Self and subjectivity: The wandering ascetic and the manifest world

Jonardon Ganeri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter investigates the concept of yati, the wandering ascetic of the Mānavadharmaśāstra. It highlights the phenomenology of the yati’s experience in relation to the overall architecture of the Manu cosmology. The wandering ascetic, having paid three debts, has his mind set on renunciation. The yati’s aim is to avoid being brought down by the collapse of the body as one nears death, but not to avoid death. Manu notes two spiritual exercises. One of imagined disembodiment: that is, one imagines the collapse and the fall into the alligator’s jaws, being brought down by old age and disease, how the very nature of embodiment is to be in pain. Manu’s second technique of the self aims to engender a sense of disgust in and alienation from the body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of Hinduism
Subtitle of host publicationHindu Law A New History of Dharmasastra
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780198702603
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Ascetic
  • Attention
  • Cosmology
  • Manu
  • Yati

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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