Seeing Krishna in America

The Hindu Bhakti Tradition of Vallabhacharya in India and Its Movement to the West


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About the Book

The Hindu sect the Vallabha Sampradaya was founded in India in the 15th century by a devotional saint, Vallabhacharya. Their bhakti tradition worships a variety of forms of Krishna as a seven-year-old child. Following U.S. immigration reforms in 1965, members of the sect established a spiritual headquarters for the faith in Pennsylvania and began to construct temples across the United States. Since then, the growth has continued as this 500-year-old faith becomes an American religion, as this work demonstrates.

About the Author(s)

E. Allen Richardson is a professor of religious studies at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

E. Allen Richardson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, 3 maps, glossary, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5973-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1596-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Preface  1
Introduction  5

Part One: Bhakti, Vallabha and the Search for the Sacred  11
1. The Vallabha Sampradaya  12
2. Seeing Krishna: Darshan as the Inward Journey  52

Part Two: Early History  69
3. Krishna’s Many Mansions: Mughal Patronage and Expansion  73
4. Of Maharajas and Maharanas: Patronage and the Development of Regional Autonomy  86

Part Three: Pushtimarg in America  101
5. Vaishnavism Without Borders: Shri Nathji and the Journey Abroad  102
6. Fitting Pushtimarg into American Hinduism  134
7. The Challenges of the Diaspora  166

Glossary  187
Appendix  197
Chapter Notes  199
Bibliography  215
Index  225