This book has taken the time and effort of many more people than the one whose name appears on the title page. Numerous friends and acquaintances have helped me with the field work, the text work, and the other kinds of work that have gone into producing the book.
For help with field work, I am grateful to Ramdas Atkar, Vijaya Chitre, R. C. Dhere, M. B. Gaykvad, Jayashree Gune, B. M. Kanade ("Bābā"), Jyoti Kanade, Subhash Khandare, Kumar and Shubha Kothavale, Kumud Kothavale, Saroj and Usha Kothavale, Shaila Kothavale ("Māmī"), Bhau Mandavkar, P. B. Mande, V. L. Manjul, M. L. K. Murty, Purushottam and Indrayani Nagpure, Balasaheb Patil, V. V. Subba Reddy, Lee I. Schlesinger, T. Patanjali Shastri, Thakur Raja Ram Singh, Günther Sontheimer, Shankar Tikavane, Kranti Waghmare, Prema Waghmare, Pushpa Waghmare, Shraddha Waghmare, Eleanor Zelliot, and especially Sudhir Waghmare, as well as to the numerous people who generously and carefully told me the things I have learned.
For help in finding written sources, I am grateful to R. C. Dhere, V. L. Manjul, K. R. Paradkar, Erik R. Sand, M. S. Sapre, Günther Sontheimer, and S. G. Tulpule, as well as to the Interlibrary Loan Service of Arizona State University.
V. V. Paranjpe helped me in interpreting the Sanskrit Godāvarī Māhātmya, and S. G. Tulpule helped me with a variety of Marathi texts. I am very grateful to both of them.
For the maps, I am grateful to G. V. Candvadkar, M. B. Datar, and Rajendra Vora; for the copy editing, to Brian MacDonald; for the title, to David Ludden; and for the photographs that are not my own, to Claudia Brown and Craig Smith.
For financial assistance, and for help with the practical arrangements that made my research and writing possible, I am grateful to the American Institute of Indian Studies, the United States Educational Foundation in India, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Arizona State University, the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, and the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg, and to Madhav Bhandare, Ashok Kelkar, Pradeep Mehendiratta, and Günther Sontheimer.
My colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies at Arizona State University have accepted my prolonged absences with good humor, and have continued to