The Alchemical Body excavates and centers within its Indian context the lost tradition of the medieval Siddhas. Working from a body of previously unexplored alchemical sources, David Gordon White demonstrates for the first time that the medieval disciplines of Hindu alchemy and hatha yoga were practiced by one and the same people, and that they can only be understood when viewed together. White opens the way to a new and more comprehensive understanding of medieval Indian mysticism, within the broader context of South Asian Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam.
About the Author:
David Gordon White is associate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Myths of the Dog-Man, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Nath Siddha practicing hatha yoga outside a meditation hut.
Detail from the sanctum of the Mahamandir Temple Jodhpur (india), AD 1804.
''White proves a skillful guide in disentangling historical and theoretical complexities that have thus far bedeviled the study of these influential aspects of medieval Indian culture.'' - Yoga World
''ExcellentÂ a tome of vast learning.'' - Marianne Winder, AMBIX: Journal of the Society for History of Alchemy & Chemistry
''Anyone seriously interested in finding out more about authentic tantra, original hatha yoga embodied liberationÂ sacred sexuality, paranormal abilities, healing, and of course alchemy will find White's extraordinary book as fascinating as any Tom Clancy thriller.'' - Gerog Feuerstein, Yoga Journal
''David White has done us a great service by presenting us with such a wide-ranging and thorough piece of research into a challenging subjectÂ .It is a masterly synthesis of a huge range of new material on a difficult topic, and White's insights occus with a bewildering frequency. This book will be of the greatest interest to the general reader on medieval India and is certain to encourage much 'audience participation' from those engaged directly in the field.'' - David Templeman, Asian Studies Review
NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION
Indian Paths to Immortality
Categories of Indian Thought: The Universe by Numbers
The Prehistory of Tantric Alchemy
Sources for the History of Tantric Alchemy in India
Tantric and Siddha Alchemical Literature
Tantra in the Rasarnava
Corresponding Hierarchies: The Substance of the Alchemical Body
Homologous Structures of the Alchemical Body
The Dynamics of Transformation in Siddha Alchemy
Penetration, Perfection, and Immortality
The Siddha Legacy in Modern India