American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation--How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

By Philip Goldberg
"In February 1968 the Beatles went to India for an extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It may have been the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness. "
With these words, Philip Goldberg begins his monumental work, "American Veda," a fascinating look at India s remarkable impact on Western culture. This eye-opening popular history shows how the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mind-body methods of Yoga have profoundly affected the worldview of millions of Americans and radically altered the religious landscape.
What exploded in the 1960s actually began more than two hundred years earlier, when the United States started importing knowledge as well as tangy spices and colorful fabrics from Asia. The first translations of Hindu texts found their way into the libraries of John Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson. From there the ideas spread to Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and succeeding generations of receptive Americans, who absorbed India s science of consciousness and wove it into the fabric of their lives. Charismatic teachers like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda came west in waves, prompting leading intellectuals, artists, and scientists such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Allen Ginsberg, J. D. Salinger, John Coltrane, Dean Ornish, and Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, to adapt and disseminate what they learned from them. The impact has been enormous, enlarging our current understanding of the mind and body and dramatically changing how we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Goldberg paints a compelling picture of this remarkable East-to-West transmission, showing how it accelerated through the decades and eventually moved from the counterculture into our laboratories, libraries, and living rooms. Now physicians and therapists routinely recommend meditation, words like "karma "and "mantra "are part of our everyday vocabulary, and Yoga studios are as ubiquitous as Starbuckses. The insights of India s sages permeate so much of what we think, believe, and do that they have redefined the meaning of life for millions of Americans and continue to do so every day.
Rich in detail and expansive in scope, "American Veda" shows how we have come to accept and live by the central teaching of Vedic wisdom: Truth is one, the wise call it by many names. "


    REVIEW QUOTES
"American Veda is an illuminating, gracefully written and remarkably thorough account of India's spectacular impact on Western religion and spirituality." - Deepak Chopra "American Veda shows us how we got to where we are. It chronicles a revolution in consciousness and describes India's lasting influence on our culture, from gurus, meditation, and yoga to sitar music and aromatic curries. Savor it." - Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of "Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential" "This book demonstrates the far reach of Indian thought into the American psyche and sense of spiritual self. A well written, superbly researched book, it should be read by all the 15 million Americans practicing meditation and yoga!" - Christopher Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University "Wonderfully comprehensive, positive, tremendously insightful, and illuminating. For anyone interested in the deep influence of yoga philosophy in American culture, I highly recommended this masterful book." - John Friend, Founder of Anusara Yoga "Immensely smart, wise and brilliantly written. This book should be required reading for everyone interested in ecumenical spirituality which is the one hope for the survival of the human race, and India's great gift to us in our crisis." - Andrew Harvey, author of "The Hope: The Guide to Social Activism" and "The Sun at Midnight" "In this important and engaging book, Philip Goldberg chronicles the long neglected history of Hinduism's encounter with the US. He astutely examines how Hinduism has been constructed and consumed within the larger American spiritual landscape. A must read for those interested in Hinduism and its transmission." - Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California "American Veda documents an important cultural change and is an impressive book: informed and informative, well researched and rea




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About the Paperback

Publisher Three Rivers Press (CA)
Publish date 05/14/2013
Pages 398
ISBN-13 9780385521352
ISBN-10 0385521359
Language English

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