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)
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.
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