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A Letter to a Hindu Paperback – June 24, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490527672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490527673
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
got this for free on my kindle. short and sweet review of the struggle of british empire and the self imposed cage of "blind" religious belief in the early 1900s in india. shows beginnigns of the wave of secularism in modern india. fascinating piece for the believer and unbelievers alike.
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A short and fascinating treatise on love as the solution to all hatred, and the answer to all violence.

The subtitle of this work is: The Subjection of India - Its Cause and Cure, and consists of a letter to the editor of Free Hindustan. It was given to Gandhi, who was inspired to translate it from Russian, publish it in an Indian newspaper, and even write an introduction for it in book form.

The book manages to examine the political situation of the time (not so different from some parts of the world now) linking the basic tenet of many religions, including Taoism, Judaism, Mohammedanism and Christianity among others, to the philosophies of Ancient Greece and Rome.
Tolstoy saw the connecting thread as love.

Nicely written and inspiring. Also an interesting glimpse into the mind and motivation of a great writer... and I particularly enjoyed the poetic quotations from Krishna.

A quick read which gave me a much food for thought, especially how to apply it to everyday life.
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In my search for ‘Eleven stories by Leo Tolstoy’, I stumbled upon this treasure. The title intrigued me. I am a Hindu after all. Seeing a personal letter (well, almost) from no less than Leo Tolstoy will get anyone’s heart beating faster and me being an ardent fan, ‘ahh’ is the word. I might have had too much on my to-do list but then this short little letter somehow made some time for itself to be read and I have no idea how everything else shifted to the back burner. ;)

An introduction by Mahatma Gandhi gives way to the book. On a personal note, I am not a big fan of his actions. His beliefs, possibly, but some of his actions just didn’t go down well with me and few of his words in the letter found their way to despise me. But I carried on.

And then came Krishna and Tolstoy, two of my very favorite people or perhaps a semi-God and an author but well who goes by the decree. I love them both! And I completely agree with their beliefs. The quotes by Krishna reminded me why He was the one who had inspired my pen name while Tolstoy’s writing reminded me why Anna Karenina is my all time favorite book and he my all time favorite author.

His words rang true to me and I found myself nodding in agreement. His letter written in 1908 still holds true to this day. But it now assimilates the whole world and is not limited to a Hindu or an Indian. It might well include Israel and Russia and Ukraine and the entire world population. ‘Love’ is the word. Violence and war should give way to love because that’s what is natural and pervasive.

This little letter might hurt a few sentiments because at a point, it even questions one’s beliefs in Gods and religion but all for one’s belief in an even higher aim of life – love.
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Tolstoy had little respect for what he called "pseudo science" and "pseudo religion," though he was certainly a theist. In this letter, he outlines his beliefs in non-violent resistance to the British rule over India, founding them on the ideal of a universal theology of love. He quotes extensively from Hindu texts though, like virtually anybody trying to argue from any massive set of texts, theological and otherwise, he ignores everything that does not support his conclusions.

It shows that he is more of a thinker than a rigorous logician and he certainly hand-waves away what he calls pseudo-science without defining "real" science. However, as an insight into his thought and into the possible influences on Gandhi and other advocates of nonviolence, this is a valuable and fascinating document.

Certainly you can't beat the price.
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Intimidated by War and Peace as I was, i.e. so intimidated I haven't started it? Try this first. This pamphlet bridges the 19th and 20th centuries making available to those of us in the 21st century a perspective on social change and the goals of mankind that opens the mind. When one thinks of the U.S. Civil War and its aftermath or the Occupy Movement and its fizzle(?), this letter opens a window into why Ghandi succeeded when others did not. Tolstoy's values shine through shedding enough light to make anyone uncomfortable. It also opens a window on Ghandi. When I am feeling faint of heart from the struggle to make the world a better place, I shall return to this letter and stand in the light to renew my spirit.
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A Letter to a Hindi is a nice summary of Tolstoy's earlier The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You. Little new ground is covered, other than the particular application of Tolstoy's views on love and non-violence to the Indian peoples' subjugation by the British.
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I am a huge Tolstoy fan and came across this on Facebook of all places. Tolstoy explains love in a way that most cannot or will not today, and it offers a new look at the age-old question of the goodness of man, innate or earned.
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