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