SOAS University of London

Centre of Yoga Studies

The yoga of the Yoginīs: advanced level

Olga Serbaeva

Date: 24 March 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 24 March 2021Time: 8:15 PM

Venue: Virtual Event Room: Online

Type of Event: Talk

This lecture shall be based upon a very small number of the surviving Sanskrit texts predominantly from the Northern India, in which there are traces of a religious tradition practiced by almost exclusively female, human cum non-human beings, the general name of whom was the Yoginīs.

The lecture shall consist of the following parts:
First, we shall look at the classification of the Yoginīs and their religious practices as described in the Tantrasadbhāva 16, and, at the same time, we shall discover how this secret tantric tradition was reflected in the popular literature of the 11th century Kashmir.
As the Tantrasadbhāva does not provide much information on the advanced level practices of the Yoginīs, that is we do not know what they do after they gain ability to change their form, we shall turn to the Jayadrathayāmala, a part of which preserves such information. We shall talk here about flying, mastery of the yogic channels and cakras, as well as of the practice of human sacrifice, and how it was interpreted within the tantric tradition.
Our final question shall be about the ontological reality of such practices. What are the chances of it to be a secret practice of women, or was it rather a reflection of male projection upon women?

This event will be bookable via our Eventbrite page.

Speaker Biography 

Dr. Olga Serbaeva is an Academic collaborator at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her main interests include IT, Digital Humanities, and Tantric Studies. She is currently working on the edition and translation of the Jayadrathayāmala.