Hinduism – Ritual, Reason and Beyond
The book is journey through 5000 years of evolution of Hinduism, and is outcome of seven years of study to understand the roots of Hinduism. Tracing the genesis of Hinduism to pre-Indus Valley period, the book explains Hindu, Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma, before it takes one through Hinduism’s oldest scriptures – the four Vedas, the four components of each Veda, and what they contain. How all original translations of Vedic texts were done by Western Sanskrit scholars, and why their works have left scope for doubt about the fidelity of translations. The yajnas (yagya) like Ashvamedha, Rajsooya, Vajpeya, etc., about which we only hear on TV serials and talk shows, have been demystified. The reader will be taken aback reading the sheer size and scale of Soma yajna, described step by step, in great detail. Hinduism’s journey to the Age of Reason, the Upanishads, its encounter with Buddhism, and its transformation into idol worshipping society with many gods and a multitude of stories about its millions of gods is lucidly explained. Puranas, what they contain and what was the reason they were created, has been described and explained next. Hinduism’s journey to its modern form – idol worship, the modern puja, detailed description of puja and Sanskaras like Vivaha, their detailed description, the meaning of each action and how they are conducted, the gift to the priest, types of idols, their consecration, all are explained to help a reader understand the why and the how of what we do as a Hindu. The book concludes with a discussion of – Do mantras have power? & Do rituals have meaning?