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A revelatory and original contribution to our understanding of the role of religion in society and politics. India's leading public intellectual, Shashi Tharoor, lays out Hinduism's origins and its key philosophical concepts, major texts and everyday Hindu beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste. He is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperiled if Hindu "fundamentalists"--the proponents of "Hindutva," or politicized Hinduism--seize the high ground. In his view, it is precisely because Hindus form the majority that India has survived as a plural, secular democracy. A book that will be read and debated now and in the future, Why I Am a Hindu, written in Tharoor's captivating prose, is a profound re-examination of Hinduism, one of the world's oldest and greatest religious traditions.
Yogananda, considered by many to be the father of modern yoga, has had an unsurpassed global impact thanks to the durability of his teachings, the institutions he created or inspired, and especially his iconic memoir, Autobiography of a Yogi. Since its publication in 1946, that book has sold millions of copies and changed millions of lives. But it doesn't tell the whole story. Much of Yogananda's seminal text is devoted to tales about other people and it largely overlooks the three vital decades he spent living, working and teaching in America. Huge chunks of his life - challenges, controversies and crises; triumphs, relationships and formative experiences - remain unknown to even his most ardent devotees. In this captivating biography, scholar and teacher Philip Goldberg fills the gaps, charting a journey that spanned six decades, two hemispheres, two world wars and unprecedented social changes. The result is an objective, thoroughly researched account of Yogananda's remarkable life in all its detail, nuance, and complex humanity. 'Yogananda would, I believe, want any book about him to not only inform but transform,' Goldberg writes. 'It is my hope that readers will be enriched, expanded and deepened by this humble offering.'
The first published long poem by America s finest epic poet, The Divine Enchantment is replete with the metaphysical insights and creative accomplishments that would later soar to unparalleled heights in A Cycle of the West and Black Elk Speaks. Springing forth from John G. Neihardt s fascination with Hindu mysticism and myth, the epic poem relates the vision of Devanaguy, who became the mother of Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu. This enchanting poem reveals the youthful exuberance of Neihardt as well as the brilliant visionary writer to come, concerned with the intricate dance of the divine and daily life and determined to use the poetic form to tell of the momentous events and cosmological themes that affect us all.
Hinduism: A Reader offers a comprehensive guide to this major world religion through a combination of passages from scriptures and excerpts from the work of leading scholars in the field. Introduces students to the main textual, regional, intellectual, philosophical, historical, and contemporary traditions of the Hindu faith Includes excerpts from both canonical ancient texts and thought-provoking contemporary texts to offer a balanced overview of the religion Features selections that are concise without sacrificing essential material Provides clearly written introductions to each section that help situate the readings within the wider context of Hindu scholarship.
Buddhism and Hinduism have spread in the US largely through texts and are now recognizable facets of American literature and culture. But the US has defined itself through goal-oriented individualism, whereas Buddhism and Hinduism teach that individuality is a delusion and thus worldly desires are misguided. Given this apparent contradiction, what can Buddhist and Hindu influences offer American identities? Enlightened Individualism explores how post-1945 American writers, including Jack Kerouac, Alice Walker, and Maxine Hong Kingston, have tried to answer this question. Playing on enlightenment as both Anglo-American liberalism and Asian mysticism, this book argues that recent American literature seeks to reconcile seemingly incompatible liberal models of individual autonomy with Buddhist and Hindu ideals of transcending selfhood. This "enlightened individualism" uses Buddhist and Hindu philosophy to reframe American freedom in terms of spiritual liberation, and it also reinterprets Asian teachings through Western traditions of political activism and countercultural provocation. Garton-Gundling argues that even though works by Kerouac, Walker, Kingston, and others wrestle with issues of exoticism and appropriation, their characters are also meaningfully challenged and changed by Asian faiths. These literary adaptations, then, can help Americans reenvision individualism in a more transcendent and cosmopolitan context.