Author: Charles R BrooksPublisher: Motilal BanarsidassYear: 1992Language: EnglishPages: 275ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120809394
This entertaining and sensitive book deepens our knowledge by 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 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 describes in full detail the work of the reverse missionaries in the town of Vrindaban-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 Indian accept these foreigners as essentially Hindu and even Brahman? Brooks answers in a way that radically challenges our accepted images of Indian social dynamics. Analyzing the remarkable success of the International Society for Krishna consciousness and their temple complex in Vrindaban (where Bhakti-vadanta was buried in 1977), Brooks describes the intricate social, economic and religious relationships between westerners and Indians. He demonstrates that social rank in the town is based not only on caste but also on religious competence-many Indians of Vrindaban believe, in Bhakti-vedanta’s words, that Krishna is for all.
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURESTRANSLITERATION OF INDIAN WORDSCHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONCHAPTER 2The Meaning of Vrindaban : Textual and Historical DevelopmentsCHAPTER 3The Sacred Pilgrimage ComplexCHAPTER 4ISKCON and VrindabanCHAPTER 5Pilgrimage Processes: Aspects of Pilgrim- ISKCON InteractionsCHAPTER 6Symbolic Interactions in Vrindaban town:Making Sense of a New RealityCHAPTER 7Cross-Cultural Dynamics of Mystical Emotions in VrindabanCHAPTER 8ConclusionAPPENDIXESMap of VrindabanVrindaban Pilgrimage ClustersThe situationLoi Bazaar QuestionnaireMethodologyGLOSSARY OF INDIAN WORDSREFERENCESINDEX