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A NEW WESTERN HINDUISM
were connected to a particular guru from India but had little sense
of the tradition behind the teacher. Their tendency was to look to
their specific teacher as the source of the teaching, the avatar of
a new universal religion, and not a traditional Hindu.
Others were so busy popularizing yoga that they
didnt take the time to really understand its background. The
result was that the American Yoga movement lacked connection with
the greater Yoga tradition and its Hindu foundation. It often
slipped into commercialism, if not vulgarity.
In America the outward and
physical aspects of yoga predominate with a cultural fixation on the
body. The sensational aspects of spirituality are also popular, with
a seeking of quick spiritual experiences and the tendency to create
personality cults. In America everything becomes a business. The
result is that the teacher with the best advertising and
self-promotion becomes the most famous and is looked upon as the
authority, though their real knowledge may be limited.