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1. Hinduism and Buddhism, an Historical
2. Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical
3. Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical
4. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
5. The Essentials of Hinduism: A
6. Hinduism : A Very Short Introduction
7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
8. The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction
9. An Introduction to Hinduism (Introduction
10. Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices
12. Teach Yourself Hinduism
13. Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective
14. The Origins and Development of
15. Introducing Hinduism (World Religions)
16. Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's
17. Hinduism (World Religions Series)
18. Inner Teachings of Hinduism Revealed
19. Hinduism - An Introduction
20. Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy

1. Hinduism and Buddhism, an Historical Sketch, Vol. 2
by Charles Eliot
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$10.75 -- used & new: US$10.75
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Asin: 1443206741
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: History / General; History / General; Religion / Buddhism / General; Religion / Buddhism / Rituals ... Read more

2. Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 1
by Sir Eliot
Paperback: 330 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003VTXYKK
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Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 1 is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Sir Eliot is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Sir Eliot then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

3. Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3
by Sir Eliot
Paperback: 556 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003VS0ZB2
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Editorial Review

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Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3 is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Sir Eliot is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Sir Eliot then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

4. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism, 2nd Edition
by Linda Johnsen
Paperback: 432 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$8.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592579051
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A new look at an ancient religion.

The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Hinduism, Second Edition, contains updated and expanded information on how the religion developed from its very fragmented origins, the basic Hindu beliefs, and the multiple Hindu deities, as well as the sociological aspects of the religion including ethics, sacraments, dietary habits, the caste system, and much more.

• Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world, with over 765 million followers worldwide
• Updated information on the state of Hinduism today
• An exploration of the Hindu paths to enlightenment including karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, tantra and laya yoga
• Expanded information on the Hindu Reformation
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars DKP
Religion is a force that has shaped our world from the beginning of time when man first looked at the world and the heavens and worndered why we exist and if there is a purpose to our existence or are we just a random event and a quirk or nature? How can any person who is at least partially awakened not be in awe of our universe?Its existence spans 15 billion years (how does one get their mind around that?) and is currently expanding at approx. 1 million miles per hour!

I have been reading alot about religion and have read about almost every major religion - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and now also Hinduism - not necessarily in that order.

Not suprisingly they all have a lot in common but the I have found that the most flexible of all is Hinduism and next is Buddhism.The one knock on Hinduism is that they believe in a caste system which is a difficult thing for me to accept, but they also believe in reincarnation so it is possible that though you are resigned to one caste in this life you can through leading a virtuous life build up enough karma to be reincarnated into a better life and caste in your future life.

In either case this book is a great introduction to all the facets of Hinduism; it is easy to read and packed with information.I highly recommend this book and also encourage all to read about the other major and minor religions and instead of finding things that divide them realize that there is much that they all have in common.

1-0 out of 5 stars A very poor.
Firstly, I was very disappointed that this was written by a western and as such incorporates a lot of western new ageism mixed with Hinduism. It does not go in to depth, there is constant comparison (and bashing) of other religions, particularly monotheistic religions. The book constantly comes across as a sales pitch aimed at the Western Mind. Some of the analogies and examples are ridiculous and not helpful at all (american idol!!??).

If you want a book to learn about Hinduism I would recommend "The essentials of Hinduism" by Swami Bhaskarananda, a far, far better book.The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the World's Oldest Religion

5-0 out of 5 stars Hinduism: misunderstood religion..now understood!
I first heard of Hinduism as a child. My parents who are both Christian, wanted me to know about other religions; so I wouldn't grow up thinking that Christianity was the only religion out there. So I did. And at first, I was quite puzzled by this religion, with its multi-armed dieties and what seemed to me to be the worshiip of cows. And it didn't help that I was raised in a fundelmentalist Christian church where we were taught that Christianity is the "only" way, and that all other religions are wrong. So needless to say, I grew tired of seeing suposedly loving Chrisians, scoff-at and belittle any religion but their own. So I began to look at other religions. And even though I had been studying Hinduism on-and-off for years, I really didm't know that much about what they actually believed.That is until about a year or so ago that I began to wonder if Hiindus truly believed in God or not. So me being the research-enthusiest that I am, I decide to search the web for information regarding this topic. And what I found shocked me! I learned that what I thought was a religion of many gods, actually turned out to be a religion that worshipped ONE God; but worshipped God in many differrent forms. Hince why there are so many "gods and goddesess."

And that's when I decided I wanted to convert to Hinduism. But first, I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about this religion, and that when I found The Complete Idiots Guide to Hinduism, 2nd Edition.This book was a real eye-opener for me. The woman who wrote this book does an amazing job at REALLY breaking Hinduism down piece, by piece. Not only that, but she does it in a way that is not only easy to uderstand, but enjoyable as well!! She addresses several key things:
1. Concept of God in Hinduism
2. What "Idol" worship really is
3. The symbolism behind the multitude of "gods and goddesses"
4. The meanings behind the verious Hindu rituals

In fact, I'm hoping to one day, show this book to my parents, so they can learn about it well. But only when they're ready.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is balls to the walls AWESOME
As a westerner who was forced to attend catholic school as a child I was taught that hinduism was a primitive religion practiced by people no more evolved than monkeys.However the people I met whom adorned their walls with images of hindu dieties did not strike me as barbaric.. to the contrary, they often seemed to me more civilized & tolerant than the people around me who boasted their Catholicism.One day I learned that the hindu gods were not actual gods, but rather representations of certain energies of god."What an evolved way to worship" I thought to myself. As it showed a complexity that so called barbaric people shouldn't be able to comprehend.My curiousity was piqued. I had to learn more about this religion.I was hesitant to get this book because..well quite frankly I didn't think hindus would be honest in reviewing it.After all, Catholics will go and give the Bible 5 stars simply because it is the Bible- and they don't want to be the ones to admit that the book of their religion was too boring for them to actually read.But to my delight this book was anything but boring.At times I could not put it down! It is not only educational and informative, but full of wonderful stories and amazing facts of the oldest writings of human history!There are things that I didn't like.For instance, the writer seems so gung ho about hinduism she comes off as excusing the caste system (though she does not condone it).The author also mentions the scientific tests regarding meditation & it's affects without pointing out actual data or where that data can be found.My experience has been that I've found it very difficult to come across the actual data and conditions used for these so called scientific experiments.The author also mentioned a guru by the name of Maharishi Mahesh and gave him credit for his work without mentioning that many of his old disciples (including the beatles) became convinced he was a fraud.So ultimately I could sense the author loved this religion so much she wasn't as willing to look into these things.Still it's a wealth of knowledge, fun to read and I recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more of mankind's oldest known route to God.

