Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

4. Blessings beyond Time and Place: The Fluid Nature of Narrative Tradition in Contemporary Hinduism

Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs - Ülo Valk

Martin Oran Wood [+-]
University of Gloucestershire
Martin Wood is currently senior lecturer in the department of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Gloucestershire, UK. Since 2003 he has worked closely with numerous Hindu traditions in the UK, New Zealand and India and specifically with the Jalaram Bapa tradition since 2010. His current research examines the experience of the presence of the Gujarati Saint Jalaram Bapa and how this informs the lived experience of his devotees in the contemporary UK context.

Description

The popular Gujarati saint Jalaram Bapa physically passed away nearly a century and a half ago and there is no one alive today who could speak of having any kind of direct recollection or memory of him or his wife Virbai Ma. His life, miracles, healings and teachings have not been forgotten, however and since his death the Jalaram tradition has developed into a substantial expression of globalized Hinduism in the contemporary world. Furthermore, the authoritative literature on his life, Bhakta Shree Jalaram (Rajdev 1958) has been expanded and stretched, added to, interpreted, translated, reformatted and re-contextualised, culturally, socially, geographically and materially. This article examines these strategies of recollection and considers the ways in which memories of Jalaram have been preserved, transmitted, multiplied and transformed as they have travelled from Gujarat to East Africa, back to Gujarat and out into multiple diasporic contexts simultaneously. Furthermore, I also suggest that the manner in which the memories of Jalaram Bapa have been preserved and transmitted are as contested as they are diverse. 

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Citation

Wood, Martin. 4. Blessings beyond Time and Place: The Fluid Nature of Narrative Tradition in Contemporary Hinduism. Vernacular Knowledge - Contesting Authority, Expressing Beliefs. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 101-116 Oct 2022. ISBN 9781781792377. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=29213. Date accessed: 03 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.29213. Oct 2022

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