Monday, October 20, 2008

The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion

The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion Cover

Book: The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion by Swami Bhaskarananda

This book was exactly what I was looking for: something to help me understand the basics of Hinduism without either oversimplifying or overcomplicating things. I had previously thought that Hinduism was difficult to understand, but it turns out that it just needed to be explained properly, something this book does far better than any others I have encountered. Bhaskarananda fills the pages with colorful stories and analogies, and sets up much of the book in a question-and-answer format, making it a delight to read. I found that almost all of the basic questions I had about Hinduism were answered. Questions are given in large, bold headings organized by topic, and are then answered in a concise but clear manner. Since Essentials of Hinduism is organized so well, it is excellent for keeping on the bookshelf as a quick reference. If you only buy one book on Hinduism, this should be it.

Swami Bhaskarananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna order, here offers a brief catechism aimed at Westerners unacquainted with Hindu religious traditions. Perforce covering those traditions in broad terms without going into doctrinal complexities, his book has a straightforward style that should appeal to casual readers and students at a basic level but will not interest advanced students and scholars. Bhaskarananda, who has founded and led several Vedanta societies, has also been involved in interfaith relations. His tone is frequently apologetic, and he corrects American stereotypes about India and Hindus. In general, he points out, Hinduism emphasizes family and personal devotion over communal celebration and values variety in viewpoint and observance. While this book is not broad enough to be a reference work and is somewhat biased toward the Vedanta philosophical school of thought, it could fill a gap in collections on Hindu philosophy and practice, especially in those collections dominated by the works of individual gurus. Recommended for public libraries.

Find Swami Bhaskarananda's book in amazon.com:
The Essentials Of Hinduism A Comprehensive Overview Of The World Oldest Religion

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