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  • The Modernity of Yoga Powers in Colonial India

    Richard S. Weiss

    Chapter from the book: Weiss, R. 2019. The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism.


    Chapter 6 considers Ramalinga’s claim to have acquired extraordinary powers. Most studies of Hindu modernization describe processes of rationalization, with Hindu reformers distancing themselves from miraculous claims. Ramalinga, on the other hand, claimed to possess supernatural powers, and he promised his followers that they too could acquire these powers by joining his community. He embraced tantric and siddha expressions of Shaivism to challenge reform models of an increasingly rational Hinduism. The chapter argues that his promotion of the miraculous has endured, leading to the conclusion that his vision of an enchanted Hinduism is as modern as that of a rational, reform Hinduism.

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    Weiss, R. 2019. The Modernity of Yoga Powers in Colonial India. In: Weiss, R, The Emergence of Modern Hinduism. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.75.f

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    Published on Aug. 6, 2019