Review: American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation—How Indian Spirituality Changed the West
This is a very readable history of Hinduism’s influence on the United States. Beginning with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s discovery of the Bhagavad Gita in the early 1800s, Philip Goldberg traces what might be called “the Hindu Connection” to American life and thought right down to the present time.
This is a sequel to Swami Yogeshananda’s earlier book, Six Lighted Windows. This new book records memories of four more swamis whom the author knew: Swamis Shantaswarupananda, Aseshananda, Shraddhananda, and Lokeswarananda. They were not included in the earlier book because they were still living at the time.
Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions (formerly titled The Religions of Man) is familiar to at least a generation of college students. It is surely a classic, in view of its widespread fame and its use as a textbook in universities around the world.
Why should Vedantists want to read a book by a self-proclaimed Buddhist atheist? In this case, the answer is that Stephen Batchelor has encountered challenges similar to those sometimes experienced by other Westerners who embrace Eastern religions. We can learn from him.
According to Pillai Lokacharya (1264-1327 CE), a renowned teacher of the Srivaishnava tradition of South India, the Lord manifests four special qualities to help devotees take refuge in Him. These are: affection (vatsalya); lordliness, or ownership (svamitva); friendship, or affability (saushilya); and accessibility (saulabhya).