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5.0 out of 5 stars Hinduism Overview, April 22, 2010
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This review is from: The Religion of the Hindus (Hardcover)
Over the centuries, Hinduism has been subjected to being `understood' by the Westerners who generally describe and judge Hindus and Hinduism by the Western standards.

Here is a 1953 book with a broadminded, sympathetic approach. It is edited by a Western professor. The contributions are made by Indian scholars who have studied and analyzed the subject. This is a perfect book for those who are curious about or want to study Hinduism from the Hindu point of view. The various authors who were professors in Indian universities, have brought out the essence of Hinduism.

The beauty of the book is that in 434 pages, it captures the subject of thousands of years. The reader receives an excellent overview. Expansion of any area of the subject can be done with this book as the basis.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part, which is half of the book, has six brilliant articles addressing the beliefs and practices- nature and history of Hinduism, role of human beings in Hinduism, concept of God, concept of natural world, religious practices and religious thought. The second part has articles on Hindu scriptures- Vedas including Aranyakas and Brahmanas, Mantras, Upanishads, Dharma Sastras, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, The Bhagavata, The Bhagavad Gita, and Prayers. There is also an excellent bibliography, glossary and Index.

The Western editor, who also put together books on Islam interpreted by Muslims and Buddhism interpreted by Buddhists deserves a lot credit for his commendable efforts.
It is very important to read the editor's preface as well as the Introduction to Hinduism article first.
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