The World Sanskrit Conference is the premier international forum for professional researchers and educators of the Sanskrit language and its literatures, and of the history, religion, and cultures of premodern South Asia. It is convened every three years under the auspices of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies. The 17th WSC was held in Vancouver, Canada from July 9-13. 2018. This was the first time that this prestigious triennial event was held in Canada.
WSC 2018 was proudly hosted by the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. UBC ranks in the top three research universities in Canada and has taught Sanskrit at all levels since 1969.
The 17th World Sanskrit Conference took place on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.
At the Conference, James Mallinson (pictured right) of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS University of London), gave an inspiring lecture entitled “Yoga: To Mortify or Cultivate the Body?”
James Mallinson is Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Civilization at SOAS, London, UK. He has edited and translated several texts on Hatha yoga from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries CE. He has also spent several years living with traditional Hindu ascetics and yogis in India and in 2013 he was honored with the title of ‘mahant’ by the Ramanandi Sampradaya.
In this public lecture, Mallinson, author of Roots of Yoga (Penguin, UK), traced developments within the textual history of haṭha yoga to ask how this tradition changed from being a practice meant for world-renouncing, self-mortifying ascetics to one for people in the world who wish to cultivate their bodies while pursuing yoga’s religious ends.
A review of Roots of Yoga can be found at the Indian Philosophy Blog.