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Sensing Transcendence

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Title:Sensing Transcendence
Authors:Lamb, Ramdas
Date Issued:2013
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa Center for South Asian Studies
Citation:Lamb, Ramdas, "sensing Transcendence." Paper presented at the Center for South Asian Studies 30th Annual Symposium, "Sensing South Asia," Honolulu, April 17-19, 2013.
Abstract:Hindu ascetics and their traditions have long been of interest to westerners, beginning with the Greeks at the time of Alexander. Throughout history, they have been represented in awesome and fearsome ways. In more contemporary times, the chillum smoking sadhu (ascetic) is the most prevalent depiction, someone whose life seems consumed with and by intoxication. For the vast majority of sadhus, the reality is much different. Vows of renunciation of sensual pleasures and experiences are actually among the most important undertakings for most sadhus. These typically frame their lives and define their efforts and goals. Interestingly, sensual renunciation itself can and does provide a sort of sensual experience, although it is not normally be interpreted as such. My paper will discuss the role of vows of renunciation of sensual pleasures, why they are undertaken, what their effects are, and what role they play in the lives of most Hindu ascetics.
Appears in Collections: 2013 South Asia Spring Symposium Presentations

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