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the sannyasi and the Indian wrestler: the anatomy of a relationship



Indian wrestling (pahalwani) is a disciplined way of life that demands rigorous physical and moral training. In this regard it is analogous to the Hindu life path of world renunciation (sannyas). Here I show how Indian wrestlers use the model of sannyas to help define their way of life. Wrestlers recognize the centrality of the physico-moral body as a defining idiom of identity. Their interpretation of body discipline thus sheds light on general theoretical issues relating to identity formation and concepts of the person in Hindu South Asia. [India, wrestling, sannyas, asceticism, identity, body discipline]

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