3-0 out of 5 stars Loaded with good info, but it could have been better
The author does a terrific job explaining in great detail what Hinduism is all about.But I must agree with another reviewer that it often comes across as a sales pitch, sprinkled with anti-American political swipes throughout.If you ignore these shortcomings, it's a pretty good overview.

... Read more

5. The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the World's Oldest Religion
by Swami Bhaskarananda
Paperback: 247 Pages (2002-01-15)
list price: US$14.50 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1884852041
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book gives clearly written explanations of the basic ideas and practices of Hinduism and its culture. It answers so many questions—Do the Hindus worship many gods? Are the Hindus idol worshippers? What is the purpose of life? What are Hinduism's spiritual practices?—and so on, covering the most mundane to the most profound ideas and questions of Hinduism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

4-0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to the subject
Hinduism is a subject that can get very, very deep. There are so many different schools of thought. And you never know, from what school of though an introductory book like this is going to be coming from.However, "The Essentials Of Hinduism" by Swami Bhaskarananda, is the kind of book that gives a very solid introduction to the reader. Whether you are interested in researching this subject out of historical curiosity or personal interest, this seems like the best book out there. It discusses all the essentials that a reader or a follower of the belief would be interested in, and knows where to draw the lines without getting into subjects that are not going to be beneficial. I have another introduction that I got here at Amazon called "All About Hinduism, by Swami Sivananda" which is actually more detailed in some ways, particularly on all the various schools of thought, but I have not found it as practical or as deep on the issues that most people would be interested in. So, I do not refer to it as much as I do "The Essentials of Hinduism".

One thing that I really appreciate about "The Essentials of Hinduism" is its very plain, well written description of the Hindu idea of God (Brahman) and of the expressions of Brahman. Very interesting. All spread out in detail, but simple enough that anyone coming from a Western approach is going to be able to understand what they are getting at here. Also, a lot of things are explained here that a Westerner like myself would like to have explained about Hinduism as it is understood as today. Yet it seems written in a way that someone who is a dedicated Hindu would be able to use this book as a reference to their own views, ideas and practices.

Though I do not believe in any particular world religion, and certainly do not believe in "divine revelation" from God of any sort of holy message, the Hindu metaphysics are some of the most advanced I've seen that humanity has come up with (too much so in some ways once they step outside of the idea of Brahman). Certainly, if you are contemplating God and Hinduism, this is one helpful book. Along with this book I would also seriously recommend"The Wisdom Of The Vedas by J.C. Chatterji". That is one of the most in-depth books on the nature of God from a Hindu perspective. These two books together are highly valuable in understanding these views. I certainly would not agree with everything in them. Yet, as someone who has deeply studied religion for over two decades, my own search in understanding God and the possibilities regarding the nature of God has greatly benefited by these books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essentials of Hinduism Great Book
The Essentials of Hinduism really made the Hindu religion easy to understand. I really enjoyed it and will be reading it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good!
I've studied and practiced elements of Hinduism since 1977.This wonderful book delivers what it aspires to - a very good overview of Hinduism without bogging down in too much information.

4-0 out of 5 stars SANSKRIT LITE
One of the obstacles in studying Hinduism is finding a book that doesn't inundate each sentence with difficult Sanskrit words.

Thankfully, although this book does have some Sanskrit, every single word is promptly defined and sometimes even more than once. Advanced concepts that have a Sanskrit term are often broken down with modern-day analogies, which I frequently found to be extremely helpful. Honestly, some of the analogies I've read in this book are among the best I've come across.

As if that weren't enough, there is a glossary in the back for quick reference. I rarely had to use it as the in-book definitions were often sufficient.

A quick look at the table of contents shows how thorough this book is in explaining Hinduism. It certainly revealed the basics of Hinduism faster than trying to wade through the many couplets of the Rigveda Samhita on my own.

To accompany the text are several diagrams and pictures, my personal favorite being the chart that shows the staggering amount of Hindu scriptures and how they all break down.

The chapters on Karma and Reincarnation, potentially some of the most difficult to grasp, were explained very well and at length.
However, I was disappointed at the brevity of the chapter on Predestination (a measly page).

On the scholarly side, there are frequent footnotes referring to the Upanishads, Rig Veda and other texts, but they're not exhaustive. For example, page 186 says that "Hindu scriptures speak of two goals pursued by man: the pleasant and the good". Unfortunately, there is no reference for either of these. I'm sure there is one, but it'd be nice to have a footnote referring to it so one can see for themselves.

Having studied other cults and religions, I found these three things of great interest:
Page 125 mentions "Samskaras", which, when you read about them, sound eerily familiar to the engrams mentioned in Scientology.
Page 140, where it mentions the purification of objects, reminded me of similar practices in Wiccan tradition.
In addition, I was amazed at the shared beliefs between Hinduism and Christianity (love thy enemy, body as temple, etc).

