Alumni and alumnae


Smita Kothari (PhD September 2013)

PhD Thesis: Dāna and Dhyāna in Jaina Yoga: A Case Study of Prek?ādhyāna and the Terāpantha
Supervisors: Christoph Emmrich, Stephen Scharper


The thesis is a textual and ethnographic study that explores notions of charity and meditation practices?through a case study of a particular sect of Jainism.


Smita is currently working as a Faculty Associate in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, where she has been teaching and also working as a researcher and grant writer in the Center for Asian Research.



Under consideration with Routledge Press “Prek?ā Dhyāna in Jaina Yoga: an Archetypal Ritual for the Proper Ordering of the Soul,” in Jain Yoga Revisited ed. Christopher Key Chapple.
2007 “Eschatological Myth in the Mahābhārata,” in Journal for the Study of Religion peer reviewed publication, University of Toronto.



RLG 394 The Study of Yoga – Self, Body, and Mind Discipline in the Indian Traditions, Arizona State University.
SCS 1219 Comparative Religion: Eastern Traditions, University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.

Guest Lectures


RLG228 Religion, Ethics, Environment “Jainism and Ecology- Agriculture and Food Issues” University of Toronto
HIND3610 at York Univerity, Course on Premchand, lecture on the film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (Satyajit Ray, 1977).
RLG205HS Introduction to South Asian Studies, “The three yogas in the Bhagavdgītā” University of Toronto at Mississauga
ENV1008HS (graduate course) Worldviews and Ecology “Jainism and Ecology” University of Toronto
RLG303H1F Evil and Suffering, “Sati as Radical Evil” University of Toronto
RLG205Y Introduction to Hinduism “Narratives in the Mahābhārata” University of Toronto

Teaching Assistantantships


World Religions, Introduction to Buddhism, Hinduism and Contemporary Media, Diasporic Religions, Introduction to South Asian Religions, Hindu Myth, The Hindu Religious Tradition, World Religions and Ecology.

Selected Academic Presentations


“Dāna and Dhyāna in Jaina Yoga: A Case Study of
Preksha and the Terāpantha” at the School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London, England, in a conference on Jaina Yoga.
“Jain Yoga Revival and Reform – the Preksha Movement” at the American Academy of Religion, International Conference, Chicago
“Packaging of Jain Yoga from Haribhadra to Preksha” at the American Academy of Religion, Eastern Region conference at McGill University
“Grāma vs. āra?ya: Anthithetical Values ?” at the Green Yoga conference in Santa Cruz, California
“Violence in the Bhagavad Gīta and the Sauptikaparvan.” at the American Academy of Religion, Eastern Region conference, University of Waterloo, Ont.
“Eschatological Myth in the Mahābhārata” at the University of Toronto, Centre for the Study of Religion Annual Symposium on Representation of Death and Loss in Religious Traditions.
“Sati: A Radical Evil” at the Wilfrid Laurier University, Religion and Culture Society’s third annual Interdisciplinary Arts Conference on Evil.