Karma Samnyasa: Sarkar's Reconceptualization of Indian Asceticism
AbstractIn this article, we explore P.R. Sarkar's contribution to asceticism, particular his concept of karma samnyasa. Sarkar enjoins the yogi with eyes firmly fixed on the supreme to engage in a politics of social liberation. In this transformative practice, he does not ally himself to shaman or brahmin priest; rather, Sarkar imagines and through his social and spiritual movements, intends on creating the sadvipra — the person with the balanced mind. It is this critical reading of Tantra — as spiritual and social liberation — that extends him beyond Aurobindo and Gandhi, taking him outside the Vedic orbit as well as outside the nationalistic politics of the BJP.