Seeing Krishna: The Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban

Seeing Krishna: The Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban

Seeing Krishna: The Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban

Seeing Krishna: The Religious World of a Brahman Family in Vrindaban

Synopsis

This book offers a close-up view of the religious world of one of the most influential families in Vrinbadan, India's premier place of pilgrimage for worshipers of Krishna. This priestly family has arguably been the most creative force in this important town. Their influence also radiates well beyond India's borders both because of their tireless work in fostering scholarship and performance about Krishna and because the scion of the family, Shrivatsa Goswami, has become an international spokesman for Hindu ways and concerns. Case, who has been an occasional resident in the family ashram, gives the reader a real sense of the atmosphere of daily life there, and the complete devotion of the residents to the service and worship of Krishna.

Excerpt

The family is the context within which the one-to-one relationship of individual and deity is nurtured in Hindu society. This spiritual life depends centrally on the adult women, who marry into the patrilocal family; in Mahārāj j1+̄'s family, there have been one, two, or three generations of women present at any given time (Figure 5). They work hard and are dedicated to care of the family as their spiritual discipline. Much of their time, in addition to that spent performing and overseeing the daily work of the household, is given over to private devotions or in preparations for the larger rituals that fill the annual calendar. They also have primary responsibility for welcoming and providing for the many visitors who come to the guru's ashram.

The center of Mahārāj j1+04's's family was his mother as long as she lived; when she died, his wife played this role. As his wife grew older, his daughter-in-law, Shrivatsa's wife, Sandhyā, assumed more and more of the responsibility. Because Mahārāj j1+04 was often gone for as long as three months at a time, giving discourses and visiting his devotees, and his adult sons has likewise traveled a lot, many of the household decisions, ever major ones, have been made by the women, although Mahārāj j1+04 has always kept in close touch by telephone.

Before 1965, the family lived in a two-story house with a walled garden in Rādhārammaṇa Gherā, just a few yards from the entrance to Rādhāramaṇa temple. In 1962, Mahāraā j1+̄ gained possession of Jaisingh Ghera, but there was no usable living space there, and it was not used by the family until 1965, when a guest hous was built to house the visitors . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.