For one who wishes to understand Hinduism, in my estimation this is not a perfect book on the subject, but definitely touches all the major subjects and explains things in plain English exceptionally well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
This is, indeed, an excellent introduction to Sanathana Dharma. It is written from an Advaita Vedanta standpoint, which stands to reason as its author is an Advaitin. I also am an Advaitin Hindu, so this was not a problem for me. Most books written nowadays as introductions to Hinduism, are, in fact, written from the Advaita viewpoint. This book covers a lot of the basics. It could have used some more details, such as the section on Yantras. But, overall, a good, solid introduction. ... Read more

6. Hinduism : A Very Short Introduction
by Kim Knott
Paperback: 160 Pages (2000-06-15)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192853872
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Hinduism is practiced by about eighty percent of India's population, and by about 30 million people outside India. But how is Hinduism defined, and what basis does the religion have? In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott provides clear insight into the beliefs and authority of Hindus and Hinduism, and considers the ways in which it has been affected by colonialism and modernity.

Knott offers succinct explanations of Hinduism's central preoccupations, including the role of contemporary gurus and teachers in the quest for spiritual fulfillment; and the function of regular performances of the Mahabharata and Ramayana--scriptures which present the divine in personal form (avatara) and provide models of behavior for everyone, from kings and warriors to servants and children, and which focus on the dharma, the appropriate duties and moral responsibilities of the different varna or classes.The author also considers the challenges posed to Hinduism at the end of the twentieth century as it spreads far beyond India, and as concerns are raised about issues such as dowry, death, caste prejudice, and the place of women in Hindu society. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars It is very short
Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction is indeed very short, perhaps too short to do more than scratch to surface of a topic as complex and varied as the religion of Hinduism. This book is a very good introduction for someone who knows little about the subject and would like to learn more, however for someone who does know a something about Hinduism and would like to learn more it is a little unsatisfying. One is left wanting more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very concise and helpful introduction.
I really enjoyed this nice introduction to Hinduism.I didn't know much about the religion besides common knowledge beforehand.I wanted to read the Bhagavad-Gita, and then I found this book in a box in the lobby of my apartment building.It provided the perfect appetizer that helped put the B-G into context as well as all the other texts.Without it I would have been much more lost.Thanks Dr. Knott!

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect introduction to Hinduism
Hinduism has a special place among the world's major religions, being of great antiquity and being, until recent times, an ethnic or racial religion, like Judaism, Sikhism or Shinto.In the last century it has spread its teachings to the West and in doing so has fragmented and branched into an even more complex variety, so that, as the author of this book says, we must now talk of 'Hinduisms', in the plural.So the writing of a very short introduction that will do justice to this subject is a tall order.Kim Knott succeeds splendidly.

She does not shirk problematic topics, such as the evils of the caste system or the burning of widows.In fact, she devotes a fair amount of space to the particular difficulties faced by Hindu women.

Knott being a British academic, and a Quaker, this is an outsider's view, a learned, sympathetic and interested outsider's view.It is none the worse for that.Including a map, a timeline, a glossary, excellent illustrations and suggestions for further reading, it is packed with a surprising amount of information in such a small space.

If you have only a passing interest in Hinduism, this book may tell you all you want to know.If you wish to pursue the study, this is the perfect introduction.A good next step would be an annotated edition of the Bhagavad Gita.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction into Hinduism
This was a well-written book about Hinduism and serves to help orient people who know nothing about it. It not only discussed some of the basic beliefs of Hindus, but it also addressed some of the problems that they face in modern society. ... Read more

7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism
by Linda Johnsen
Paperback: 432 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$14.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028642279
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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You-re no idiot, of course. You know Hinduism is a religion practiced worldwide, with philosophies that can offer enlightenment even to nonbelievers. However, its belief system is neither as simple nor as complex as many people think.The Complete Idiot-s Guide- to Hinduism will show you exactly how this religion is practiced and its relationship to Hindu culture. In this Complete Idiot-s Guide-, you get:*The principles behind basic Hindu beliefs, including karma, reincarnation, nonviolence, vegetarianism, and multiple manifestations of God.*The stories of such Hindu gods and goddesses as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Sarasvati, and Kali.*Paths to enlightenment including karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, raja yoga, and tantra yoga.*The Hindu caste system, and the customary importance of women in its society.Amazon.com Review
Hinduism is such a vast, complex, and exotic topic that to boil it down to a few hundred pages--and make it fun--must be the work of a true avatar, in this case Linda Johnsen. In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism, Johnsen covers the history, philosophy, devotions, gods, and traditions of this timeless religion. She takes pains to not only make the material easy to read and understand but to get inside the minds of Hindus, themselves, to make sense of what they believe and why. This sympathetic view is balanced by objective and concrete reporting. For example, she presents discussions of the Aryan Invasion theory, whether Jesus visited India, and a well-documented case of modern-day reincarnation. In addition to introducing each of the different strains of Hinduism and their beliefs, she also gives an overview of the classic Hindu myths. Exotic, yes, but Johnsen succeeds in bringing Hinduism closer to home. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Customer Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars People, look East!
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism is a layman's introduction to an incredibly complex religion. Most Westerners are familiar with Hinduism's most famous and popular offshoot, Buddhism. In the interesting documentary Hippie Masala: Forever In India, it was the European hippies, as opposed to the American ones, who embraced Hinduism and moved to India. Yoga is the most popular expression of Hinduism in the United States. It's Hinduism stripped down to its essentials, or as in the case of bikram yoga, stripped down to its overheated and sweaty essentials.

The Complete Idiot's Guide discusses the sacred sciences, the various Goddess, the denominations (mainly worshippers of Vishnu and Shiva), and important rituals. The chapters have accessible titles such as "Truth is a Many-Layer Cake" and "The Royal Road." It brings otherworldly Hinduism, with its many-limbed deities, down to Earth. The concept of women as THE BRIDES OF CHRIST (Sequel to Spiritual Maternity). Our Lady's Little Library Series. Eighth Edition. isn't that alien to Hinduism. There are several stories of women who renounced marriage to mortal men so they could enjoy marriage to Vishnu or Shiva.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism is hardly idiotic. It sets seekers on the path.
Here's some music to accompanying its reading:
India: inner peace through music and nature sounds
World Is India
Sky Kisses Earth
In Concert
Breathing Under Water
Yoga Revolution

Get enlightened and seek samadhi. Namaste.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I greatly appreciate the author for her depth in the subject.Though I was a born Hindu, at times I felt overwhelming with the information provided in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide for everyone including idiots - truly.
Linda Johnsen is a master at communicating complex and very subtle concepts in Hinduism with amazing simplicity and a great sense of humor. Books on Hinduism are typically either very difficult to understand (with word by word translations from the Vedas and Upanishads) or are very simple texts primarily meant for teaching children at home. Idiot's guide is one of the few books that covers a comprehensive list of concepts with adequate depth in a language that is refreshingly simple, very contemporary and in a format that is fun to read.

In the study of Hinduism it is important to internalize some of the fundamental concepts (like the types of bodies or sheaths, concept of Karma, non-dualism, the three Gunas etc.) to make any meaningful progress and that is clearly a space where this book is an excellent resource. Along with me many others (who know a lot more than me about Hinduism) have read this book and the feedback is consistent - Linda Johnsen's explanations on some of these topics is truly mind opening.

I would consider this book an essential investment for anyone trying to understand Hinduism. Including Hindus who practice the religion at home but find it tough to comprehend their practices (let alone engaging in any meaningful conversation on the underlying philosophy). The section on Tantra could be expanded but overall this book is a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review for the Idiot's guide to Hinduism
Hinduism is a vast religion and there is so much to learn or understand.As a seminary student, our professor chose Hinduism books that were difficult to comprehend and absorb.I bought this book helped me through the class.This book will help anyone start to understand the foundation of Hindu and move on to more complicated books written about Hinduism.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interresting overview
This book is readable and informative. Hinduism is an umbrella covering a huge variety of gods, beliefs and philosophies. In my opinion, the author does a good job of giving the reader an overview over the religion. I know of no better introduction to Hinduism than this book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.

It is, however, not completely without flaws.

First, due to the fact that it seems to be written by someone who is in love with Hinduism, the book is a bit naïve and one-sided in its treatment of history and western culture. This is not entirely negative because it does provide an insiders view of Hinduism, but it means that one needs to be critical towards some of its claims. It is also a bit naïve in its treatment of supernatural claims, and it would be nice to see a few more references, particularly when one encounters claims that ancient religious texts contain scientifically accurate descriptions of the death of a solar system...

Second, it sometimes betrays typical western cultural biases. For instance, its treatment of Judaeo-Christian religions in general and Christianity in particular leaves much to be desired. More often than not, when attempting to contrast Hinduism with Christianity, a caricature of Christian beliefs is presented.

This should not present a problem to anyone who is knowledgeable about Christianity and wants to learn more about Hinduism, and the latter is after all the topic of the book. But it does continue to perpetuate biases that could easily be cleared up with a little ecumenical dialogue. Most non-Christians will likely take what they read for granted and continue in their prejudices. The author has probably gotten her own views of Christianity in much the same way.

For these reason i deduct one star, but overall I still think this is a great resource. ... Read more

8. The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture
by Stephen Knapp
Paperback: 170 Pages (2006-06-05)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595393527
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture offers a concise and easy-to-understand overview of the essential principles and customs of the Hindu tradition. It also provides many insights into the depth and value of the timeless wisdom of Vedic spirituality and reveals why the Dharmic path has survived for thousands of years.

Author Stephen Knapp reveals why the Dharma is presently enjoying a renaissance among an increasing number of people who want to explore its teachings and see what its many techniques of self-discovery have to offer. In The Power of the Dharma, you will find:

  • quotes by noteworthy people on the unique qualities of Hinduism;
  • essential principles of the Vedic spiritual path;
  • particular traits, customs, and explanations of Hindu worship;
  • descriptions of the main yoga systems;
  • significance and legends of the colorful Hindu festivals;
  • benefits of Ayurveda, Vastu, Vedic astrology, and gemology;
  • important insights of Dharmic life and how to begin.

The Dharmic path can provide you the means for attaining your own spiritual realizations and experiences. This is the power of Dharma’s universal teachings which have something to offer everyone!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introduction Choice
Bought this after reading many reviews. Seems some have issues about what is lacking in here, or not in-depth or complete enough. I went ahead and chose this book anyway, as it was titled as an "Introduction", after my first visit to the Vedic Temple here. This book served my needs totally. I did not want right now to have a full comprehensive book, simply one that would explain many of the aspects of this, and an explantation of the celebrations and deities. This makes it easy to understand, clear, and not too much information as to lose you starting out. If this is your intent, buy the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best introductory book on Hinduism / Vedic Philosophy
Highly recommend this book for the following reasons:
- Excellent presentation, easy to read, faithful to Vedic philosophy
- Concise overview of the Vedic philosophy,tradition, major principles
- Answers the most common questions about Vedic customs and teachings

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Presentation on Vedic Philosophy
I had been looking for a good book for long to understand the basics/essence of Vedic Philosophy and got tired of reading books written by arm-chair authors from some university. I'm gald I found this book. It's authentic and easy-to-understand. Stephen Knapp has been praticing vedic culture for more than 40 years and contributing significanlty to preserve and protect this highest knowledge that is universal. So, this is a practical book also. This book has truly inspired me and has brought some positive changes within me.
I read a lot of books on self help, personality development, leadership (all time best-sellers) and I've to tell you that to be honest they are all mundane. I'm already feeling that I wasted all these years looking into all other books except Vedic Knowledge. Anyway, I'm glad now that I've realized the value of it after a lot of research.

