Yoga how to get started

It is estimated that there are in India 800,000 Muhammadan Fakirs and 1,200,000 among the idolaters, which is an enormous number. They are all vagabonds and idlers, who blind the eyes of the people with false zeal, ..

We can conclude that monastic orders grabbed the opportunity and recruited low caste surplus population and turned them into warrior armies. They became, so to speak, brokers between the buyer (the warlord) and the seller (peasants, semi-nomads and surplus population). This process of admitting the rural surplus population into primary elite monastic institutions might have started hundreds of years earlier. The Mughals in my opinion dramatically escalated the militancy of these ascetic groups. It also meant that the rural strata of ascetic Sadhus lost its (last impressions of) elite character. The elite liberation specialist had become a minority within his own cultural field. The new ascetic warrior who profited from being identified with high status ascetic itinerants had turned the profession upside down. He was feared as a fighter because he was seen to be in possession of supernatural powers and was fearless in battles. This new professional did not trade cultural capital (like merit and fortune telling) but fearless violence.

In other words the rural part of the cultural fields of liberation and salvation had lost its elite character and had become a repository for India’s surplus population – the rural Lumpenproletariat. As we read European and Indian historical records about these jogis and fakirs, we learn that these groups were not always perceived with loving and accepting eyes.

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