This entertaining and sensitive book deepens our knowledge by tracing the paths of those WEstern Hare Krishnas who eventually travelled to or lived in India. Charls 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 Indians 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, 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."
DR. CHARLES R. BROOKS received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii and presently lives in New York City where he teaches anthropology at New York University and the City University of New York. He also serves an an anthropological consultant to government and private agencies.