In this episode we speak with Lubomír Ondračka about his research on conceptions of the body within yogic and tantric traditions. We first discuss his background in chemical engineering and studying Indology in the Czech Republic, and how his interest in alchemy led him to India and the study of the Nāth yogis. We discuss the various scholarly categories of the 'yogic body', 'tantric body', and the so-called 'subtle body' and weigh in on their usefulness, as well as their components such as the cakras, ādhāras, granthis, kuṇḍalaṇī, and more. We conclude the conversation with a preview of Ondračka's upcoming online course, YS 124 | The Yogic Body
. Speaker Bio
Dr. Lubomír Ondračka is a publisher, independent researcher and external lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Charles University in Prague. He studied mathematical modeling, nuclear physics, religious studies and Indology. Although basically trained as a philologist (using material in Sanskrit and both medieval and modern Bengali and Hindi), his research is enriched by an anthropological perspective based on his long stays in India (a total of seven years between 1996–2019). His research interests include the history of yoga (especially haṭhayoga), tantrism, death and dying rituals in Indian religions, and the culture and religion of Bengal.
His recent publications related to yoga include an encyclopedic survey of haṭhayoga, an analysis of a Middle Bengali text on tantric yoga entitled “The Garland of Bones”, a comprehensive annotated bibliography of haṭhayoga for the Oxford Bibliographies project, and a forthcoming overview of medieval yoga literature written for the Oxford Handbook of Hindu Literature. Also relevant to this course is his study “Transformation of the Body through the Mastery of the Elements in Tantric Sources”, soon to appear online first in the Oxford Handbook of Tantric Studies.