What India Has Given Us and Why it Matters
In February, 1968, the Beatles went to India for an extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It may have been the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness. The media frenzy over the Fab Four made known to the masses what only a few had known before: meek, mysterious India had something of value for the sleek, sophisticated West. The way we understand and practice spirituality would never be the same.
That is how the book begins, because in the story of American Veda there are two eras: Before Beatles in India and After Beatles in India. The book returns to that watershed moment in a later chapter. Chapter 1 states the basic thesis: India’s principle spiritual exports—the philosophy of Vedanta and the mental, physical and spiritual disciplines of Yoga—have changed America more than is generally realized. The chapter displays both hard data and anecdotal evidence to support this claim and describes the essential components of the Vedic world-view that has come to permeate the soil of America.
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