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This painting belongs to 16th century India. It depicts a female Yogi (Yogini) seated in a Yogic position and meditating in a forest

She has a Japa Mala in hand, which was very commonly used by Yogis and Yoginis. Her other hand rests on a Yoga-danda, which is a U-shaped staff used for support. She is depicted without an upper body cloth.

Such a sight of meditating celibate Yogis and Yoginis in the forest would have been very common in ancient and medieval India.

In fact, even as late as 1891 after all the foreign invasions and abductions, the census conducted by the British showed that the ratio of the number of Yogis and Yoginis was almost equal (42:35). Augharpanth sect had 2422 males and 1895 females. Gorakhpanth sect had 6955 males and 6178 females. This male/female ratio drastically changed to 81:1 in the 1941 census.


  2. Source of the painting : Ashmolean Musuem collection, Oxford