Retrato do autor

David Gordon White

Autor(a) de Tantra in Practice

9+ Works 425 Membros 3 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

David Gordon White is distinguished emeritus professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books, including The Alchemical Body, Kiss of the Yogini, and Sinister Yogis, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Obras por David Gordon White

Associated Works

Yoga: The Art of Transformation (2013) — Contribuidor — 42 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
White, David Gordon
Data de nascimento
University of Chicago (Ph.D.|South Asian Religions)
École Pratique des Hautes Études (Hinduism)
University of California, Santa Barbara

Fatal error: Call to undefined function isLitsy() in /var/www/html/inc_magicDB.php on line 425
David Gordon White is the J. F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include Sinister Yogis and Tantra in Practice (Princeton).



Sinister Yogis was recommended to me by a friend and professor of Religious Studies whose focus is on the Indic religions. The tales and concepts of modern postural yoga often paint an enlightened guru image of yogis. David Gordon White sets out to correct this modern and whitewashed overcorrection with the yogis themselves.

From the outset, we are presented with tales of yogis being fairly bad dudes (and they are almost always male). Stories from the earliest tales that mention yogis depict them as trickster-like magicians often possessing the bodies of others to accomplish some nefarious end and a selfish power grab. When nobler, yogis were often warriors who aspired to yogic deaths in battle. Far from pricey pants and stretchy exercise.

Quickly, the book turns into a historical survey through textual accounts of practitioners and what common threads unite them. This gives us a glimpse into yogic practice through history as it develops. This is a practice often associated with sorcery, intrigue, battles, and political consequences. This part is also where the "sinister" elements of yogis can become more mystical and spiritual, but often not for long. Yogis are far from consistently holy hermits and are instead presented as agents within the world and culture they inhabit. Often yogis are powerful individuals changing the very reality of those around them, for better or worse. Towards the end, postmodern yoga, Vivekananda, and other yogic developments show us how we got to the present state of strip mall yoga but not without some threads of sinister and selfish sorcerers continuing to peek out here and there.

This book is a refreshing look at the history of yoga as an esoteric practice. David Gordon White is very much an academic but his writing is easily understood if a bit heavy at times. If yoga strikes you more as a solar-phallic warrior dying by "yogic suicide" into the sun with his semen raised to its full potential, or if you are curious about "the science of entering another body" then this would be a great book for you. For practitioners of the spiritual aspects of yoga, by whatever form, I would say this is required reading. The techniques of your practice might just be sinister in origin.
… (mais)
1 vote
Ophiphos | May 28, 2022 |
As David White explains in the Introduction to Tantra in Practice, Tantra is an Asian body of beliefs and practices that seeks to channel the divine energy that grounds the universe, in creative and liberating ways. The subsequent chapters reflect the wide geographical and temporal scope of Tantra by examining thirty-six texts from China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Tibet, ranging from the seventh century to the present day, and representing the full range of Tantric experience--Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and even Islamic. Each text has been chosen and translated, often for the first time, by an international expert in the field who also provides detailed background material. Students of Asian religions and general readers alike will find the book rich and informative.… (mais)
PSZC | Oct 29, 2019 |
Interesting if not a little obscure
richardhobbs | Dec 19, 2010 |


You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
Marcado como favorito

Tabelas & Gráficos