I also liked the following 2 books from the same author:
~ Proof of Vedic Culture's Global Existence
~ The Secret Teachings of the Vedas: The Eastern Answers to the Mysteries of Life

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding Vedic culture
An exellent intro to understanding Vedic culture. With a short history of Hinduism. I have read it twice now nad given it to friends to read. ... Read more

9. An Introduction to Hinduism (Introduction to Religion)
by Gavin D. Flood
Paperback: 359 Pages (1996-07-13)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$16.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521438780
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Dr. Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from ancient origins and the major deities to the modern world. Hinduism as both a global religion and a form of nationalism are discussed. Emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ritual, more fundamental than belief or doctrine; and to Dravidian influences. It introduces some debates within contemporary scholarship. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

1-0 out of 5 stars Hapless G. Flood drops the ball ... again.
If you are looking for an introduction to hinduism, look up Dr. David Frawley and Stephen Knapp. Look for "The True Religion and History of India", "Dancing with Siva", "The Rig Veda and the History of India", "Gods, Sages, and Kings", "Wisdom of the Ancient Seers", "The Heart of Hinduism", "Vedic Culture: The Difference it Can Make in Your Life", "The Secret Teachings of the Vedas", "The Power of the Dharma", "Proof of Vedic Culture's Global Existence", "History of Ancient India: A New Version", "The Secret of the Veda", and "What is Hinduism?".

Gavin Flood, God bless him, just doesn't have the mind power to grasp what hinduism is. Hinduism is the scattered remnants of massive, ancient, advanced civilization that has existed for millions of years.

3-0 out of 5 stars Dry, dry, dry
I am not an expert so I cannot comment on the Prof. Flood's scholarship which may be excellent, but I can say that this was one of the most dry, boring books I have ever read.I would suggest that readers try David M. Knipe's Hinduism instead.Its somewhat shorter than Flood, but much more interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-Written and Authorative
I recommend this book for the reader who has some knowledge of Hinduism and would like to delve a little deeper into the subject.

The book is clearly written, and every chapter is loaded with information. Flood knows this area very well, and he expertly guides the reader through the bewildering, and often contradictory world of Hindu philosophy and theology.

I feel that this book would work best if read along with a book that focused more on Hindu religious practice. As Flood concentrates more on the thematic trends and concepts within Hinduism, rather than on the practical, everyday rituals and rites of passage that make the religion so vibrant and alive. His book sets the picture, it gives the reader a framework from which to start painting one's own conceptual view.

I would suggest then also reading such books as "Darshan" by Eck, and "Samskara: Rites of a Dead Man" by Murthy, in conjunction with this in order to get a more holistic and in-depth understanding of a complex subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
Having read several similar titles I would say that this highly readable book is perhaps the best I have come across. Flood brings the important strands together in easily manageable chapters, and includes much imortant recent scholarship.
To link this book or its author to an 'orientalist' agenda (as an earlier reviewer appears to) is frankly ridiculous.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Too Shabby
Flood's writing is very dry, but he certainly knows what he is talking about.This book is not so much an introduction for people looking to learn something new, but a great reference for those hoping to learn more. ... Read more

10. Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices (The Sussex Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices)
by Jeaneane Fowler
Paperback: 160 Pages (1997-03)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$18.45
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Asin: 1898723605
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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An introduction to the neliefs and practices of Hinduism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
This was an excellent, comprehensive book about the beliefs and practices of Hinduism.A must own for anyone interested in understanding Hindu philosophies and practices. ... Read more

by Hiro Badlani
Paperback: 400 Pages (2008-09-30)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$17.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595436366
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Hinduism, the world's oldest living religion, embodies a wide spectrum of philosophies, beliefs, and customs. It has prompted thinkers from an array of cultures and ages-from Apollonius Tyaneus, a first century Greek thinker, to Voltaire, Mark Twain, and Albert Einstein-to extol its influence.Now, Dr. Hiro G. Badlani brings you Hinduism: Path of the Ancient Wisdom, an easy-to-understand guidebook that delves into Hinduism's spiritual and historical perspectives. For more than ten years, Dr. Badlani has passionately channeled his resources and inner reflections into learning about this ancient religion. His meticulous research, combined with guidance from spiritual masters, sages, and swamis has brought forth in this volume.This mini-encyclopedia covers all aspects of Hinduism in a series of small chapters. Spiritual teachings form the book's core, for without the spiritual teachings, what function can any religion play? Still, however, information is presented in a non-dogmatic manner, stressing the basic unity and homogeneity of all religions.With its powerful narrative and roots in spiritual storytelling, this book is perfect for anyone who desires authentic information on Hinduism. Engaging with this book will not only educate you, but imbue you with personal peace and happiness, becoming an experience both elegant and empowering. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A very digestible overview of Hinduism
I was really pleased to read Dr Dadlani's book. It presents a lot of information on Hinduism in a well-organized and easy to understand format. The average length of the chapter is very short, which makes the book less intimidating. The English is very simple, and the author has presented a very balanced view of several aspects of Hinduism. I think it is definitely one of the better books available on the subject. It will be clear to anyone who is informed on the subject that beneath the apparent simplicity with which the author has presented various aspects of Hindu Dharma, there is a very well informed and a deep study of the subject. The book also presents the topics in such a way that readers can related contemporary concerns to ancient Hindu doctrines. I would strongly recommend that people who want to get an entry into a complex subject as Hindu Dharma should purchase a copy and study it patiently.

5-0 out of 5 stars MadhuP.Ahuja
Hinduism lifestyle practiced by millions across the world has ancient origins, but its teachings are relevant even for today's modern man having a hectic life style. If you have time and resources, there are many Hindu reference books and religious texts available.However, Dr. Badlani's book provides an excellent overview that concisely describes the Hinduism philosophy and beliefs that he has brilliantly translated from voluminous Hindu religious texts.His book is written specially for young adults and others who may want to explore Hindu philosophy in a short time. This book is a must read for all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A descriptive guide to Hinduism
How is it possible to distil thousands of years of Hinduism and its essence in such a compact size and yet keep the modern day reader totally immersed, is an insurmountable challenge.Well, that is exactly what Dr. Badlani has done with this book.It is a definitive guide to Hinduism especially appealing to a global inquisitive mind including the younger generation.

A. S. Chauhan, M.D., FACC, FSCAI

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource book on Hinduism
Dr. Badlani's book on Hinduism is a true resource book. The chapters are organized, factual and well presented. This book is an easy read. I would recommend this book as a textbook on "Hinduism" to any classroom. ... Read more

12. Teach Yourself Hinduism
by Owen Cole, Hemant Kanitkar
Paperback: 224 Pages (2003-04-22)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 0071419624
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Teach Yourself Hinduism is an easy-to-comprehend introduction to this ancient religion. Although it is the third largest religion in the world and boasts hundreds of millions of followers, many of us in the West remain unfamiliar with what it means to be Hindu. Here readers will find out about the religion's origins, beliefs, culture, and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful is all I can
This book is very helpful for anyone wishing to know more about Hinduism. It breaks things down for anyone of any age. a Must read for those wishing to know of Hinduism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written
This was one of the first books that I read about Hinduism and feel that after reading it I understand more about the religion. It's organized, simple to understand, and key ideas are mentioned over and over again. There's sections devoted to Hindu rituals in the temple and at home, the religious texts, India's history, etc. The only problem I have with it is that in some chapters Indian culture seems to be confused with Hinduism itself. For example in one chapter it says that Hindus accept abortion, yet later on it says that traditionally abortion was one of the biggest sins in Hinduism. I understand that in many religions culture gets confused with what's actually in the religious texts. I think that the author could have done a better job clarifying that. Overall I found this book to be a very good introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to Hinduism !!
This book is simple and descriptive. I am a Hindu and I live in the United States. Several Americans have questioned me about my religion and sometimes I used to have a hard time explaining my answers. This book helped me to explain myself in a comprehensive way.

The book provides everday examples of rituals, traditions and ceremonies which are a day-to-day routine in an Hindu household.

In addition, the book describes the basic principles of Hinduism and the origin of these principles.

An added bonus is the role of society and the way relationships play an important role in a Hindu family.

An excellent read for Hindus and non-Hindus. ... Read more

13. Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective (2nd Edition)
by David R. Kinsley
Paperback: 208 Pages (1993-02-27)
list price: US$66.00 -- used & new: US$51.00
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Asin: 0133957322
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The reference provides an overview of the Hindu religious tradition and describes the essence of the Hindu vision of reality.Provides a historical and analytical discussion of Hindu mythology, art, rituals, and social structure; gives extended portraits of important Hindu thinkers and saints; offers a fuller picture of the role of women in the Hindu religious tradition; shows how the concepts of Dharama and Moksha conflict with one another and how the Hindu tradition insists upon both concepts as essential in fulfilling human destiny.A valuable reference for courses in Asian Religion, Theology, and Asian Philosophy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars almost adequate introduction
To get a non-western, non-secular-materialist perspective on hinduism try "The True History and Religion of India" by Prakashanand Saraswati or try "Gods, Sages and Kings" by Dr. David Frawley, or "Introduction to Buddhism" by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (Buddhists may not know it, but hindus know that buddhism is a school of hinduism and teaches the same cosmology, same gods, etc ...) also look up R.L Kashyap, Sri Aurobindo, and books by stephen knapp and frawley; "Dancing with Siva," and "What is Hinduism?" by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and the staff of Hinduism Today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good
Great. No Problems. Short and Sweet.
Very informative. Enjoyed the perspective but can be a difficult read for some.

5-0 out of 5 stars Concise and comprehensible
This book is a concise introduction to Hinduism for Westerners.It covers the early history and development of the religion, Hindu sects, Hinduism and the arts, central beliefs, worship practices, social structure, and symbolism.The book is illustrated with high quality black-and-white photos.It includes a glossary, a bibliography of further readings organized by topic, and an index.

I searched for a comprehensible introduction to Hinduism without success until I stumbled across this book.I've read everything I could find on Hinduism from Huston Smith to Klaus Klostermaier and was still left scratching my head, wondering what the central tenets in the Hindu religion are.I found Klostermaier informative in some aspects, but his description tends to be so detailed and technical that I lost the forest through the trees.In contrast, Kinsley is quite succinct and writes on a level that interested Western general readers can easily understand.He covers the central tension in the religion, the struggle to choose between serving one's earthly duties and seeking personal release from the cycle of rebirth, as well as the main religious texts exceptionally well.He also describes many facets of the cultural connections to the religion quite well- -I found his observations on the importance of ornamentation and idealism in the arts to be especially illuminating.Not only does it help make sense of Hindu graphic arts, but it has also helped me make more sense of the focus on ornamentation in Indian classical music.Kinsley doesn't explain the Hindu Gods as clearly as some of the other topics that he discusses, and I find that I am still a little hazy on who's who in the pantheon, and how they are related to each other.But over all, despite its brevity, this book has given me a much firmer grasp of Hinduism than any other books I have read to date on the topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Hinduism
This book is an excellent, brief introduction to Hinduism. It centers on the often conflicting demands of dharma (duty) and moksha (release) and various Hindu reconcilliations of these two ideals. In doing so it containsmany brief stories from various Hindu texts, especially the Mahabharata. Italso contains chapters on Hindu social structure, women and Hinduism, andHindu temple architecture and its relation to worship. ... Read more

14. The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism
by A.L. Basham
Paperback: 208 Pages (1991-12-05)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$15.87
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Asin: 0195073495
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The late A.L. Basham was one of the world's foremost authorities on ancient Indian culture and religion. Modelled on his monumental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of reflection on the subject, and offers an intriguing introduction to one of the richest of all Asian traditions.

Synthesizing Basham's great knowledge of the art, architecture, literature, and religion of South Asia, this concise history traces the spiritual life of India from the time of the Indus Culture (around 2700 B.C.E) through the crystallization of classical Hinduism in the first centuries of the common era.It chronicles as well the rise of other mystical and ascetic traditions, such as Buddhism and Jainism, and follows Hinduism's later incarnations in the West, making it an especially comprehensive introduction to the subject.

