A Critical Study of Hinduism

Sarasvati Chennakesavan, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1998, xxii, 175 p, ISBN : 8121508215, $19.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface. 1. The climate of Indian thought. 2. The religion of the Vedas and the Upanisads. 3. Aspects of Hindu Theism. 4. Ethics of Hinduism. 5. A retrospect. 6. Traditional values and social change. Index.

"In A Critical Study of Hinduism, the author has made a critical study of the externalities of the religion as they exist today. It is a kind of development study of what is euphemistically known as Hindu religion, from its beginnings to its modern state.

In this book, a viable definition of Hinduism is sought, and allied matters are dealt with in a general manner. In that context, the author discusses the natural religion of the Vedic people and the sophisticated Upanisadic ideas of the latter days. This is followed by a systematic exposition of the theistic trends during the past centuries. She has also analysed the extent of the influence of the epics on the theistic strains in the early Indian thought.

While evolving an ideal pattern of ethical tenets in the contemporary situation, she has evaluated the contribution of some important reformers and made a lucid study of the significance of their lives and works in the twentieth century.

That a change in outlook is essential, the author concludes, cannot be denied. Till such time as when we can reform our own people and draw them to appreciate the truths and ideals of our religion, the author feels, we have no right to think of changing the people of other countries and of other religions." (jacket)

[Sarasvati Chennakesavan's books include The Concept of Mind in Indian Philosophy and Perception.]

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