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Author Philip Goldberg Discusses New Book, "American Veda"
Dr.Krishna Mohan and Dr. Ravi Sarma of the Hindu temple of Atlanta with Philip Goldberg.
BY RAVI R. PONANGI
Philip Goldberg, author, spiritual counselor and Huffington Post blogger, discussed his new book, “American Veda”, which explores India’s impact on Western spirituality, psychology and healthcare. Goldberg was here in Atlanta recently and gave two talks. The first part of his talk was in two sessions in the Vedanta Center of Atlanta and another one at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. All the meetings were well attended and at the end of the meetings he answered questions which led to lively discussion from the audience. He
also showed very rare photos depicting the great east-west transmission.
P. Venugopala Rao reviewing the book wrote, the title of the book might suggest that the knowledge available in the sacred texts of Hinduism is reprocessed in this work for the consumption of a new audience in the United States. Far from it, what we find is a well-organized historical account of how, when and by whom the inspiring spirituality of sanatana dharma is brought to the attention of the west – particularly the philosophy of Vedanta and the practices of Yoga. It is a process that was initiated long ago with the British discovery of India’s past in the eighteenth century and the German Romantic’s interest in Indian literature. In America the process began with the interests of a few individuals who were attracted to the philosophy of the East. The dissemination of this knowledge through private libraries of the past and public media of today is a fascinating story told by Philip Goldberg in about 350 pages.
The spontaneous spiritual awakening in many who are exposed to the Hindu traditions a testimony to the fact that there are valuable insights in the thoughts that are collected in the Hindu sacred texts from Upanishads to yoga sutras. The process of ‘Vedization’ as the author calls it will continue to expand in America. In the years to come Americans of Indian descent will have a significant role to play in this process if only they take it seriously to heart and engage in useful dialogue with those who are interested in their community.
The book is not meant to explain the various ideas of sanatana dharma that are relevant to us today. On the other hand by recalling the impact of this Hindu tradition on many creative and intellectual minds, it inspires the new generations to become acquainted with it. For hindufiles this can provide a lot of fodder to brag about. For the serious minded it is an enlightening experience. Goldberg’s work is a comprehensive account of Hinduism is reconstructed outside the borders of its homeland and is used to transform lives of many kinds.