Wandering with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas

Wandering with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas

by Sondra L. Hausner
     
 

In this moving ethnographic portrait of Hindu renouncers—sadhus or ascetics—in northern India and Nepal, Sondra L. Hausner considers a paradox that shapes their lives: while ostensibly defined by their solitary spiritual practice, the stripping away of social commitments, and their break with family and community, renouncers in fact regularly

See more details below

Overview

In this moving ethnographic portrait of Hindu renouncers—sadhus or ascetics—in northern India and Nepal, Sondra L. Hausner considers a paradox that shapes their lives: while ostensibly defined by their solitary spiritual practice, the stripping away of social commitments, and their break with family and community, renouncers in fact regularly interact with "householder" society. They form a distinctive, alternative community with its own internal structure, but one that is not located in any single place. Highly mobile and dispersed across the subcontinent, its members are regularly brought together through pilgrimage circuits on festival cycles. Drawing on many years of fieldwork, Hausner presents intimate portraits of individual sadhus as she examines the shared views of space, time, and the body that create the ground for everyday experience. Written with an extraordinary blend of empathy, compassion, and anthropological insight, this study will appeal to scholars, students, and general readers alike.

Indiana University Press

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253219497
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2007
Series:
Contemporary Indian Studies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

Sondra L. Hausner is University Lecturer in the Study of Religion at Oxford University. She grew up in Nepal, Bhutan, and Swaziland in a United Nations family. She lives in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Indiana University Press

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration

Introduction: Wandering with Renouncers
1. The Body and Sadhu Society
2. The Social Structures of Sadhu Life
3. Hardwar: The Ground of Space
4. Allahabad: The Community in Time
5. Kathmandu: The Body in Place
Conclusion: The Culture of Hindu Renunciation

Appendix: Literatures on Renunciation and Embodiment
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Indiana University Press

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >