Dear Matthew,

The skeletal image shown in this article is from a dig at Balathal in Rajasthan. It was taken by Dr. Vasant Shinde of the Department of Archaeology at Deccan College and dated by Dr. Gwen Robbins to the 6th cen BCE. I reference this image and dig in an article on the roots of samādhi burial coming out in the spring issue of Oxford Journal of Hindu Studies. The issue itself is part of a special double issue on samādhis, tombs, and relics co-edited by Brian Hatcher, Abhishek Amar and myself. 

Misra, V.N., Vasant Shinde, R.K. Mohanty, Kurush Dalal, Anup Mishra, Lalit Pandey' and Jeevan Kharakwa. “Excavations at Balathal: Their Contribution to the Chalcolithic and Iron Age Cultures of Mewar, Rajasthan.” In Man and Environment: Journal of the Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies. Volume XX, Number 1 (January - June 1995).

Robbins, Gwen. V. Mushrif, V.N. Misra, R.K. Mohanty, and V.S. Shinde, 2007. ‘Adult Skeletal Material from Balathal: A Full Report and Inventory.’ Man and Environment 32 (2): 1–26.

All best,

On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 4:39 AM Matthew Kapstein <> wrote:
Dear friends,

This article has been making the rounds among yoga and meditation groups recently:

I am aware that the "proto-Siva" interpretation of certain Indus Valley seals has been much contested during the last few decades but have no knowledge of the other material discussed here.  If you know of pertinent references to reliable sources that will help to shed light on this, I would be most grateful.

best regards,

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

Numata Visiting Pro
fessor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago
INDOLOGY mailing list --
To unsubscribe send an email to (messages to the list's managing committee) (where you can change your list options or unsubscribe)

Mark McLaughlin, PhD
Senior Lecturer of South Asian Religions
Department of Religious Studies
William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA