the essentials of hinduism
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Many want to know what Hinduism is. Many are astonished to hear that Hinduism has no particular creed. Indeed, Hinduism is hard to define. Hinduism is a system which comprises within its fold an infinite variety of thoughts. In this book published by Advaita Ashrama, a Publication centre of Ramakrishna Math, an attempt has been made to give a bird's-eye view of Hinduism with extracts from the speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda who may be said to be the best exponent of Hinduism in modern India. The excerpts have been culled from the author's Complete Works.
There are very few brief and comprehensive expositions of the universal tenets of Hinduism available today, this book “The Primer of Hinduism” is to be welcomed as ably fulfilling the need in this respect. Both the modern Hindu who is brought up in an un-Hindu environment, and the followers of other faiths who want an authentic exposition of Hinduism is a short compass, would find this to be the book most helpful to satisfy their need. While the author calls the book a Primer, it is much more than that. It touches briefly on all the fundamental doctrines of Hindu religion and philosophy, and can very well form the basis of a detailed exposition of it suited to the needs of students at different levels of understanding.
This revision reflects recent developments and events in India. In particular, a new Part has been added entitled "The Meeting of East and West in India" which contains a new chapter on Mahatma Gandhi. There is also a new chapter on the position of women in Hinduism. In addition to the added chapters, the entire book has been rewritten with many new illustrations and maps. This book provides a comprehensive survey of the Hindu tradition, dealing with the history of Hinduism, the sacred writings of the Hindus, the Hindu worldview, and the specifics of the major branches of Hinduism--Vaisnavism, S aivism, and S aktism. It also focuses on the geographical ties of Hinduism with the land of India, the social order created by Hinduism, and the various systems of Hindu thought. Klostermaier describes the new development of Hinduism in the 19th and 20th centuries, including present-day political Hinduism and the efforts to turn Hinduism into a modern-world religion. A unique feature of this book is its treatment of Hinduism in a topical fashion, rather than by chronological description of the development of Hinduism or by summary of the literature. The complexities of Hindu life and thought are thus made real to the reader. Hindus will recognize it as their own tradition.
The third edition of this well-regarded introduction to Hinduism adds new material on the religion’s origins, on its relations with rival traditions, and on Hindu science.
In Hindu Dharma: Introduction to Scriptures and Theology briefly the essentials of the scriptures of the Hindu Dharma such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Smriti Shāstras like the Purānas, the Tantras, the epics (Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata) and the Bhagavad Gitā have been described and discussed. Also, the concepts of Brahman and Ātman, the goal of Hindu life (Purushārthas) and other doctrines like 'Varnāshrama', 'Samskāras' of the Dharma have been briefly discussed. Further what 'Pujā'(worship) is and how it is performed is described. Finally, a few well-known prayer (Mantras hymns) are provided.The objective has been to describe the difficult ideas of the Hindu Dharma in a simple way so readers will get a broad idea about the contents of the various scriptures and the theology and philosophy of the Hindu Dharma.