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

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

by Philip Goldberg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385521352
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 439,932
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

PHILIP GOLDBERG is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Roadsigns: On the Spiritual Path and The Intuitive Edge. Based in Los Angeles, he is an ordained interfaith minister, a public speaker and seminar leader, and cohost of the Spirit Matters podcast. He blogs regularly on religion for the Huffington Post.

Table of Contents

Foreword Huston Smith xv

Introduction 1

1 Namaste, America! 7

What India has given us and why, it matters

2 The Voice of an Old Intelligence 26

"Hindoo" texts enchant Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman

3 New Thought in Old Wineskins 47

Eddy, Blavatsky, and the New Thoughters metabolize Vedanta

4 The Handsome Monk in the Orange Robe 67

Swami Vivekananda conquers the Parliament and creates the Vedanta Society

5 The Public Intellectuals 87

Swamis tutor smart guys, and they tutor us

6 The Yogi of the Autobiography 109

Paramahansa Yogananda becomes the voice of India

7 Blowin' in the Wind 130

Beatniks, hippies, and consciousness expanders trip toward the East

8 Maha Mass Media 151

The Fab Four find Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and meditation goes mainstream

9 The Baby Boomers' Babas 176

Muktananda, Bhaktivedanta, and other gurus storm the seventies

10 The Yoga Bearers 197

Satchidananda, Iyengar, and other Yogacharyas take Americans to the mat

11 Sex, Lies, and Idiosyncrasies 210

The guru wave casts a shadow

12 Made in the U.S.A. 219

Ram Dass, Deepak, and other American acharyas take the wheel

13 Not Just Academic 236

Practitioner-Bandits penetrate the Ivory Tower

14 Guru Americana 247

Om-grown gurus gather disciples

15 Art-Omatic Transmissions 262

Musicians and writers channel India

16 The Soul of Science, the Science of Soul 282

The cosmic Shiva dances into the lab

17 Into the Mystic 309

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into an ashram

18 The Once and Future Religion 327

America the spiritual evolves

Notes 349

Index 387

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"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 readable."
– Roger Walsh MD, Ph.D., University of California Medical School, author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices
"Intriguing reading, fascinating profiles and great storytelling of Yoga luminaries adapting the teachings to fit modern American life. This book inspires us to continue to deepen in our body, mind, and spiritual journey."
– Lilias Folan, PBS Host and author Lilias! Yoga Gets Better with Age
"Goldberg weaves a tale as only a true storyteller can, drawing the reader into this Vedic web that has no weaver, providing us with a fresh view of how Vedic strands have woven their way into the daily fabric of every American. He masterfully unfolds this ancient play of spiritual unfolding that is just now beginning to emerge into early adolescence in America."
– Richard Miller, PhD, author of Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapy and the founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute.
"A breathtaking trek across time, American Veda shows us something extraordinary, surprising, and precious about where we come from, who we are at this moment, and what we may yet become."
– Chip Hartranft, author of The Yoga-Sutra Of Patañjali: a new translation with commentary

"In a delightful, compelling way, American Veda shows how India’s ancient wisdom has permeated our lives, including many of the self-improvement teachings that have benefited millions.  I loved reading this book."
– Marci Shimoff, NY Times bestselling author, Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul

“Nothing short of remarkable. Within the pages of this fairly short volume, Goldberg manages to cover every major figure, movement, and idea that originated in India’s spiritual terrain and arrived on our shores to forever alter the landscape of our thought and culture….Writing with empathy and discernment, he covers highly controversial issues regarding the impact of the transmission of Indian spiritual culture in a way that inspires deeper understanding. American Veda is an insightful guide to the fascinating history of a phenomenon that will be seen in the future as one of the watershed moments of American history.”
– Rita D. Sherma, Ph.D., Executive Director, School of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Taksha University

“American Veda is a bright light on the historical path to enlightenment in America. Philip Goldberg is an acharya of words and research. Highly recommended.”
– Larry Payne Ph.D., coauthor, Yoga for Dummies, Yoga Rx and The Business of Teaching Yoga

"We imagine the United States as a Christian island far from the exotic teachings of India. We imagine wrong. As Phil Goldberg's masterful American Veda shows we have been under the sway of Hindu spiritual thought for centuries. If you want to understand American spirituality today, and get a glimpse into its future, read this book."
– Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Recovery, the Sacred Art

"This book, American Veda is a landmark! Easy to read it shines a light of understanding on the American Vedic Hindu path which started with the transference of knowledge from India, and equally important by its acceptance by the Americans of western orientation. It is a path on which now, the immigrant Vedic Hindu community and its progeny are grafting on to and traveling along with many in the mainstream community, resulting in, we hope increased understanding. The integrated approach of this book helps fill in the gaps of this historical journey, especially for those of us who see ourselves as fellow travelers working to bridge the east-west divide."
– Anju Bhargava, Management Consultant and Founder of Hindu American Seva Charities

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