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The Nath Yogis: The Earrings of Immortality

by P. Rajiv McMullen


  • ISBN Hardcover: 9789359662396, 9359662399
  • ISBN Paperback: 9789359662039, 9359662038
  • Year of Publication: 2024
  • Edition: 1st
  • No. of Pages: 431
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishing House
  • Sale price ₹ 525.00 Regular price ₹ 525.00

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    Book Description:

    This book looks at the elusive Nath Yogis from the early medieval period until the present. We begin by delving into the tantric traditions in the Indus Valley Civilisation from which the Naths emerged, as well as some of the traditions of renunciation, as seen by some early Vedic texts and some forerunners of the Naths like the Pasupata and Kapalika ascetic orders.

    We will also look at the esoteric practices of the 84 Siddhas, from the writings of the great Sahajiya mystic Sarapa and the Hevajra Tantra. The mystical physiology of Matsyendra Nath, the mentor of Gorakh Nath will be looked at as well as the mysterious Yogini cult. The legends, philosophy and teachings of Guru Gorakhnath will be examined in detail as well as the impact they had on later mystics like Guru Nanak Dev and Kabir, as seen from a detailed study of the Janam Sakhis. We will also look at the interaction between the Naths and Sufis, focusing on the writings of three prominent Sufis.

    About the Author:

    P. RAJIVE MCMULLEN was born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. His father, Dr. C. O. McMullen is a sociolgist who has written and edited books on Sikhism. His mother Catherine McMullen was a public health nurse in the Himalayas. He attended Woodstock International School and spent time in Punjab where his father was teaching. He graduated in History from the University of Toronto and later post graduated in South Asian Studies from the same institution. He studied Sikhism with the world renowned historian Dr. W. H. McLeod with whom he developed an interest in the sect of Nath Yogis.

    He returned to India and spent several years living with the Nath Yogis, attending Kumbha Melas and going on pilgrimage sites. For more than 20 years, he has been Assistant Professor of History at Baring Union Christian College located in rural Punjab. He appeared in, and was involved in the making of two documentary films in collaboration with the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at Manchester University entitled, The Lover and the Beloved - A Journey into Tantra and The One and the Many.