By Corinne G. Dempsey
The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York is a profile of a flourishing Hindu temple within the city of Rush, long island. The temple, verified through a charismatic nonbrahman Sri Lankan Tamil referred to as Aiya, stands proud for its mixture of orthodox ritual meticulousness and socioreligious iconoclasm. The power with which devotees perform ritual themselves and their prepared entry to the deities contrasts sharply with ritual actions at so much North American Hindu temples, the place (following the standard Indian customized) ritual is played in simple terms by way of clergymen and entry to the hugely sanctified divine pictures is heavily guarded. Drawing on numerous years of fieldwork, Dempsey weaves conventional South Asian stories, temple miracle money owed, and devotional testimonials into an research of the targeted dynamics of diaspora Hinduism. She explores the ways that the goddess, the guru, and temple participants dwell at cultural and spiritual intersections, noting how differences among superb and mundane, conference and non-convention, and family and overseas are extra frequently intertwined and interdependent than in tidy competition. This vigorous and obtainable paintings is a different and critical contribution to diaspora Hindu Studies.