world today, but most introductions to Hinduism or Buddhism tell only a 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 in point of fact know about this period, and asks what sense we will make of the evolution of yogic and tantric practices, that have been to transform such central and important features of the Indic religious scene.

Its originality lies in seeking to consider these traditions in the case of the total social and religious context of South Asian society all through this period, including the religious practices of the general population with their close engagement with circle of relatives, gender, economic life and other pragmatic concerns.

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