The Hare Krishnas in India
This entertaining and sensitive book deepens our knowledge by tracing the paths of those western Hare Krishnas who eventually travelled to or lived in India. The charismatic leader of the sect, the Indian monk Swami Bhaktivedanta, aimed to save Westerners from what he saw as materialism and atheism by converting them to worship the Hindu god Krishna. In addition, he hoped that Western disciples would inspire Indians to rediscover their own religious heritage. Charles Brooks described in full detail the work of reverse missionaries in the town of Vrindavan which, since it is traditionally considered to be identical with Krishna s spiritual world, is one of the holiest places in India and the site of some of its most engaging rituals.
Have the Western Hare Krishnas really become part of Indian culture? Can it be that Indians accept these foreigners as essentially Hindu and even Brahman? Brooks answers in a way that radically challenges our accepted images of Indian social dynamics. Analysing the remark-able success of the International Society for Krishna Conscious-ness and their temple complex in Vrindavan (where Bhaktivedanta was buried in 1977), Brooks describes the intricate social, eco-nomic and religious relationships between Westerners and Indians.
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acceptance activities actors ashram attitude Baba behavior Bengal Vaishnava bhakti Bhaktisiddhanta Bhaktivedanta Swami Bhaktivinod Brahman Braj caste Chaitanya chanting chapter concerning considered context cultural daban darshan deity Delhi devotees of iskcon dharmshala disciples especially established foreign devotees Gaudiya Math Gaudiya Vaishnava ghat gopis Goswami Govindadev guru Hare Krishna hierarchy Hindi Hindu Hinduism holy ideal Indian society individuals initiation interpretation iskcon devotees jati Kishor Krishna Prem Krishna-Balaram temple Loi Bazaar Madan-Mohan madhurya-ras Mahesh Marathi Mathura Mayapur meaning merchants mystical emotions occur participation pilgrimage pilgrims Prabhupad practice Prahlad present priests Radha Radha-Damodar Radha-Raman ras-lila reality relationships religious residents of Vrindaban ritual sacred sites sadhu samadhi sampradaya Sanatan sannyas Sanskrit sect shalagram shrine significant situations of interaction social sociocultural spiritual status symbolic symbolic interactionism tion town town's traditional transformation varna village Vishnu Vrin Vrinda Vrindaban residents Western devotees worship