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Indian AsceticismPower, Violence, and Play$
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Carl Olson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190225315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225315.001.0001

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The Banyan Tree of Indian Asceticism

The Banyan Tree of Indian Asceticism

(p.28) 2 The Banyan Tree of Indian Asceticism
Indian Asceticism

Carl Olson

Oxford University Press

Using asceticism in a broad sense to include a wide variety of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious practices, this chapter presents a selective and sweeping overview of the history of asceticism in India. This chapter examines previous scholarly interpretations of ascetic powers. Narratives about ascetic powers represent evidence of a pervasive popular folklore that surround the life and exploits of ascetics. This tradition of narratives about ascetics and their powers set the stage for the compiler of the Yoga Sutras to devote an entire chapter to a consideration of such powers.

Keywords:   history of asceticism, interpretations of powers, narratives, powers, types of asceticism, female ascetics

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