If your dreams of traveling to India include some sort of spiritual exploration, here's an essential guide that will help ease your planning and your mind. Coauthor Anne Cushman is senior editor at Yoga Journal
magazine, and along with Jerry Jones has researched hundreds of yogis, gurus, ashrams, and temples to make this "the first comprehensive book on the art of pilgrimage in the subcontinent."
After some useful general background material, the book devotes the bulk of its pages to a directory of ashrams, yoga schools, and meditation centers. The listings are presented alphabetically by state, and include facilities and food, fees, schedules, how to get there, other services, books, and tapes. Descriptions are entertaining and informative. Here's a sampling from the introduction to Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in Andhra Pradesh: "With over ten million devotees worldwide--and 1,638 centers in 137 countries--Sathya Sai Baba is undoubtedly the most famous of India's living gurus. He's believed by his disciples to be an avatar, a human incarnation of God, and his plump, frizzy-haired visage can be spotted on rickshaw dashboards, cash registers, phone booths, and altars all over India, alongside more traditional deities like Krishna and Ganesh."
In addition to a useful "Indian Philosophies and Religions" section and a glossary, intriguing sidebars include: "All About Sadhus," "Neo-Buddhist Headquarters," "Exploring Tibetan Buddhism," "The Hindu Pantheon," and "Festivals of India." --Kathryn True
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Anne Cushman is editor at large for Yoga Journal magazine, and is a certified yoga teacher. She has a degree in comparative religion from Princeton University, and has written for the New York Times and the Utne Reader.