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Young Scholars' Talk Series

Rājvaidya of Jodhpur: Yati Udaychand

The life and works of a Jain monk practicing medicine

A talk by

Eric Daniel Villalobos

(PhD Student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, monks called yatis were more prevalent in North Indian Śvetāmbara Jainism than they are today. These monks follow an alternative interpretation of the Jain monastic code and so can travel by vehicle, stay in one place for extended periods of time, and use money. They were also known for their engagement in worldly and esoteric sciences like jyotiṣa-śāstra, mantra-śāstra, and āyurveda. Though reforms of Jain monasticism have wiped out nearly all yati lineages, they were once very powerful and influential in Jain and broader Indian society. This talk will trace the life of Yati Udaychand, who worked as the royal physician for the King of Jodhpur.

Date: 9 August, 2023 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Hall, L D Museum

For ages: 18 and above

Registration fee: 200/-

About the Speaker

Eric Daniel Villalobos is a PhD Student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He studies South Asian Religious traditions with a particular focus on Jainism. He received his BA in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA in South Asian Area Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

His current research focuses on a series of reforms in the Śvetāmbara Jain tradition which sought to correct Jain monastic practice through the ritual of kriyoddhar in the 19th and 20th centuries. These reforms challenged the power and practices of Jain yatis, who were known to engage in āyurveda, astrology, and mantra-śāstra. This project takes him through the history of Indian monasticism, astrology, mantra-śāstra, and the colonial encounter with South Asian indigenous medical systems.

For more information,
please contact 079-26306883 / +91-9408536883 / DM us on (@ldmuseum.ahmedabad)


Museum by Light, a monthly late evening viewing for visitors. Last Friday of every month the museum will remain open till 9 pm.


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