The triennial Kumbh Mela festivals are the largest gatherings of people on the planet. At their heart are the camps of the sadhus, Hindu holy men, who have been the foremost practitioners of yoga since developing it more than 2,500 years ago. Sir James Mallinson, Ph.D., has spent several years in India living with these traditional yogis and has been to every Kumbh Mela since 1992. Sir James is a Sanskrit scholar by profession and specializes in texts on yoga. In this talk he will identify the two ancient traditions of yoga—tantric and ascetic—as found in Sanskrit texts, and show how these two traditions, which continue to thrive, are represented by two different groups at the Kumbh Mela festivals. In addition to texts and his time spent with the sadhus (of which he will show photographs), he will draw on some of the exhibits in the Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibition to illuminate his talk.
Free, reservations recommended. Register online, in person, or by phone at 216-421-7350 starting June 1.