Yogis Empowered and Imperiled in the Telugu Account of the Nine Naths

Key information

6:30 pm to 7:45 pm
Virtual Event

About this event

Jamal Jones

You can watch the recording of this event on YouTube . For other event recordings see our Media page.

Frequently cited as the first work to give the set of nine founding figures named in later Nāth works, Gaurana's fifteenth-century Navanāthacaritramu (Account of the Nine Naths) is an important witness to the Nāth and siddha communities of the medieval Deccan. But what is this work? What evidence does it provide for the history of siddhas, Nāths, and yoga? And how should we understand its relationship to these communities and their practices?

This talk will introduce Gaurana's collection of Nāth tales and its portrayal of yogic and alchemical practices. But simply seeking correspondences with the fully articulated Sampradāya may narrow our understanding of the work and its world. Ultimately, the lecture questions whether we should read the Navanāthacaritramu as a Nāth text. Going beyond the celebration of a particular religious community, we will see how the narratives provide insights into possibilities and problems of yogic power in the society.

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Speaker Biography

Jamal Jones studies the literary history of southern India, with particular interests in Sanskrit and Telugu. His current research looks at intersections between poetics, ritual, and astrology in the medieval and early modern Deccan. He currently serves as an assistant professor of South Asian Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.