[INDOLOGY] pravesha

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Sun Mar 5 14:36:25 UTC 2017

>From Buddhist tantric sources one might also add pUrapravēśa, lit. "entering the city,"
referring to the yogic technique of projecting one's consciousness into another's body.
The famous story of Sankara's possessing the corpse of a king so as to experience
erotic pleasures exemplifies this, though I don't have the references at hand to
confirm the terminology used in that case.

However, as this and other examples cited seem to indicate, pravēśa alone is not
a technical term for a particular type of ritual or religious activity. It can by no means
be treated as a discrete category parallel to, say. bhakti.


Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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