Antonio Rigopoulos

Jul 14, 2022

The Hagiographer and the Avatar

The Life and Works of Narayan Kasturi

SUNY Press 2021

In The Hagiographer and the Avatar: The Life and Works of Narayan Kasturi (SUNY Press, 2021), Antonio Rigopoulos explores the fundamental role of a hagiographer within a charismatic religious movement: in this case, the postsectarian, cosmopolitan community of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. The guru's hagiographer, Narayan Kasturi, was already a distinguished litterateur by the time he first met Sathya Sai Baba in 1948. Drawing on years of research on the movement as well as interviews with Kasturi himself, this book deepens our understanding of this important pan-Indian figure and his charismatic religious movement. You can find oral testimonies about Sai Baba here

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see

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