Unlike Christianity or Islam, Hinduism was not inspired by single great prophet but rather evolved organically.The wide range of influences and sources--along with the great number of sacred texts in ancient languages--can make the Hindu system of faith and practice seem almost impenetrable to the uninitiated.With its vivid presentation of Hinduism's sources--from the warrior Aryans to the wandering ascetics--and its clearly written explanations and analyses of the major Hindu texts--among them the Rg-veda, the Brahmanas, Upanishads, and the Mahabharata and Ramayana--The Origins of Classical Hinduism clarifies much of Hinduism's enduring mystique.With an especially helpful bibliography, numerous illustrations of Hindu art never before published, and a lucid, accessible style, this book is must reading for anyone who has ever been intrigued by this fascinating religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thorough, not always scintillating - but short and thorough
While Basham's writing style may not be the most scintillating, this book is a good concise overview on the development of the Hindu religion.Touching on the roots of ancient Harappan culture, and the Vedas, Basham also manages to introduce the ancient gods, to introduce Jainism as well, and finally to discuss the Mahbharata, the Ramayan, and Bhagavad-Gita.Readers who wish for a first brush meeting with Hindu culture and religion will still find this a reliable supplement to other very good readings - such as Fred Clothey's Religions of India.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hinduism
I was interested in learning a bit about the religion of Hinduism.This book did not provide the information I was looking for but it was a good read for someone looking for more information about other religions.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brief But Lucid Introduction
One of the worst problems in getting a grasp of Indian religion and philosophy is that there is so much of it.If you are a dilettante, such as I, trying to keep the Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, and their derivatives in some kind of mental order is a task that distracts one from the real reasons for such study.In addition, the terminology is often daunting, especially for a beginner.Yet the ideas of India and it's neighbors have had influence far beyond their countries of origin, and a good basic understanding grants tremendous insight into the workings of the human spirit.

Fortunately, there are many writers who have dedicated themselves to the explication of Indian philosophy.Almost too many.A short visit to the book store reveals many shelves of material, most of which entice and bewilder.Of course, this isn't surprising given the vastness of the subject matter.What is really needed it a bit of a roadmap, with enough detail to point the way to areas of interest.Which is where Arthur Basham's thin little book on classical Hinduism fits perfectly.

Basham is both a scholar of ancient Indian culture and religion and one of its best proponents.His style is very clear and lucid, even when the subject matter is a bit dry.This volume is actually a collection of a series of his lectures put together in 1989 and is quite accessible.These span a period of time from about 2700 BCE through to the Common Era and beyond.More than Hinduism itself is discussed.Buddhism and Jainism come under scrutiny, although not as deeply as the main subject area.The editor (Kenneth Zysk) has appended a fine bibliography which will help guide the reader in further pursuits.

The size and style preclude excessive detail, but Basham carefully steers clear of oversimplification.The sections proceed in chronological order, discussing the culture, the writings, and the important themes and ideas.It is very interesting to see how Hinduism takes form and moves through many stages of development, flirting with theism, monotheism, and every other variation in between, respecting many different beliefs instead of hammering out a single doctrine.

This is a perfect starting out book.Also recommended is Basham's justifiably popular 'The Wonder That Was India.'

5-0 out of 5 stars A Scholars view written for general readers
This is a rare book that combines deep and original scholarship with a style that makes it accessible to a general audience. The book is a collection of lectures so each chapter is self-contained and may be read on its own. While I suspect that some of the conclusions maybe controversial, the arguments in favor are presented concisely and logically. This book is not intended to be an introduction to Hindu philosophy; however, anyone with a casual knowledge of stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata will enjoy this book. ... Read more

15. Introducing Hinduism (World Religions)
by Hillary Rodrigues
Paperback: 416 Pages (2006-09-06)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$28.00
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Asin: 0415392691
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Hinduism describes the array of beliefs and practices of the majority of the people of South Asia, particularly those of India and Nepal. Hinduism is the ideal starting point for students wishing to undertake a comprehensive study of this fascinating religion. This lively introduction explores the complexities of Hinduism, including its social structures, especially its caste system, its rituals and many scriptures, its vast mythology and varieties of deities and its religious philosophies. Hillary Rodrigues, an experienced teacher of the Hindu tradition, emphasizes the importance of Hindu rituals and practice, subjects of particular interest in contemporary scholarship. Illustrated throughout, the book also includes a glossary and a list of further reading. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars School book
I had to buy this book for my Asian Traditions class. It is pretty interesting for a school book, but I would never read it if I wasn't required to. ... Read more

16. Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Klaus K. Klostermaier
Paperback: 208 Pages (2007-12-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.75
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Asin: 1851685383
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this accessible introduction to Hinduism, Klaus K. Klostermaier explains the origins, beliefs, scriptures and philosophies of this ancient religion, and considers modern challenges the religion faces, such as the relationship between Hinduism and the West. Sweeping in scope, and highly readable, Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide offers a unique overview of a tradition that spans thousands of years and is essential reading for students, followers, and interested readers alike.Amazon.com Review
History has always been a problematic issue in India, where the dating of many a figure is accurate to only within centuries. So to attempt a definitive history of Hinduism would seem foolhardy. Klaus Klostermaier approximated the impossible in his 715-page Survey of Hinduism, and now he has boiled it all down to about half that size. Hinduism is defined as that family of religions that accept the Vedas as authoritative, but despite the single moniker the differences can be vast. From fertility cults to precise rituals that date back thousands of years, Klostermaier cuts across time to illustrate the major strains of Hindu tradition--Vaisnavism, Saivism, and Saktism, along with the nonsectarian smarta. He includes a short history of Hindu philosophy, which in India is inseparable from religion. Klostermaier is a first-rate scholar who expects a lot from his readers, sometimes too much. Anyone who isn't somewhat versed in Hinduism already would do well to pick up his Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism for handy reference. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best scholarly work on Hinduism
This book is a rare mixture of scholarly research and a sympathetic feel towards Hinduism and India.

