More About the Author
J.D. Viharini is an American woman who has made India her home. The writer's name stands for Jambu-dvipa-viharini, which means one who wanders around enjoying India. Like Emerson and Thoreau, she was inspired in her twenties by the Vedic literature and traditions of India (Veda means 'Knowledge of Life,' and the Vedas are the basis of Indian religion and culture). She studied the Vedas for many years, eventually receiving a Masters degree in Vedic Studies.
With this deep understanding of the roots of the Indian way of life, she began traveling to India in 1980, and immediately felt at home. She found a county where every facet of their effervescent society was originally based on the ideal of the Vedas: to raise all aspects of life to the fullest--dress, food, music, architecture, science, medicine, and enlightenment.
Soon Viharini began doing business in India, going on pilgrimages, visiting ancient temples, and attending great festivals (like the 2013 Kumbha Mela, with 30 million people). Eventually she moved there permanently. She has traveled everywhere, from the remote Himalayas (where she now has an apartment) to the tropical south.
She knows India as few expatriates do. Viharini has traveled, mostly alone, by first class, sardine class, and everything in between. She has been sick and learned how to stay well; resided in opulent hotels and lived in poor villages; stayed with traditional families and studied at ashrams; learned how to cook Indian food and how to wear Indian saris. In every way, she has learned how to travel and live, happily and comfortably, in that most magnificent of countries.
Viharini's book, "Enjoying India", is an expression of her 30 years of familiarity with India and her practical understanding of how to enjoy traveling there. But, even more, it is an expression of her genuine love for her adopted home. It is a how-to guide by someone who understands and respects the real India--from the vibrancy and color on India's teeming surface to the wisdom and silence at its Vedic roots; from its remote, traditional villages, which have not changed in centuries, to its huge, modern cities, which are changing at the speed of light.