Synopses & Reviews
Readers seeking spiritual enlightenment, as well as those interested in comparative religion, will find a concise, clearly written introduction to one of the world’s great and ancient faiths in this attractive volume. Placing special emphasis on the Vedas, the author describes the historical and geographical background of Hinduism and discusses the religion’s various classic texts. The Vedas share their place—along with the Upanishads and the two great Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana—as being among the most important documents of Hindu literature. The Vedas are Hinduism’s original holy texts and the basis of its faith, roughly comparable to the Judeo-Christian Bible. The author presents sample readings from the Vedas to give readers an illuminating glimpse into Hindu theology and its pantheon of gods and goddesses. He concludes with a survey of Hindu culture, including marriage and burial customs; the caste system; and Hindu festivals. Here are answers to fundamental questions that include: Who are Kali, Shiva, and Krishna? What is karma? How do ancient Hindu precepts retain their significance in the modern world? This beautiful volume contains more than 200 color illustrations.
About the Author
Virender Kumar Arya is a young scholar whose field of study is ancient Indian literature and philosophy. Born in New Delhi, he is a graduate of Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of Language, Literature and Culture. He currently lives in London, where he is doing research for his Ph.D. thesis on Myth and Truth in the Vedic Tradition.