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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Sathya Sai Baba, one of South Asia's most well-known gurus, is easily recognized by millions in India and overseas by his foot-length, silk, flame-color gown and mass of crinkly black hair. He traces his genealogy to Shirdi Sai Baba, a mendicant identified with various Sufi, devotional, and ascetic genealogies in the sub-continent, who lived in Shirdi village in Maharashtra for most of his life. This book offers an account of the religious movement centered on Sathya Sai Baba as a pathway for charting the varied cartographies, somatic dispositions, and cultural memories implicated in urbanization and transnationalism. It analyzes the Sathya Sai Baba movement not as a neo-Hindu revival or anti- modern nostalgia for the past but as an experiment in the mnemonics of an alternative urban modernity.

Keywords: global religious movement; Sathya Sai Baba

10.1163/ej.9789004165434.i-403.8
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