The Essentials of Hinduism: An Introduction to all the Sacred TextsTrilochan Sastry
Hinduism is an ancient religion, philosophy and way of life. Unlike other great religions that are based on a small set of books, there are hundreds of texts in Hinduism, most of which are very voluminous. They span not merely centuries, but millennia. And most importantly, these ancient scriptures are all in Sanskrit which many do not know. Therefore, for a beginner, with an interest in Hinduism, it is a daunting task as you do not know where to begin such a study.
This book discussed all the ancient texts. These include the Vedas, Upanishads, Shat darsanas (six Philosophies), Brahma Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Agama Sastras, Ramayana, Mahabharata, other less known sacred texts, and the later philosophies including Advaita, Visishtadvaita, Dvaita and their variants. This is followed by the Bhakti movement which was largely in the spoken language of the people, and a discussion of popular Hinduism as seen today. The concluding chapter brings out the essence of the scriptures. Throughout the book, interpretations are avoided and the texts are presented as they are, backed by explanations where required.Read more