Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Paperback)
  • Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Paperback)

Krishna's Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Paperback)

Paperback 382 Pages
Published: 20/02/2020
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This is a book about a deeply beloved place-many call it the spiritual capital of India. Located at a dramatic bend in the River Yamuna, a hundred miles from the center of Delhi, Vrindavan is the spot where the god Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood and youth. For Hindus it has always stood for youth writ large-a realm of love and beauty that enables one to retreat from the weight and harshness of world. Now, though, the world is gobbling up Vrindavan. Delhi's megalopolitan sprawl inches closer day by day-half the town is a vast real-estate development-and the waters of the Yamuna are too polluted to drink or even bathe in. Temples now style themselves as theme parks, and the world's tallest religious building is under construction in Krishna's pastoral paradise. What happens when the Anthropocene Age makes everything virtual? What happens when heaven gets plowed under? Like our age as a whole, Vrindavan throbs with feisty energy, but is it the religious canary in our collective coal mine?

Publisher: OUP India
ISBN: 9780190123987
Number of pages: 382
Weight: 800 g
Dimensions: 212 x 141 x 30 mm


Anyone interested in the evolution of modern Hinduism will find this volume to be as enjoyable as it is informative. - Richard Barz, International Journal of Hindu Studies

[Hawley] shows that there are many more continuities between new and old Vrindavan than one might first assume. - John E. Cort, Denison University

No one but Jack Hawley could have written this book, making full use of his lifetime of deep immersion in Vrindavan, another lifetime of scholarship on the history of Hinduism, and a third as a great translator of the sacred texts of the worship of Krishna. He narrates this complex story with a captivating simplicity and clarity that make the reader see why this story matters so very much to him. -Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of the History of Religions, The University of Chicago, USA

In this important and fascinating book, Jack Hawley gives us the rare perspective of a lifetime, watching now as Vrindavan ... is overwhelmed with the shock of the new. This beloved place is a particularly poignant test of whether a global future can find a spiritual homeland without making it into a spiritual Disneyland. -Diana L. Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Hindu Studies, Director, The Pluralism Project, Harvard University, USA

This ambitious work addresses most brilliantly the sea-change that is being visited upon Vrindavan, both as a place and as a religious idea. … Krishna's Playground will be required reading for anyone interested in religious history, in Bhakti, and in development writ large. -Rupert Snell, Professor Emeritus, Department of Asian Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

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