Download Hindu Selves in a Modern World: Guru Faith in the Mata by Maya Warrier PDF

By Maya Warrier

This publication explores devotional Hinduism in a contemporary context of excessive consumerism and revolutionised communications. It makes a speciality of a fast-growing and high-profile modern Hindu guru religion originating in India and attracting a transnational following. The corporation is led via a drastically renowned woman guru, Mata Amritanandamayi, whom devotees worship as an avatar and a healer of the ills of the modern global. by way of drawing upon multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork one of the mata's basically city, trained 'middle classification' Indian devotees, the writer presents the most important insights into new tendencies in well known Hinduism in a post-colonial and swiftly modernising Indian surroundings.

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Additional info for Hindu Selves in a Modern World: Guru Faith in the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission (South Asian Religion Series)

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Researching in a globalized context meant that I grew increasingly aware of the shifting alterities in my role as researcher. 33 Indian devotees of the Mata, for instance, often saw me as an insider vis-à-vis non-Indian devotees because of some notion of a shared ‘Indianness’. At other times they tended to view me as an outsider, by virtue of my being a nondevotee. Non-Indians likewise slotted me differently at different times, sometimes sharing confidences with me about what they disliked about Indian devotees of the Mata.

Now, as I stood in the queue and saw devotees ahead of me break down and cry in the Mata’s arms, I caught myself wondering whether the same would happen with me. Was there something about the Mata that triggered off these volatile reactions when one was in her embrace? As I neared the stage, a volunteer organizer hurriedly instructed me to hold my hands down and my head high, physically forcing me into the right posture of receptive deference to the Mata. I was roughly pushed towards her. She clasped my head and whispered ‘my child’ in Malayalam.

Nowhere is this more true than in anthropological scholarship where there has been a recent spate in ethnographic studies of modernity. There has, however, been an important change in the way anthropologists perceive modernity. Rather than perceive the Western model as the one singular and definitive ‘modernity’, anthropologists now see this as one among many possible variants of modernity. Western modernity, as it spreads across the globe, theorists now argue, assumes many different forms, in different socio-economic, historical and cultural contexts.

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