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Female Gurus and Ascetics
(6,644 words)

Hindu female gurus and ascetics have a visible presence in India and, in some cases, internationally, in the present day. Women’s inhabiting of these traditionally male-defined categories of revered religious adept has been increasing in the public register over the past one hundred years (King, 1984; Ramaswamy, 1997; Pechilis, 2004a; Khandelwal, 2004). Early scholarly histories of female gurus and ascetics (Pechilis, 2004a, 11–31; 2012, 114–121; Khandel…

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Pechilis, Karen, “Female Gurus and Ascetics”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 03 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2018

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