These religious spaces provided the infrastructure to maintain and further ethnic identities as well. As a result, much of the literature that addresses forms of Hindu-derived religiosity in the United States is located within studies that may include sections on the United States but are focused on India or globally. Read the story of two worlds that converge: one of Hindu immigrants to America who want to preserve their traditions and pass them on to their children in a new and foreign land, and one of American spiritual seekers who find that the traditions of India fulfil their most deeply held aspirations. By the 1980s, there was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living Foundation, Mata Amritanandamayi, Swami Nithyananda, Karunamayi Ma, Mother Meera, and many others. Both aimed to combat and convert Hindus, but the Unitarians were excited by what they believed to be new forms of monistic and even monotheistic Hinduism that were emerging from the Hindu reform initiatives of the early 19th century. 9. The New Age movement of the 1990s also brought rekindled interest in Hinduism, often recoded as Indian spirituality, and this has sponsored a new wave of gurus and their teachings and the rampant expansion of postural yoga practice in the United States. In addition,the PEW survey estimated that the number of Hindus rose from 0.3 percent of the population in 2007 to 0.7 percent in 2014. It also equates the Indian nation-state and population with Hinduism, which has had egregious effects on minority religious populations in India since its rise to power. Are Hindu’s allowed to divorce? Hindu influence in the United States likely started with trading ships that traveled between ports in India and New England in the early 19th century. After 1965, Hindus established organizations that aimed to unite Hindus in North America and to connect diaspora Hindus with Hindus in India. Brian Pennington, Was Hinduism Invented? According to the Cremation Association of North America, about a third of Americans choose cremation. Some of them were open and welcoming toward the general public, while others were protectionist and exclusive to devotees only. Hare Krishnas (ISKCON devotees) soon became known for their public presence in the United States, as they gathered in airports, parks, and on street corners in their traditional Hindu dress, chanting the māhāmantra and passing out scriptures (most of which are productions of ISKCON itself) to passersby in exchange for small donations. Williamson, Transcendent in America; and Lola Williamson and Ann Gleig, Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2014). These Hindus were not gurus or yogis who were interested in developing followings among white audiences. A median of 45% across 34 surveyed countries say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. In response, he formulated a new Hinduism heavily influenced by monotheism and a focus on scriptures, with which he aimed to rebut the scathing critiques of the missionaries. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Illusions,” referenced in Sachin N. Pradhan, India in the United States: Contributions of India & Indians in the United States of America (Bethesda: SP Press International, 1996), 14. They also became congregational centers for community networking and development. Follow the RSS feed for this page: The Global God Divide. Leaders of the Brahmo Samaj (Madras: G. A. Natesan, 1926), 16. Michelle Goldberg, The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West (New York: Knopf, 2015). Gurus who derive their teachings from Hinduism have drawn Americans to their feet ever since they arrived in the United States. With regard to colonial and 19th-century American history, Michael Altman’s dissertation, “Imagining Hindus: India and Religion in Nineteenth Century America,” is the primary resource focusing on Hinduism in the context of 19th-century North America.37 There are a number of sources that engage Hindu influences on the American transcendentalists in the mid-19th century: Alan Hodder addresses Henry David Thoreau in his article “‘Ex Oriente Lux,’” Russell Goodman addresses Ralph Waldo Emerson in “East-West Philosophy in Nineteenth-Century America,” as does Arthur Versluis in American Transcendentalism and Asian Religions.38 There is a growing body of literature on the Hindu influences in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly on Vedanta and Theosophy, such as Carl T. Jackson’s Vedanta for the West, Gauri Viswanathan’s articles “Have Animals Souls? 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