Religions of South Asia, Vol 4, No 1 (2010)

Swami Kṛpalvānanda: The Man behind Kripalu Yoga

Ellen Goldberg
Issued Date: 22 Feb 2011


This paper examines the life and teachings of Swami Kṛpalvānanda (1913–1981) with specific reference to Mark Singleton and Richard Smith’s (2008) notion of the ‘circular construction of authority’. Within the transnational practice of modern yoga, Kripalu’s life serves as an authoritative voice and sets the standard by which all yoga experience is measured within his monastic and lay community. Thus the details of Kṛpalvānanda’s life including biography, autobiography and hagiography are analysed and three key elements, namely prāṇotthāna via śaktipāta initiation, prāṇa-yoga, and divine body (divya deha) are highlighted as features not typically seen in other modern approaches.

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DOI: 10.1558/rosa.v4i1.67


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