Hindu Selves in a Modern World
Guru Faith in the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission
By Maya Warrier
Routledge – 2005 – 200 pages
This book explores devotional Hinduism in a modern context of high consumerism and revolutionised communications. It focuses on a fast-growing and high-profile contemporary Hindu guru faith originating in India and attracting a transnational following. The organisation is led by a vastly popular female guru, Mata Amritanandamayi, whom devotees worship as an avatar and a healer of the ills of the contemporary world. By drawing upon multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among the mata's primarily urban, educated 'middle class' Indian devotees, the author provides crucial insights into new trends in popular Hinduism in a post-colonial and rapidly modernising Indian setting.
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Encountering the Mata 3. An Avatar with a Mission 4. Choosing to Surrender 5. Spiritual Pathways 6. Experiencing Divine Love 7. East meets West? 8. Conclusion Appendix Glossary References
Maya Warrier teaches Indian Religion and the Anthropology of Religion at the University of Wales, Lampeter. Her research interests centres on popular Hinduism in contemporary India and among Indian immigrants in the West, with particular focus on issues to do with modernity and globalization.