Every page has dozens of historical data and profound reseach.

No wonder, that it is being used in many of the American universities like Rutgers in New Jersey and McGill in Canada.

A must read for anybody interested in India and/or Hinduism

4-0 out of 5 stars Conciseness carried to extremes
This encyclopedia certainly aims at comprehensive treatment of Hinduism; its articles range from the earliest legendary figures and texts of Hinduism to the present, and include a nice balance of different periods and regions, as well as doctrine.But it is also very frustrating to use as a resource---many entries are only one or two sentences, and just don't give enough information to be enlightening (besides not supplying any references for further reading).I found myself constantly wanting more.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb introduction!
This book is one of the best introductions to Hinduism. It will be ideal as a textbook in religion classes. Klostermaier has written a series of illuminating books on Hinduism and this is a worthy member of this wonderful set. ... Read more

17. Hinduism (World Religions Series)
by Ranchor Prime
Paperback: 58 Pages (2005-03-05)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.43
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Asin: 1552856550
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Six studies of six faiths.

The World Religions series explores the major religions of our world today. Focusing on the six main religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, each title looks first at one person's experience, and then examines the facts, arguments and opinions from around the globe. Special debate panels, supported by a wealth of resource material, invite the reader to discuss the issues that are currently shaping our world.

Young readers will learn about their own faiths and will receive answers to important questions such as: What is Jewish Law? What is enlightenment? Do Sikhs believe in an afterlife? Should we question the truth of religious books such as the Bible? What does the Hindu way of life aim for? These questions and many more are explored in detail, providing readers with a glossary and resource guide for further reading.

Written by educators, these books are well researched, carefully written, and are credible resources for young students. Parents will appreciate the open and sensitive treatment of each religion. The World Religions series is an important contribution to helping increase cultural awareness and promote tolerance. ... Read more

18. Inner Teachings of Hinduism Revealed
by Master Choa Kok Sui
Hardcover: 153 Pages (2004-06-14)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$27.50
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Asin: 9710376004
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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* Why does Ganesha have an elephant head?* Was Hanuman really a monkey?* Why are Indian deities shown with blue skin?* What is the meaning of a peacock feather?If you would like to know the answers to these questions and many more, this books is for you.Drawing upon his vast knowledge of various cultures and religions and with his background as a Master Pranic Healer, Grand Master Choa Kok Sui reveals in this book the true meaning behind many of the symbols and rituals of Hinduism.Deeply insightful, this book is for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the Hindu religion, helping him appreciate the wisdom inherent in its teachings and symbolism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about a rich religion
I bought this book because I really like the author rather than about the religion itself, and had a pleasant surprise. I only knew a little about Hinduism, but this book showed hidden teachings in this beautiful religion. Once again, Mr. Choa has written a great book, with a rich perspective. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Knowledge
This book illuminates the symbolic meaning behind some of the important Hindu deities and rituals.
One thing I loved, apart from the colorful illustrations, was how the author has seamlessly connected the Hindu teachings with other religions, especially Christianity.This book is a must not only for one interested in inner esoteric teachings of Hinduism but also for any Hindu who wants to have better understanding of his/her own religion.
This books reminds me of the core values of Hinduism which have made it survive as a living religion. ... Read more

19. Hinduism - An Introduction
by Shakunthala Jagannathan
 Paperback: 84 Pages (1999-04-15)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 8187111194
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world and is unique in its tolerance of other religions. Yet, because of its free thinking and lack of compulsion, educated Hindus of today know very little of their own religion and there is great need for a simple but comprehensive book on the subject. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hinduism Simplified
Well written and well illustrated book on Hinduism for those who want an overview. Being an author of "Hinduism Simplified" myself, I am aware of the difficulties of writing a brief overview of a rich and the oldest religion that is still preserved. We need more such authors. Congratulations Ms Jagannathan. Anupkumar Shetty www.ThirdEyeMeditation.com

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Hinduism.Profusely illustrated.
This book gives one a brief but comprehensive overview of Hinduism.The work is a brief, 84 pages; but even so the information is presented extremely well.There are numerous pictures and illustrations that supplement the text.

My knowledge of Hinduism was mainly from reading books by Western authors.This book gives one a Hindu perspective.Although I was born in India I did not realize how scant my knowledge of Hinduism was.I verily suspect that many Hindus will find a nugget or two in this book.

The book format is more akin to the coffee table genere but this is one of those display books that is actually quite useful.

I do have a cavil.There is no index to speak of; so if you recall a name finding it in the book is quite a chore.However, all in all this is a bargain.

If you, like myself, just want to know the basics of Hinduism and Hindu culture, this is a great start. ... Read more

20. Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History (South Asia Across the Disciplines)
by Andrew J. Nicholson
Hardcover: 280 Pages (2010-09-20)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$36.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0231149867
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Some postcolonial theorists argue that the idea of a single system of belief known as "Hinduism" is a creation of nineteenth-century British imperialists. Andrew J. Nicholson introduces another perspective: although a unified Hindu identity is not as ancient as some Hindus claim, it has its roots in innovations within South Asian philosophy from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. During this time, thinkers treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Visnu, Siva, and Sakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. Instead of seeing such groups as separate and contradictory, they re-envisioned them as separate rivers leading to the ocean of Brahman, the ultimate reality.Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as the ultimate unifier of diverse belief systems.This project paved the way for the work of later Hindu reformers, such as Vivekananda, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi, whose teachings promoted the notion that all world religions belong to a single spiritual unity. In his study, Nicholson also critiques the way in which Eurocentric concepts& mdash;like monism and dualism, idealism and realism, theism and atheism, and orthodoxy and heterodoxy& mdash;have come to dominate modern discourses on Indian philosophy. ... Read more

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