The Graceful Guru : Hindu Female Gurus in India and the United States
A distinctive aspect of Hindu devotion is the veneration of a human guru, who is not only an exemplar and a teacher, but is often worshipped as an embodiment of the divine. In the past these gurus have almost always been men. Today, however, female gurus are a noticeable presence, especially in the United States. This collection of nine all new essays looks at the phenomenon of the female guru both in its original Indian context, where Hindu women leaders have been unusual but not unknown, and as it has evolved on the American scene. Each chapter is devoted to a particular female guru, ranging from the fifth-century Tamil saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar to Gurumayi, who today presides over the worldwide movement of Siddha Yoga, headquartered in the Catskill resort town of South Fallsburg, New York. The biographies of these special women are both fascinating in their own right and shed important new light on issues of gender and religious authority.
- Paperback | 272 pages
- 154 x 232 x 16mm | 340.2g
- 19 Aug 2004
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
About Karen Pechilis
Karen Pechilis is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Drew University, where she has recently been appointed the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Humanities. She is the author of The Embodiment of Bhakti (OUP, 2000).