n Nidan : International Journal for Indian Studies - Digital mūrtis, virtual darśan and a Hindu religioscape

Volume 3 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1016-5320


With the development of communication technology, images of the divine in Hindu traditions have entered virtual spaces where they are tapped, dragged, copied, saved, and otherwise transformed from print to virtual, physical to digital; Images may be transported from the context of a temple in India to a mobile phone in America or the context of a temple in America to a mobile phone in India. This ethnographic study examines online darsan videos of the guru as they are experienced by devotees in the United States and in India in the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminaryan Sanstha or BAPS Swaminarayan tradition. I argue that the transnational aspects of BAPS is a religioscape constituted in part by darśan of the guru. These global flows of images and videos of the guru and deity which makeup the religioscape are evident in their internet presences.

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