The Power of the Nath Yogis
The Power of the Nath Yogis
Yogic Charisma, Political Influence and Social Authority
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Asian Studies
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Introduction, by Daniela Bevilacqua and Eloisa Stuparich
1 Current Research on Nath Yogis: Further Directions, by Véronique Bouillier
2 Powerful Yogis: The Successful Quest for Siddhis and Power, by Adrián Munoz
3 Kingly Corruption and Ascetic Sovereignty in the Telugu Account of the Nine Naths, by Jamal Jones
4 In Siddhis and State: Transformations of Power in Twentieth-Century Gorakhpur Temple Publications, by Christine Marrewa-Karwoski
5 The Search for the Jugi Caste in Pre-Colonial Bengal, by Lubomír Ondracka
6 Back When We Were Brahmins: Historical and Caste Critique Among Bengali Householder Naths, by Joel Bordeaux
7 Shades of Power: The Nath Yogis in Nepal, by Christof Zotter
8 Yogi, Pandit, and Rastra-Bhakta: Some Reconstructions of Yogi Naraharinath’s Religious Career, by Eloisa Stuparich
9 The Evocative Partnerships of a Monastic Nath Temple in Contemporary Rajasthan, by Carter Hawthorne Higgins
10 Towards a Nath Re-Appropriation of Hatha-Yoga, by Daniela Bevilacqua


Reviews and Features

'' is a well-organised book that discusses a valuable question from a dialogical perspective. It places a political–philosophical question at the core of its discussion while also touching on the mutation and adaptation of religious ideas in historical and social dynamics. The book has an attractive title that will captivate readers, including undergraduates and scholars. It will be especially helpful for those specialising in South Asian Studies and Religion, particularly in the topic of Yog. and Hinduism''.
- Li Jingwei, Religion, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2024

Daniela Bevilacqua, Eloisa Stuparich (eds)

The Power of the Nath Yogis

Yogic Charisma, Political Influence and Social Authority

The volume collects a series of contributions that help reconstruct the recent history of the Nath tradition, highlighting important moments of self.reinterpretation in the sampradaya’s interaction with different social milieus. The leitmotif tying together the selection of articles is the authors’ explorations of the overlap between religious authority and political power. For example, in which ways do the Naths’ hagiographical claim of possessing yogic charisma (often construed as supernatural powers, siddhis) translate into mundane expressions of socio-political power? And how does it morph into the authority to reinterpret and recreate particular traditions? The articles approach different aspects of the recent history of the Nath sampradaya, spanning from stories of yogis guiding kings in the petty principalities of the eighteenth century to gurus who sought prominence in the transnational environments of the twentieth century; examining some Nath lineages and institutions under the British Raj, in the history of Nepal, and in contemporary India.

Daniela Bevilacqua

Daniela Bevilacqua is a Research Associate at SOAS. She received her PhD in Civilizations of Africa and Asia from Sapienza University of Rome and in Anthropology from the University of Paris Nanterre. Her PhD research was published by Routledge under the title Modern Hindu Traditionalism in Contemporary India. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the ERC funded Hatha Yoga Project. Her fields of research include Hindu ascetic groups, embodied practices and gender and religion.

Eloisa Stuparich

Eloisa Stuparich is a Research Fellow at the Giorgio Cini Foundation (Venice, Italy), where she is currently working on the digitization of the Sanskrit manuscripts of the Danielou Fund.