Råmånandî Tyågîs and Hatha-yoga

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James Mallinson. (2022). Råmånandî Tyågîs and Hatha-yoga: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 14(1), 111–125. Retrieved from https://ivsjournal.com/index.php/jvs/article/view/92


The Vaishnava Råmånandîs are probably the largest renunciate sect in North India. The biggest subsection of the Råmånandîs is that of the Tyågîs, “Renouncers,” who make up the majority of the sect. Although avowedly Vaishnava, Tyågîs have much in common with other non-Vaiß∫ava modern Indian ascetic orders, in particular the Saiva Dasnåmî Någås, the Nåths and the Udåsî Någås. To the layperson there is little to tell these orders apart. They wear their hair long, in ja†å, and clothe themselves in laõgo†îs, loincloths, and little else. They are celibate and abandon all familial relationships. They are predominantly peripatetic and follow an annual round of pilgrimages and festivals. They live around dhünis, perpetually smouldering fires, and are fond of smoking gåñjå and caras.
They undergo acts of self-mortification in order to attain spiritual power and they frame their spiritual journeys in the language of Ha†ha-yoga. The origins of the individual elements shared by these orders are many and complex. We can trace some back to the Vedic era and the epics, some to early Saivism, some to tantric Saivism, some to the Nåths, some to the Süfîs, some to the Sants and some to the tradition of antinomian asceticism characterized as that of the avadhüta

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