(The University of Wisconsin-Madison)


“Nāga, Siddha and Sage: Tracing the Development of Patañjali's Iconography”


In this paper I will trace the development of the iconography of Patañjali, starting with the earliest representations as a half-human half-serpentine devotee of Śiva in the tradition of the Cidambaram Temple in South India. I will then look at the more recent iconography of Patañjali as a Siddha, an accomplished being, absorbed in meditation. Finally, I will examine images of Patañjali combining elements of both traditions and works of art experimenting with new forms.