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Yoginī

Part of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions book series (EIR)

Synonyms

Yogeśī ; Yogeśvarī

Definition

(1) A female tantric initiate or practitioner of yoga; (2) a kind of medieval tantric goddess, frequently therianthropic and endowed with flight, embodying myriad aspects of the cosmic creative power (śakti)

Introduction: Yoginīs and Their Yoga

Yoginī is the feminine of Sanskrit yogin (i.e., yogi), “practitioner of yoga.” In both premodern and modern usage, yoginī may simply refer to a female yogi or tantric initiate. In the early medieval period, however, the word also came to designate a variety of goddess prominent in Śaiva and Buddhist tantric traditions and influential in popular religion as well. Temples dedicated to groups of yoginīs were constructed across India, mainly from the tenth to twelfth centuries, and yoginīs also left their mark in religious and narrative literatures. This entry mainly concerns the goddesses known as yoginīs, rather than female tantric adepts or practitioners of yoga, though in some contexts the two are...

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Hatley, S. (2019). Yoginī . In: Jain, P., Sherma, R., Khanna, M. (eds) Hinduism and Tribal Religions. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_211-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_211-1

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